01 02 03 Now that's pretty: DIY self-watering planter 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

DIY self-watering planter


I love having plants around the house but I usually forget to water them after a while and then feel very guilty when I see shrivelled dead plants. So this year I am going to make a real effort. Yesterday (first day of nice weather!) I dug all my seed packets out of my cupboard and decided to start planting some veggies for the summer. I made these holders so they would water themselves to counter my laziness because realistically I will have forgotten by next week. They're so easy to make and the great thing about them is that the plants practically water themselves. Three days later and there hasn't been a moment that I've touched the soil and it hasn't been moist. Hurray for easy gardening cheats! At the moment my planters are resting on a piece of wood which is gingerly balanced on my tiny window frame. There isn't anywhere really sunny in my house so I have to live with the risk that any minute my bed will be covered with soil and water and little green shoots. Ahh well. C'est la vie.

The other problem I have when gardening is I always forget what I've planted so I made some cute little labels for them. Some are drawn but some are made by cutting up the seed packets because usually they have really nice little pictures on them.

2 litre bottles



Coloured paper (for decorating)


Kitchen towel

1. First collect up your bottles. I've found that 2 lt bottles work best as they are quite wide and therefore can fit quite a lot of soil.

2. You have to disinfect them because most plants don't love lemonade as much as you, but they don't much like disinfectant either so try and use a natural soloution. I filled mine with a water and white wine vinegar solution and shook it around for a while. Drain it out and rinse.

3. Now mark out your bottle You will need to divide it into three.

4. Cut your bottle using a scalpel or craft knife. Discard the middle section.

5. Fold up a piece of kitchen roll nice and small and wedge it into the neck of your bottle. This is used both to soak up the water but also to stop the soil falling through.

6. Place the neck of your bottle into the base section. If you want to at this point you can decorate your planters with coloured paper or masking tape.

7. Make some cute little flags for your planters by cutting a triangle out of your seed packet and rolling it around a cocktail skewer.

8. Place your planters somewhere nice and sunny. You should only have to fill up the base with water every week.

Edit: this post was originally published on Feb 25 2012 12:29PM

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