Using a two litre bottle with about four inches of wick helps keep the soil moist for about two weeks. You need to refill the reservoir once in two weeks. This helps in getting rid of soil residue which can clog the wick. The wick when used for a long time might fall out, it’s no reason to worry as your plants will have roots by then which will reach the reservoir. You will also see some algae growing in the reservoir after some time due to sunlight. To avoid this you can just wrap your bottle with paper or aluminium foil.
Things you will need:
Two to three litre plastic bottle with the cap
Threads of different thickness
Two nails of different sizes
Pair of scissors and a blade
Step 1: Marking the bottle
Use the marker to draw a line on the bottle. Make sure that the bottom part of the bottle is bigger than the top part to balance the planter and also to fill enough water. The top of bottle when inverted should not touch the bottom part.
Step 2: Cutting the bottle
Take a blade or a pair of scissors to cut the bottle where you have marked it. Make sure it’s cut uniformly or you will end up with a lot of cuts on your fingers. You can also take a sellotape and tape the edges if you want.
Step 3: Making The cup
The cup is where the soil goes. Roots grow better in darkness than in light. To make this, cut a sheet of newspaper into half and mould it in the shape of a cup. Line the inside of the bottle with the cup.
Step 4: Puncturing The cap
Heat the tip of the nails and make holes in the cap. This is done to make sure that excess water can drain out of the cup. Make a big hole at the centre of the cap and small holes around it.
Step 5: Fixing The wick
Take a thick thread and pass it through the hole in the centre of the cap. Make a knot at the top so that it does not slip through. Take the thinner threads and tie around the knot of the thick thread. Pass the thinner threads through the smaller holes. It’s not necessary to fill all the holes, you can leave a few out for the water to drain. Make a hole in the newspaper in the cup. Pass few threads on top and leave the rest below. You can either screw the cap on the bottle or leave it under the paper mould.
Step 6: Putting in the Soil
Mix soil and manure and fill the cup to the brim. Spread the threads which are inside the cup for maximum coverage. The threads will supply water to the cup from the reservoir, so make sure to spread the threads so that the cup gets enough water.
Step 7: Filling Water
Fill the cup with the soil. Excess water will drain out. Repeat the step two or three times to make sure that fine dust is drained out.
Step 8: The reservoir
The bottom of the bottle will be used to store water that the wick will soak in. Fill the bottom with water, but not so much that it reaches the cup. Make sure there are no floating particles as it can clog the wick. The wick from the cup should be submerged in the water.
Step 9: PLanting Seeds
Sprinkle seeds in the soil. Do not put a lot of them as the cup is not very large. After adding the seeds put another layer of soil and sprinkle water on it.
Step 10: The planter
Place the cup in the reservoir. Check if the wick is submerged in water below. Press the cup so that it is fixed firmly on top of the reservoir and you have your own self watering planter.