Self Watering Pots

abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)March 14, 2012

Ok, so I'm new to growing a lot of stuff in pots and thought I'd try some self-watering ones since it can be VERY difficult to keep up with watering here in Las Vegas between the heat and the near constant drying winds.

Two of my new pots are your typical self watering pot with the slot in the side to add water to, and a wick-thing in the middle that makes contact with the potting medium - they seem to be working great.

Today I just got a really big pot (20" for a small tree), but it has what the vendor calls a "self watering disk" - which basically looks like a form fitting, perforated shelf like thing that sits in the bottom of the pot. No external hole or slot to water a resevoir, and no wick material. Has anyone used one of these before? Am I supposed to cut my own hole and supply my own wick?

Here's a link to what I bought (are links to Amazon allowed?)

Here is a link that might be useful: self-watering disk?

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Yes my wife had/has a couple of these. Very unfriendly. The water just percolates down to the bottom from top watering. You can't tell if the reservoir is full or not.

I'd drill a hole right below the shelf and put a drip line into it. Then you can fill it automatically and it won't overfill.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:05AM
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I've used these pots and their smaller versions for the past 3 years. They're available, year round, from my local Lowes stores. I drill 3 holes (5/16") evenly spaced just above the disk. I put landscape fabric on the top of the disk. Works great! I've also used fabric bags (Smart Bags, Square Root Bags, etc) inside the pot, on top of the disk, and they work even better. To increase the size of the water chamber, I put 1-2" of grow medium on top of the disk, landscape fabric on top of the soil and drill my 5/16" inch holes at the same level as my landscape fabric. Works best of all!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:16AM
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abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

Ok - thanks for the ideas! I will def. be drilling a hole or two so I can fill the reservoir as I turn the planter, and I'll look into landscape fabric (I'm assuming this is used mainly to keep roots out of the reservoir) and other "wick" ideas to keep the pot from drying out.

I'll probably try the ( shelf + medium + fabric + medium ) layering with the reservoir holes at the fabric level.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Quick question - are the holes for filling the reservoir or would they act as drainage holes after the reservoir had been filled after normal watering from the top of the pot? I ordered a few I'd these pots & haven't used them yet because I'm loathe to drill holes at the bottom of the pot if there's any chance of potentially using them as self watering pots...however the idea of setting up drip lines etc is not appealing :(

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:04AM
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