Pot Drainage System

emgardenerOctober 16, 2011

Here's relatively quick system to divert your pot drainage away from a deck, porch, ...

Since my pots are on a wooden deck, drainage needs to be diverted.

Took 0.600" irrigation tubing and drilled it into the bottom of plastic buckets. Then used another bucket as the plant pot inside the drainage bucket. The drainage from 7 different pots was then diverted to the base of an orange tree growing in the ground one level below. Worked very well and the orange tree loved the drainage.

Also was able to connect a regular container to the drainage system. Just drilled a hole in the plastic drainage pan and hooked it up with 0.600" black poly irrigation tubing.

The above 2 photos show the drainage at the bottom of a bucket and the bottom of a standard plastic drainage pan. Notice the wooden blocks placed in the bottom. These elevated the plant pot so it would not squish the drainage tubing. It also prevented the buckets from sticking to each other so the plant bucket could be lifted out and moved easily.

The key to making this work is to make a compression fitting into the drainage bucket or pan.

This was tricky at first. When drilling a hole with a large bit, you can crack the plastic. So instead, I first drilled a very small hole using ~1/8" bit. Then I used the grinder attachment in the photo. This heated up the plastic so it started to melt a little. This prevented cracking.

You make a hole that is smaller than the tubing, maybe 3/4ths the tubing diameter. Then to get the tubing into the hole, you first cut a tapered slit a the end (cut the tubing at a slant). Then you must heat it up to make it pliable and soft before pulling it through the hole. I took the tubing and touched it to a 100 watt light bulb for 30 seconds to get it good and warm/soft. Then it relatively easily pulled through the hole. Last just trim the tubing in the inside, get rid of taper and make shorter.

This makes a leakproof compression fitting.

I first tried this with 1/4" tubing, but the pots wouldn't drain at all. The surface tension was too great with just 1/4" tubing. The water wouldn't flow through it.

I've used this 0.600 tube drainage system all summer with no problems.

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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

Creative and so well executed. Thanks for sharing. It would probably work with the plastic saucers that go under pots which opens up the choice of pots to use.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 12:14AM
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sanfrancisconewbie

Emgardiner,

Bravo! An elegant solution to a vexing problem. I'm not a big fan of plastic containers, but what you've done might make a believer out of me yet.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 1:08AM
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