Please help--Draining containers are doing a number on my deck

sanfrancisconewbieOctober 11, 2011

Hey Everybody,

I've got two wine barrel planters and a rectangular planter that I'm using to grow California natives on the wooden deck of my San Francisco condo. The plants are doing great, but the drainage from the containers is creating problems.

Every time I water the plants, the run-off falls onto my neighbors' deck, and that doesn't seem very fair to them. Even worse, the water doesn't get a chance to dry out, so it's creating the beginning signs of dryrot in the wood that's immediately below the planters.

What would be great is if there was a way to create a nice-looking drainage system that funneled out the water through tubes that protrude 6 to 9 inches from the side of the container.

I saw a planter that appeared to do just this. I took a picture of it at:

I was so tempted to knock on the door of people who owned this very cool planter to find out how I could get something just like it. I ended up deciding not to bother the people. Anybody here have any thoughts about how to do this?

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I wish I knew a good answer! I've been trying to come up with a similar runoff setup for inside my house, as it would be nice to have it all flow off to one spot in a controlled manner.

That picture you linked to looks like it might be a custom job? Is that base made entirely of metal? Not sure if you took a close enough look. I've never seen one of those for sale anywhere, but I like it.

I hope some other folks have good suggestions!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 12:15AM
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It will require a custom made container. Take good pictures and measurements to your local sheet metal shop and ask for a bid on making a suitable drainage container. Al

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:48AM
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or find a large overflow pan or have one made.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:35AM
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I did a quick google search and found something called the pot drain. It says right in the little blurb about it that it is used to prevent wood rot on decks. It uses a tube that comes out the bottom of the pot (varying lengths) to drain the water away.

Here is a link that might be useful: pot drain

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 1:04PM
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Great feedback, people! Thanks so much.

As far as I can tell, the planter I saw is custom made. I didn't want to get too close, because it was on someone's front porch and I wanted to respect their privacy. I'm pretty sure it's all metal. I'm seriously tempted to knock on their door and ask questions. Too bad they're on the other side of town.

Sara21, thanks for the link to the Drain Pot. I hadn't seen that.

If anyone else has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I've got an engineer and carpenter brainstorming on something. When we build it, I'll post pictures and specs.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:18PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Ooh, the Plant Aquaduct looks like just the thing for watering some of my larger indoor pots without having to drag them to the sink. Just put the drain tube into a bucket to catch the runoff. I think I'm going to try one out and see how it goes!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:11PM
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I had the same problem, please see the Pot Drainage post for pictures of what I did.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 5:43PM
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