Wednesday, June 21, 2017

9 Small Space Self Watering Vegetable Garden Ideas for Lazy Gardeners

If you ask anyone for ideas on how to save money on food and groceries, vegetable and herb gardening is a popular tip. 

Why? 

Because if you like gardening, have the space, and time to tend to a garden, it works as a way to get a bunch of fresh vegetables and fancy herbs for months on end for the couple of bucks you need to buy a packet of seeds.

I have to admit I’m more into picking and eating food from a vegetable garden than tending to it. Container gardens are needy. I’d much rather travel here, there, and everywhere enjoying my summer than be stuck home watering and weeding a garden. 

Until recently that’s exactly what my husband and I did. We grew a few things here and there but it really was hit or miss on the yield. Apparently plants need water to grow. Who knew?

Then I made my first self watering planter and learned I can have fresh vegetables and summer fun too.  I still have to water the plants but the water chamber in the bottom of the container means if I’m away from home for a few days (or forget) my water loving tomatoes won’t dry out and die.
This year we added more to make a a real deal self watering patio container garden!

 Pin this list of ideas for later!



I am a big believer in using what you have first because the greenest (and cheapest) thing is what you already own. I converted my big flower planters with drainage holes into self watering planters using using Terra Cotta Plant Nanny stakes and empty long neck glass bottles. They work so well I put them in the front yard too. 



My garden is a water lush.

Next summer I’m going to skip the boozy look and order a bunch of pretty colored glass bottles from Dollar Tree on line. Psst mega dollar store hack coming at ya! You get FREE shipping if you order from Dollar Tree on line and have it shipped to your local Dollar Tree store for pickup!


(Disclosure; I’m always thinking about Smart Fun folks like you - that's why I share ideas like this, even if I don't partner with this company right now. When you get this goodie, I might get a kick back that keeps me supplied with enough coffee and tacos to keep bringing YOU Smart budget ideas every week!  )

If you already have large gallon flower pots and planters without drainage holes you can easily DIY a self watering flower pot by popping a self-watering pot reservoir into the empty pot followed by dirt and plants or seeds. Easiest. DIY. Ever!


You use the tube to water the plant.
They have watering plant bases for large, medium, and small plant pots.

If you have a large planter box or in ground garden area, you can make a self watering garden without running drip irrigation lines by sinking a Terra Cotta GrowOya Vessela in your garden 36 inches apart and filling them with water. Each grow vessel will water a plant for seven days.



This option doesn’t work as well if you have clay soil which means it sadly is not for me.


I put the unused air space to good use with a hanging herb garden in self watering hanging plant baskets. Since I’m too short to water hanging plants easily (which means they are almost surely guaranteed to die a horrible death) I hung each one from a hanging planter pulley. Now I can easily lower the hanging pot to fill the water chamber and raise the pot up to tall people won’t bonk their head on a hanging planter height when I’m done watering.So far, I have a live basil plants and no severe head trauma for the tall people who hang out on my patio. I’m going to call plant pulleys a win!



This planter grows Opal Basil. It is yummy!


I don’t have a patio or balcony rail to use for more herb garden space. If you do, you can take advantage of the unused garden space with a self water resin rail planter like this one. 



Since it is self contained you don’t have to worry about your plant water dripping on your neighbors or the sidewalk below your balcony!


My self watering planter box has a secret. It is actually a wood slip cover I built around a plastic self watering planter similar to the Hydro farm or Earth box.  I wanted it to look pretty and needed an attached trellis for bitter melon that year.  



Read my How to Make a Self Watering Planter Box tutorial on m my DIY blog Condo Blues!


Next year I want to add two Cape Cod self-watering planter boxes with flowers to each side of my front walkway to coordinate with my Cape Cod style house. That way, my fall mums have a chance of living more than a week or two – unlike last year.





They have a matching Self watering window box planter I might hang off the kitchen window to grow more herbs next year or maybe grow beans and peas in it the front porch rails. Do you think it would work with trailing vining plants instead of staking them?. 


Do you garden? How to do you keep your plants watered and alive? 

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