Sunday, February 9, 2014

Yogurt Containers make Self-Watering Pots

Making herb growing even more stupid proof.

Grow herbs!  They are pretty stupid proof, grow better when plucked often and make everything tastier.

For me the biggest stupid is forgetting to water them. 

OK this is basil that died of cold, not under watering,
but dead is dead.

I've sorted the baby-stage.  From seed to seedling (aka “micro-greens” in certain Fancy Places), these repurposed  lettuce containers work as green houses that keep in most of the water, and create a cozy, toasty environment.

But when the herbs are transplanted from the baby-bed, but it is still the too cold to go outside, they are in danger of my neglect.  On more than on occasion, I've killed the fragile little guys.  Not wanting to have them up end up as the base for frost flowers, they stay in.  Good.

But then I'll forget to water them.  Bad

They dry up and die.

Once they make it outside, they are usually in good shape.  The rain usually continues quite dependably, so for a while yet, watering solved.

I've even gotten around to hooking up a drip watering system.  That certainly helps with the arrival of the 2 (shifting) months of no rain.   And makes life sweet for the herbs that did survive the dangerous indoor weeks. 

But between the years I fiddling about with more herbs than my drip system can handle, and the needless indoor deaths by artificial drought, I realized I needed to get creative. Possibly even Crafty.

Capillary Action to the rescue!

Old yogurt containers, All you need is 2 containers that nest well with a pretty good sized gap underneath (for the water).

and some sort of artificial fiber that gets wet.  You can use cotton or wool, but they will disintegrate faster.  It needs to be wet-able so water will travel or “wick” up it from the lower level into the upper.  Certain nylon and polypropylene ropes don’t get wet very well, and can’t wick.  However acrylic yarn and any other fiber that gets wet will work just fine.

Punch a few small holes (cork screw eliminated “stabby” type injuries)

Cut your yarn/rope.  Knot in one end so it stays where you want it.

Push the yarn through the small holes.  The mini screwdriver was handy.  Plenty of other tools work fine too.

Now your self watering pot is ready for business!  Plant the top pot like a regular flower pot.  Add water to the bottom pot – but only enough so your top pot isn’t floating.

Now your transplanted herbs will water themselves for a week or longer.

Fewer casualties all around.  Yay!

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