DIY reservoirs for pots

Planter DIY Water Resevoir

Pots add interest in your victory garden, and can also mean more time for watering and due setting can increase the aesthetics of a garden

To conserve water and keep your vegetables well watered, place a recycled plastic container to catch water under your pot, with ‘wicks’ that go from the potting mix through the drainage holes into the underground container of water. I add little rocks to ensure slow flow if I am going to be away.

Keep your container garden happy and thriving on long hot days by installing a hidden water reservoir. All you need is an empty plastic bottle around the same height as your planter. It will be easier to start with a new planting than an established container.

Here’s how:

  • Cut. Using a craft knife, cut the bottom off a plastic bottle. The cut bottle should be no taller than the distance from the bottom of the pot to the top of the soil line. Remove the cap.
  • Place. Fill your container up partially with soil, and then place the empty bottle, upside down, in the center. Add more soil around the sides so that it stands up.
  • Plant. Add your new plants in the donut shape around the bottle.
  • Water. On hot days, just fill up the bottle with water, and it will slowly trickle down to the deep roots of your plants. You may still need to top-water at first while your little plants are getting established.

Using the bottle upside down makes it easy to add water; if you would like to use a bottle cap-side-up instead (with drainage holes cut into the bottom to let the water out into the soil) you will need to be more precise when aiming your water stream to get it in the small bottle opening.  As the plants grow, the bottle will become harder and harder to see, but you should still be able to easily fill it up as needed.


Standing water can breed mosquitoes, be careful not to over-water and you shouldn’t have any problems. You can also place a mesh over the top of the bottle.


Making a self watering bucket

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