How to Make Easy Earth Box Planters

Written by kristina seleshanko
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Self-watering plant containers, first sold as the product EarthBox, are the latest rage on the gardening scene. And why not? They allow gardeners to water less frequently, and prevent the soil in the planter from losing nutrients when water rushes through them at every watering. And the best news is EarthBox-style planters are easy and inexpensive to make.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large plastic storage bin with lid
  • Scissors
  • Electric drill
  • Pieces of PVC pipe
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Potting soil with time-release fertiliser
  • Plants
  • Black plastic garbage bag

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  1. 1

    Remove the lid of the bin. Cut off some of the edge of the lid with sharp scissors, so it easily fits inside the storage container, near the centre. The lid will now separate the soil and the water reservoir.

  2. 2

    Drill 1/8-inch holes all over the shelf, about 1 inch apart.

  3. 3

    Drill two holes in the shelf, just slightly smaller than the PVC pipe you'll be using. If you're working on a large container, drill these holes around 6 inches from one short side, and the other around 6 inches from the opposite short side.

  4. 4

    Drill another hole near one edge of the lid, large enough that a garden hose can easily slip through.

  5. 5

    Cut two lengths of PVC pipe. They must be tall enough to hold the shelf in place.

  6. 6

    Drill 1/8-inch holes all over the pipes, about 1 inch apart. Make sure at least two on each pipe are within 1/2 inch from the shelf.

  7. 7

    Attach the pipe shelf "legs" to the shelf with zip ties, using the holes at the top of the pipe.

  8. 8

    Cut four additional lengths of PVC so they'll fit beneath the shelf and hold up its corners.

  9. 9

    Drill 1/8-inch holes all over these pipe pieces, about 1 inch apart. Near the top of these pipes, drill two more holes for attaching the pipes to the shelf. Tie the pipes in place beneath the shelf with zip ties.

  10. 10

    Seal the edges of the shelf with duct tape; this will prevent soil from falling below the shelf.

  11. 11

    Place the container in its permanent location. It will be hard to move once it's full of soil and water.

  12. 12

    Fill the container with water by slipping a garden hose into the hole drilled for that purpose.

  13. 13

    Fill from the shelf up with new potting soil. Water the soil thoroughly.

  14. 14

    Plant the container with flowers, herbs, or vegetables.

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