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Building Self Watering (Sub-Irrigation) trough planter

I have been waiting the moment to build my self watering metal trough planter. I finally gathered all the materials and put together one of them. There is a great PDF instruction put together by Mary Janes Farm.

I got the trough from Scottsdale Livestock Feed Supply for $85 each. It measures 2' x 2' x 3'. Just the right size for a small backyard garden. I am building two of them because I wanted to plant two asparagus seedlings in each, and hope to harvest the asparagus in them for years to come. And I will be planting some other companion veggies for year round harvesting.

They will be on casters so I can move them around through the year depending on the season.

Here's my rough plans for each of the planter. (t) means transplants and (s) means sowing seeds. I should be able to finish the second one in a day or so and start planting!

More updates to come when I am done planting.

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Comment by Ann Schneider on July 2, 2016 at 9:07am

Thanks!

Comment by Jacq Davis on June 29, 2016 at 7:34pm

Hi Ann, it worked out ok during spring. Summer time, the tank got really hot and the plants don't like the hot water in the tank. So I took the SIP apart and took out the bottom. They are now converted to raised bed planters for my kitchen garden. The height of the tanks do make the harvest easier still. So I recommend it even if you don't use it for SIP. Hope this helps.

Comment by Ann Schneider on June 29, 2016 at 6:37pm

Hi Jacq,
I'm really curious to hear how this worked out!  I'm thinking about doing something like this with larger stock tanks.  I want to do my veggie garden in them to make harvesting easier (and also keeping them watered easier.)  Did it work out well?  Any tips?

Thanks!

Comment by Jacq Davis on January 7, 2013 at 9:38am

Thanks Catherine. I will be back with more updates later.

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on January 7, 2013 at 9:13am

P.S. the burlap over the grid was excellent.

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on January 7, 2013 at 9:11am

Nice project Jacq.  As the others say, keep us posted on how you do.

Comment by Jacq Davis on January 7, 2013 at 8:28am

I put a layer of loose burlap at the bottom of the soil so it doesn't fall through the plastic grid. The beds are done and filled with the potting mix so there is no turning back for me. Each planter has 8 cu ft of soil. I will probably plant some of the items on the list today or tomorrow.

Comment by MaryMcP on January 7, 2013 at 8:07am

What about coir as the wicking agent?  A layer of that on the bottom?  Is the bed planted already?

Comment by Jacq Davis on January 7, 2013 at 7:34am

Hi Karis,

The soil mix that the PDF instruction has recommended is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost/soil mix. I was told at the nursery that this mix might have too much vermiculite so I reduced the amount I used. I hope my soil mix works. 

Comment by Karis on January 6, 2013 at 7:27pm

sweet! I have done some of these in old baby pools at our school garden but have been interested to try them in a larger scale. One thing I learned is that you need very spongy potting type soil. the "garden soil" sold is too woody and doesn't absorb the water and wick it up well enough. Mel's mix would work.

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