An automatic plant watering system, sometimes called an Earthbox or a self-watering container, is a system that stores water in a reservoir for long periods of time. The soil container is held in a chamber over the reservoir, and the water is absorbed into the soil through holes in the floor of the soil container. The plant watering system allows the container gardener to water less frequently for growing container plants with less effort. Although many brands of automatic plant watering systems are available commercially, it is much less expensive to create your own self-watering container.
Trace a line around the circumference of one of the tubs at approximately 5 inches from the bottom of the bucket.
Cut the tub in half along the line using a jig saw.
Discard the top half of the tub.
Turn the tub bottom onto its open top, and drill ½ inch diameter holes spaced evenly every 1 inch apart.
Place the tub bottom face down into the floor of the other storage container.
Swap your ½ inch drill bit for a 1 inch drill bit. Drill a hole into the side of both containers. This will be both a hole to fill the reservoir with water and a drainage hole for your container.
Fill the upper chamber with potting soil.
Sprinkle the surface of the potting soil with dry granulated fertilizer.
Cover the soil with landscaping fabric to help keep weeds out of your container.
Cut a hole for your plants into the landscaping fabric with a utility knife and plant the plants in the hole.
Cover the landscaping fabric with mulch to help prevent the water from evaporating from the soil.
Water your plants by filling the water reservoir below the soil chamber with water through the drainage hole using a watering can with a spout.