How to make your own self-watering planter out of a 20 gallon storage bin.
Turn a 20 gal plastic storage bin into an awesome self-watering planter!
Tools & Supplies
20 gallon bins with lid
Section of pipe or tubing approx. 24″ long
At least 2 large plastic containers
At least 4 smaller plastic containers
1 bag (1 cubic foot) of any garden or potting soil
1/2 bag 8 Qt bag of Vermiculite.
Weed barrier fabric cut to about 2′ x 3′.
Drain sleeve cut to about 12″ x 12″.
Drill with 3/8″ drill bit
Heavy duty scissors
- Mark the reservoir height, ideally between and 4-6″ high.
- Measure the width and length of the bin at that reservoir height.
- Measure and then cut the lid of the bin to fit.
- Trace and then cut the holes for the larger plastic containers (the “wicking pots”).
- Drill holes in the wicking pots.
- Create a hole for the watering tube.
- Assemble the bin, placing the smaller plastic containers under the reservoir lid to help support it.
- Fill in the holes where dirt might fall with landscape weed fabric or drain sleeve or both.
- Fill the wicking pots with tightly packed soil + vermiculite.
- Fill the remainder of the bin with soil. Add amendments as needed.
- Measure the height of the reservoir on the outside of the bin.
- Drill a drainage hole just under the line.