How To Make Your Own

Self-Watering Planter

Growing plants is always fun, except when you forget to water to them and then they go crispy!

This projects means you can water your plant(s) less often and because it uses a clear plastic bottle, you can see how much water is left. (No need to stick your finger in the compost to see if it’s dried out). It’s also cheap as you probably have almost everything you need already!

Refilling is easy. You just put water in the bottom half – no need to water the compost directly (and risk accidentally drowning your plant).

If you grow salad in the container, then you can cut a few of the outer leaves for your lunch, leaving the middle of the plant to keep growing.

On this page we list the things you’ll need and then send you to the webpage with all the instructions.
Self watering planter gear

Here’s Amanda, one of the team. The photo was taken at an Apple Day held by a group called The Secret Garden in Swindon.

You can see she is surrounded by bits and pieces to make multiple planters, including:

– cut up bottles

– wool

– seeds

– bucket of compost!

There’s also a random owl cookie on the table.



Things you’ll need – TOOLS

  • A bradawl or hole punch (or a drill) to make a hole in the bottle lid
  • A hammer or mallet to help make the hole
  • A sharp knife or pointy scissors to cut the bottle (and the string)
  • A short piece of flat wood to use as a work surface (when making the hole)
    Tip: Make sure you put the piece of wood under the lid when making holes. (It’ll protect the floor).

Things you’ll need – MATERIALS

  • Empty and washed 2L drinks bottles (cola, lemonade, water – you know the thing!)
  • Thick string or wool to act as a wick (to draw up the water)
  • Compost for your seeds
  • Seeds

What seeds do I use?
Well that’s up to you. Vegetables? Flowers? Salad? The time of year is important too if you intend to plant them outdoors when they are big enough. Check the seed packet for instructions.

Can I use homemade compost?
A little tip with the compost – use the shop bought stuff. Why? Using your own homemade compost is fine outdoors as it contains lots of helpful creepy crawlies. Indoors they might upset whoever runs the kitchen!

How do I remember what I’ve planted?
There are lots of choices for this:
Download, print and cut out our planter labels and glue or tape them onto the bottle
Make your own labels
Use old lolly sticks – write the date and the plant name and poke into the soil
Splash out on some plant labels (they’re about 10p each)

The window sill is getting a bit cold these days? Should I worry?
If you cut up another empty bottle, you can use the bottom half over your planter to act as a mini greenhouse.

Now you have everything you need, head over to this page for the full instructions on how to make your own planter:

Have fun.

The team at Incredible Edible Swindon.