Through Every Season

Wicking Planters

When Mike and I were in Alaska, we saw these awesome purple flowers.  I remembered seeing them in San Antonio too and loved them.  We found their name on google: “Purple Sensation Allium” and discovered that they are related to the onion and come from a bulb that you plant in October.
Mike surprised me with 22 bulbs for my birthday! 🙂 
My thumbs are far from green so I started doing lots of research 
on how to care for them and discovered that they will rot in clay soil..
which is exactly what we have.. so I did more research..
About this time, the weather turned cooler and Mike started taking me and 
the dogs for walks.. wonderful.. feeling so much better.
One afternoon, I spotted this climbing wall etc. out for the trash 
and thought, “Those would make great planters.”
They wouldn’t fit in my car so one of Judi’s friends 
came by with a truck and picked them up for me.
A random hot air ballon flew over our house.
At first, I thought they were red wood, but while Joel and I 
were cutting them down to size we realized they were just pine 🙁 
So I bought some 5 year stain to help them last longer.
While I was waiting for them to dry, I started wondering how I was 
going to water these flowers.  I am always killing plants 
with either too much or too little water.  
So I googled “how to water your planters” and learned about “self wicking planters” and “earth boxes.”  
They are watertight planters with a water 
reservoir in the bottom and an overflow pipe so you can’t overwater them.
They only need to be filled about once a week.  Sounded great to me.
I did a bunch more studying and shopping and here’s how they went.
Josh, Joel and Mike helped me dig out the water reservoirs.
I cut an 1″ hole for the overflow pipe.
 I used WeedX in the bottom of the planters to help
protect the plastic liners from rock punctures.
I have a bunch and it’s not good for much else.
After a bunch of reading, I decided to make the water reservoirs
between 8 and 12″ deep and the soil 13″ deep.
The water will only wick up through 12″ of soil. 
 I used 8 mil. plastic liner.
 Measured and cut it.
 It’d make a great green house.
 Folded and stapled the corners over.
Enjoyed the fall scenery. 
 Ta da.. watertight planter.
 I had to be really creative with the overflow pipe.
Spent an hour at Lowes thinking in the plumbing section. 
I needed something to go through the wood 
and plastic and be water tight.
I used 3/4″ nipples and adapters..
Punched a small hole through the plastic.
Squeezed the nipple through the plastic and the 1″ hole I drilled.
Then used a bunch of silicone calk
and tightened the adapters on snugly.
Then I went in for breakfast while I waited for it to dry.

1 Comment

  1. Elayne

    Holy Martha Stewart cow.

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