May 23, 2010

Self-Watering Glass Planters

I actually don't remember where I first found this idea, but the minute I saw it,
I thought it was brilliant and had to make some self-watering glass bottle planters of my own.
The clear glass jars act as a water reservoir, and there is a string that draws the water up
through the neck of the wine bottle like an artificial root.

I cut the tops off the wine bottles by scoring a ring around the bottle,
heating it with a candle, and quickly dunking it in cold water.
The rapid temperature change causes the glass to crack along the scored line.
It is possible to sand the glass after, to get rid of the sharp edges, but I didn't bother.

I planted basil and thyme, because those are the two herbs I cook with most.
I also plan on planting one with cilantro, as I have recently become a cilantro convert.

UPDATE: For the first few days, these SIPs (self-irrigating planters) actually did not work. 
The soil dried up quickly, and I was watering them from above because I felt bad for the plants. 
Then one morning I noticed the soil was quite moist. 
Upon closer inspection, I could see that the roots had latched on and intertwined 
themselves to the string where it meets the earth. So if you plan on making your own SIPs, 
you'll have to wait a few days before they start irrigating on their own!