I decided to make something like that using a 2 liter bottle and a rag from an old t-shirt. Much lower cost and a nice weekend project.
My original idea was to cut off the top of a 2 litter bottle and put a standard terra cotta pot inside. The 2 liter would be the water reservoir and a scrap of a cotton t-shirt could act as the wick. Then I realised, well, if you turn the top of the 2 liter upside down you have a very nice cavity to put the potting mix in and a hole in the bottom (the original neck and opening) to run the wick through. After thinking it over we were off to the races.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
– 2 liter bottle. Clear is good, other colors will work.
– rag from a cotton t-shirt. About 8″ x 8″ or so.
– Spray paint. I’ve read a few things that say planting containers should be darker colors to block light from damaging the roots. Fair enough. So you need to paint the top of the 2 liter once it’s cut off. I used a black primer as a base coat and then a red gloss as a top coat.
– Potting Mix. Important: It’s potting mix, NOT potting soil. From what I could find online, potting mix will “wick” the water to the roots of your plant and potting soil will not.
– Utility or xacto knife
– Medium or Fine Sand Paper. I’m using a fine grit sand sponge thingie – I love these things.
– You need to be able to cut a 2 liter bottle in half and while it can be a wild and wavy cut, nice and straight and flat is a good thing. I decided to do multiple planters so I set up a production tool. It’s a 2×4 cut to 5.25″ tall. On top of that I drilled pilot holes and screwed down a utility knife blade. By spinning the 2 liter around the blade I could get an even mark and most of the cut done. It would start to bind up for the last bit and for that I used the xacto knife.
– Sharpie, used to mark the fill line so a quick glance is all it needs.
– SOS pad for scubbin’ off the last of the paper and glue from the 2 liter label.