M.I.A.

Tutorial: DIY Earthbox in a 5 Gallon Bucket

In Completed Projects, Garden, Gardening on May 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm

 Here is my version of a subirrigation/Earthbox. To learn more about the benefits of this type of plant watering system, check out this link http://paperchaise.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/d-i-y-sub-irrigation/

Materials:

  • 1 – 5 Gallon bucket
  • 1 – 12×12 vinyl tile, cut to the diameter of the container.
  • 1 – 24″ x 24″ piece of mesh
  • 3  -  3″ pieces of  PVC pipe (or small plastic containers). I used both 1.5″ and 2″ PVC
  • 1 – knee -hi stocking

Tools

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Saw (optional)
  • Hole saw drill bit

 

 Prep Work:

1) Cut the PVC to 3″ pieces. If you don’t have a saw, ask if they can cut it for you at your home improvement store

2) Drill several holes into what will be the bottom of the PVC (see picture below)Photo_050609_004

3) Cut the vinyl tile into a circle. The diameter of the circle will need to be slighter smaller than the inside of the container. In order to get the correct size, I placed the tile on the container and traced around. I cut just inside (1/4″-1/2″) that line

(see pciture below)

 

4) Cut a circular hole into the vinyl tile slightly smaller than the diameter of the PVC. To accomplish this, I traced around the pvc and cut just inside the circle (1/8″)

5) Punch a dozen or so small holes in the vinyl tile  to allow for the humidity of the water to have contact with the soil

6) Drill a small hole (1″) into the side of the container, making sure the hole is below the 3″ mark (or below the level of the dirt) . This hole was serve as an overflow valve and a place to add water

 Assembly:

Photo_050609_002

 

 

 

 1) Place PVC  inside of the mesh. Make sure that the holes in the PVC are at the bottom

Photo_050609_005

 2) Gather the mesh together and thread it thru the hole in the vinyl tile. This mesh covered PVC will serve as your wick. As water enters the hole on the side of  the bucket, it will come into contact with the soil in the PVC (via the uneven bottom and holes on the sides) and will be sucked up by the soil and roots.

Photo_050609_006

 3) Even out the mesh, ensuring that the PVC is visible

Photo_050609_007

 4) Place the knee-hi stocking over the mesh covered PVC (not pictured) . The knee-hi will act as a safe-guard against soil erosion

Photo_050609_010

 5) Place the 2 other pieces of PVC inside the container

Photo_050609_011

 6) Place the vinyl tile, pvc side down, into the container.

7) Add soil, making sure to press the soil into the PVC. Make sure you are using Potting Mix, not garden soil.

Photo_051009_004

 8) Continue filing with potting soil

Photo_051009_005

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