Self Watering Containers – sub-irrigated planters

It has been demonstrated that plants grow better in self-watering containers as opposed to traditional containers. In many cases, under proper care, they will also outperform vegetables grown in a traditional backyard garden. This is due in part to a principal known as “transpirational pull”.

“Transpirational pull is the main phenomenon driving the flow of water in the xylem tissues of large plants. Transpirational pull results ultimately from the evaporation of water from the surfaces of cells in the leaves. This evaporation causes the surface of the water to recess into the pores of the cell wall.

Inside the pores, the water forms a concave meniscus. The high surface tension of water pulls the concavity outwards, generating enough force to lift water as high as a hundred meters from ground level to a tree’s {or any plants} highest branches. 

Transpirational pull only works because the vessels transporting the water are very small in diameter, … as water evaporates from leaves, more is drawn up through the plant to replace it. When the water pressure within the xylem reaches extreme levels due to low water input from the roots (if, for example, the soil is dry), then the gases come out of solution and form a bubble -… which will spread quickly to other adjacent cells, unless bordered pits are present (these have a plug-like structure called a torus, that seals off the opening between adjacent cells and stops the embolism from spreading).” –Wikipedia

Do it Yourself {DIY} sub-irrigated planters

Self Watering Containers have a bottom chamber that serves as a water reservoir, and a top chamber that contains the potting mix and the root system. The root system draws up water , never too much or too little.

Because of this, vegetables grow much better in Self Watering Containers than in traditional ones.

Basically , plants will absorb moisture through its root system and ‘exhale’ it through their leaves. The upward flow of water and nutrients is, in effect, the plant’s circulatory system. In a self watering container plants will have continuous access to the water {which also carries the nutrients} it needs, never too much or too little transpirational pull / osmosis is never interrupted due to a lack of watering, and the plant grows continuously at peak performance.

Also – In self watering containers soil nutrients are not leached away by constant watering. 

Using organic fertilizers in traditional containers requires constant watering, hence – you are usually flushing nutrients out of the soil before the plants derive any benefit from it. With Self Watering Containers, the fertilizer you put in the soil stays in the soil until the plants fully utilize it.