The Benefits of Self Watering Planters
What are self watering planters?
Most standard planters and plant containers contain holes at the bottom to allow for adequate water drainage. These holes are a must to prevent overwatering which is basically when water pools at the bottom of your planter leading to root rot and the death of your hard work.
Self watering planters, on the other hand, are basically planters within planters with a built-in moisture wicking system to help automatically water your plants. The main planter sits inside or above a water collection reservoir and a self-contained wicking system transports water up to the main planter portion. Since any good growing medium will transport both moisture and air, these wicking systems are a great way to make sure your plants have just the right amount of water.
How do self watering planters work?
Instead of top watering your plant in the traditional way, self watering planters have a water container that you fill. Water from this basin is moved up a wicking device or devices to the primary growing chamber where your plants are located. From here, the water is then diffused throughout the growing chamber through your grow medium.
Why should I use self watering planters?
- Saves you time and trouble
With traditional planters and containers, your plants have to be watered every couple of days, if not daily. For those with busy schedules or for those that often travel this can lead to a bunch of dead, dried out plants! With a self watering container you only need to add water whenever the basin is low on water – depending on how large your basin is and how much water your plants need this could be a week or longer.
- No over or under watering
The two main techniques of traditional watering are shallow and deep watering but unless you know precisely how much water your plants need and how quickly your standard planter drains – giving your plants the right amount of water is just a guessing game. The problem with shallow watering is that plants aren’t forced to grow strong, deep roots since all their water is near the surface of your planter (not to mention you need to do this almost daily). On the other hand, deep watering often leads to over watering which is a death sentence for most plants. With self watering planters, your plants only get as moisture as they need.
- Nutrient retention
With standard planters, the nutrients in your grow medium mix with water and slowly leak through the drainage holes. Self watering containers create a closed system where any nutrients lost through drainage are transported back up to your plants.
- Water conservation
With traditional top watering, there is always water loss due to evaporation and/or drainage. Plus, it usually takes more water to adequately moisten soil that has been dried out. When using a self watering container there is only a minor amount of water loss due to evaporation and your grow medium is kept at a constant moisture level.