How to make a self-watering container for growing peppers – DIY step-by-step guide

How to make a self-watering container - step by step guide

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How to make a self-watering container for growing peppers – DIY step-by-step guide.

In the video below, I show step by step, how to build a self-watering container. These are also known as sub-irrigated planters. The bucket-in-bucket setup is a very common self-watering container design. They work similarly to the Earth Box and the GroBucket systems. They are a bit time-consuming to make. For an easier, simpler option, check out the GroBucket.

Materials needed:
– 2 x 5-gallon buckets – https://amzn.to/3fBJqDz
– Drill – https://amzn.to/344EOR0
– 3-inch hole saw – https://amzn.to/3vgLw2b
– 1 1/4 inch hold saw – https://amzn.to/3hMNOCs
– 5/16 inch drill bit – https://amzn.to/3fcilaZ
– 2 x 3-inch net cups – https://amzn.to/3fDuULw
– Zip ties – https://amzn.to/2Sl3IZL
– 3 feet of 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe – https://amzn.to/348boRT

Easy container mix for peppers – 2021 recipe

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through the following product links.

Easy container mix for peppers – 2021 recipe.  This is what I’m using with my drip system pepper and tomato plants for the 2021 growing season.

The base container mix is composed of:

  • 1 x 2.8 cu-ft bag of well-draining commercial potting mix (I used Sungrow commercial potting mix, aka Fafard 3b)
  • 1 x 1 cu-ft bag of compost manure (I used Black Kow) – This provides a small amount of fertilizer, mostly Nitrogen, to help the plant along until the slow-release kicks in.
  • About a large colander full of extra perlite – This offsets the added density from adding the compost manure.

    After adding to the 5 gal bucket, I add:

  • 1 x 1/2 cup of bonemeal
  • 5 x Tbsp of Osmocote 14-14-14 (or slow-release macronutrient of choice)
  • 5 x tsp of Essential Minor Elements (or micronutrient of choice)

I install the plant, water it in, and set it up on my drip system. The drip system runs for 15 minutes, twice a day. Each 5-gal container has 2 x 1/2 gal/hour emitters.

Also, take a look at how I set up my drip system.
Drip System Basics – https://youtu.be/opA4bJ2_tv8

Also, these links will provide information, but you might want to source them locally. The cost of Amazon is a lot higher. They are probably factoring in shipping costs.

Osmocote 14-14-14 – https://amzn.to/3iE87SS
Black Kow https://amzn.to/3xhjiF3
Essential Minor Elements – https://amzn.to/3xctyOM

Video showing how it is mixed:

Mars Hydro TS1000 grow light

Mars Hydro TS1000
Mars Hydro TS 1000

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through the following product links.

The Mars Hydro TS1000 is a dimmable 150-watt quantum board grow light. It has a full-spectrum mix of 5200-6800K and 3200-4200K diodes, as well as red and IR. This is the newer 2020 version, which has an easier dim knob and can be daisy-chained.

Mars Hydro TS1000 grow light – https://amzn.to/3yLhJ2Y

GroBucket self-watering container system

GroBucket
GroBucket

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through the following product links.

The GroBucket is a system developed by GroTech, designed to insert directly into any 5-gallon bucket. It converts the 5-gallon bucket to a self-watering container, aka sub-irrigated planter. It contains the main insert, a fill tube, a water level indicator, and a fill tube cap. I purchased a three-pack, but they also come in a 10-pack.

GroBucket (3-pack) – https://amzn.to/3xzVD3r
GroBucket (10-pack) – https://amzn.to/3ihgPF1

Colofrog CF 1000 grow light

Colofrog CF1000

Colofrog CF1000

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through any Amazon links in this post.

The Colofrog CF1000 is a dimmable 110-watt quantum board grow light that has a unique cooling system to keep the LEDs cooler during use. This extends the usable life of the grow light by lower the rate of decay, which is accelerated by higher temps. In my tests, I actually got a little more than the 110 watts advertised, around 114 watts.

The quantum board has 240 double-chip Sanan LEDs, with a mix of 5000K and 3000K color temps. It also includes some red, and IR diodes.

Colofrog CF 1000 grow light – https://amzn.to/3k9QtqM

Colofrog CF 1500 (I have not tried this yet, but is 174 watts) – https://amzn.to/3k9QtqM

Back to the Roots Water Garden – Aquaponics beginner kit

Back to the roots water garden
Back to the Roots Water Garden
Betta
Betta

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through Amazon links in this post.

The Back to the Roots Water Garden is a small, beginners, aquaponics kit. It’s advertised as three gallons but effectively holds two gallons when set up. There is enough space for one Betta or similar fish. It has a small pump that pushes tank water up to the growing media and recirculates back into the tank. The theory is that the roots will help filter/clean the water, and the fish waste helps fertilize the plants.

The kit comes with two types of seeds and everything else you need, except the fish. It is recommended to add a small heater unless it is a strictly cold-water-loving fish.

My take away from using it is it’s a good learning/teaching system, but not effective on any large scale beyond growing microgreens. And microgreens could be grown with no fertilizer anyway. It’s a fun system though, and I’m still using it.

Here are similar products that I have not tried yet:

AquaSprouts Garden – https://amzn.to/3B3cZb9

ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Garden System – https://amzn.to/2UHlIia

Vivosun Aquaponic fish tank – https://amzn.to/3kaWVhs