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

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

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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

Mars Hydro 27″ x 27″ x 63″ grow tent

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases through Amazon links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you.

Mars Hydro grow tent
Mars Hydro grow tent

Mars Hydro 27″ x 27″x 63″ grow tent.

This is a sweet spot size for one large plant or a few smaller ones. It is much improved over the standard 24″ x 24″ x 48″ tents, offering a few inches of width on each side, and over a foot extra height. This extra head room allows for taller plants, and grow light and ventilation ducting.

In this one, I’m using the Mars Hydro SP150 grow light to grow some Chocolate Rocotos.

Mars Hydro growing chocolate rocotos
Mars Hydro SP150 growing Chocolate Rocotos
Chocolate Rocots under Mars Hydro SP150
Chocolate Rocotos under Mars Hydro SP150
Chocolate Rocoto sprout
Chocolate Rocoto sprout under Mars Hydro SP150

Viparspectra XS1500 grow light

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Viparspectra XS1500
Viparspectra XS1500
Viparspectra XS1500
Viparspectra XS1500
Viparspectra XS1500
Viparspectra XS1500

The Viparspectra XS1500 is the newest iteration of their quantum board grow lights for 2020. The light dimmable with max wattage at 150 watts. It has a mixed spectrum of 3000K, 5000K, 660nm red, and 730nm IR. It is attached to a full aluminum heat seat. It is similar to the Pro series, P1500 grow light they came out with, in early 2020 but has upgraded Samsung LM301B diodes and an HLG series Meanwell driver.

Mars Hydro SP150 grow light

Mars Hydro SP150
Mars Hydro SP150

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you.

Mars Hydro sent me their SP150 grow light for review. This pulls 129 watts and fits great in a 2 x 2 grow tent. I have mine set up over some germinating Chocolate Rocoto seeds. I’ll post videos of the progress.

Here’s a video showing the unboxing, power test, and set up in the 27″ x 27″ x 63″ grow tent, which they also sent me.

Mars Hydro SP 150 grow light – https://amzn.to/2Edpvw4
Mars Hydro 27″ x 27″ x 63″ grow tent – https://amzn.to/35IGbXx

Viparspectra 2020 Pro Series p1000 grow light

This is an unboxing and power test of the Viparspectra 2020 Pro Series p1000 led grow light. This light has a mixed spectrum of 3500K, 6500K, 660nm red, and has a variable dimming switch, which I like. This is the first in a series of new quantum board offerings from Viparspectra. This will replace my HLG-100, which only has 3000K. The mixed spectrum on the Viparspectra should be better for plants from seedling, veg, and flower/fruiting.

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

Viparspectra p1000 grow light – https://amzn.to/3cDLWpk

How to change nutrients on large Kratky systems

This video shows how to change nutrients on large Kratky systems. The same principles apply though, to small Kratky systems. My Bih Jolokia in the 45-gallon trash gan was starting to show some nutrient deficiencies. The solution had dropped down by 2/3 the original volume and pH and dropped to 4.1. I replaced with fresh nutrients keeping the same level as before.