Circulating Self Watering Vertical Planter

This is a collaboration with my son, who isn’t old enough to have his own instructables account. He had the original idea of a vertical planter system with circulating water. His initial plan was to circulate the water through the dirt in each pot, so that nutrients wouldn’t drain out of the pots but be circulated back to the top. He also wanted it to be more like a set of posts.
After we talked about it for a bit, we decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to run the water through the soil as this would over water the plants and could also clog up the pump. I did some research and we learned about the ancient irrigation method using “ollas”, which are clay pots that hold water and slowly leak into the soil.
I came up with the idea of a “reverse olla” where the potted plant, in a terra cotta pot, would sit inside another pot containing the circulating water.
Finally, mom procured a nice rustic wooden door and a rectangular wooden window box planter. My son compromised on his original vision of poles, to use the wooden door. The box planter serves a place to put the pump and the water reservoir.
So ultimately, it was a family effort!
Supplies:
- Black PVC pipe (1) https://www.lowes.com/pd/Charlotte-Pipe-1-1-2-in-x…
- Aluminum strips (3) https://www.lowes.com/pd/Steelworks-6-ft-x-0-5-in-…
- Terra cotta flair cylinder pots (5) https://www.lowes.com/pd/5-in-Flair-Cylinder-Pot/1…
- Terra cotta orchid pots (5) https://www.lowes.com/pd/6-in-Orchid-Pot/100071195…
- Old wood door (could be made from scratch with 6 pickets: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Severe-Weather-Common-5-8…, and a 2 x 3 stud..).
- Old window box (here’s a new one: https://www.lowes.com/pd/39-96-in-W-x-12-in-H-Carb…
- Waterproofer paint (https://www.lowes.com/pd/DRYLOK-White-Flat-Waterpr…
- Urethane water seal (https://www.lowes.com/pd/Minwax-Pro-Series-32-fl-o…
- Plastic tubing https://www.lowes.com/pd/EASTMAN-3-8-in-x-10-ft-PV
- Solar Water pump https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P8XPJ3X/ref=p…
- Plaster of paris
- Copper spray paint
- Assorted plants

Tools
Basic shop tools including a hack saw, pliers, drill.”

Link

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