The DIY Self-watering Herb Garden for Apartment Dwellers
So you’re more Park Avenue than Green Acres, but your inner Thoreau is pining for a garden plot out in the countryside?
Don’t fret – with a few simple items, a bit of outdoor space (a rooftop, Juliette balcony, or even a sunny windowsill will do), and some TLC, you can plant the herb garden of your dreams. Those with a little more time and space can graduate to a Do-It Yourself, vegetable-filled, self-watering grow box, but that’s the subject of a different article.
To start, you’ll have to chow down on some yogurt, or find a friend who likes the stuff. You’ll need two “family size” containers, (32 oz should do – I use Dannon and Stonyfield Farms) as well as a smaller container (the ones with the foil-pull lids are perfect for this project!). You’ll also need a straw or hose, a box cutter (or scissors), and a handheld drill.
The project has a few simple steps:
- Cut a hole in the bottom of one of the larger containers that is a bit larger than the diameter of the smaller yogurt container (it should be just large enough so that the smaller yogurt container fits about halfway up.)
- Drill a hole in the bottom of the same larger container and thread the straw or tube through so that it sticks out of the top and bottom.
- Insert the small yogurt container into the larger one. Then, drill several small holes into the exposed bottom half of the small container.
- Take two connected containers (with the straw or tube connected) and place them inside the other large yogurt container. You should have something that looks like two stacked yogurt containers with a tube or straw sticking out. Drill a small hole just below where the two containers meet – this will be your “overflow” hole, so you don’t have to worry about overwatering.
- Fill the container with soil, ensuring that it gets all the way into the lower small yogurt container. Be careful not to get soil into the straw/tube, or it will be difficult to get water to the bottom reservoir.
- Using a watering can or funnel, fill the lower reservoir with water through the tube. You’ll know it’s full when water starts dribbling out of the overflow hole.
- Plant your herb seeds as directed, and place the containers in a warm, sunny location. Wait for the magic to happen!