Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mass-produced sub-irrigated planter (SIP)

Our friend Bob Hyland at Inside Urban Green does a fine job tracking mass-produced sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) and also the DIY varieties. But when Art came home with this one from Menard's (a midwest big-box hardware store) it looked new to me.

Called the EEZY-GRO, these SIPs are made in Ontario by Apollo Plastics. Art got this one for about $6. The wick shown below draws water sitting in the lower chamber up to the plant roots as needed.
I don't love the look, but that didn't stop me from getting it set up with potting mix and seeding the top with collards from Wild Garden Seed along with some mystery seeds harvested from this year's rooftop crops (I think they're arugula and cress, but will be happily surprised).


By the way, the cloche I'm using here to keep the temperature warm while the seeds sprout was garbage picked at a friend's house as we left a graduation party for her daughter. The cloche was a take-out salad bowl from Olive Garden and it's a beautiful piece of plastic for re-use.

5 comments:

esp said...

I love the idea for the repurposed cloche. I found some commercial SIPs at Dollar General of all places. I think I'll try this idea out with some cold weather greens. Thanks!

Homegrown Evolution said...

Nice cloche! Wondering if you and Art have experimented with side water access in your DIY SIPs. A nice way to avoid the PVC pipe issue perhaps . . .

H2 said...

Who knew cloches could be so inspirational?

esp: would like to know how large the SIPs are you found at the dollar store.

Homegrown: it's a good idea, replacing the PVC. I have to say, though, that the side water access was challenging to get a spout into. I had to use a funnel.

Greenscaper said...

Thanks for the acknowledgement Heidi! It is not well known how many "self-watering" planters there are on the market (most of them forgettable). This one is similar to the Misco SW planter perhaps the most widely used because Wal-Mart sells it. The bottom fill design is bad ergonomics as you noted. It is particularly bad for indoor use because it is difficult to determine the water level and prone to overflow and damage to furnishings. Read more here: http://snipurl.com/t2zow A fill tube is the best design in my opinion and if PVC pipe is an issue, here is an easy and green solution. These water bottles are everywhere! http://snipurl.com/t2zsx

H2 said...

You make a good suggestion with the water bottle fill tubes, Bob, but they do take up more space than the pvc. This is of special concern in a 5-gallon bucket SIP, since every bit of potting mix is essential to support larger vegetables. I'm going to work on figuring out a pvc replacement over the winter...