Friday, March 16, 2012

Let’s Make 2-Liter SIPs!

Photo: Rachel Glass

My mom and I have really been expanding our gardening knowledge lately. Though there is a lot more to learn, we have been sharing that gardening knowledge with kids and families in our community.

When we were asked to teach children at a special event sponsored by the AUA (Advocates for Urban Agriculture) and Hull House, we decided to teach a workshop on making SIPs. A SIP is a Sub Irrigated Planter. Sub meaning bottom, irrigated meaning watered, and planter meaning… well you know. So a SIP is a planter watered from the bottom.

“First the water at the bottom of the SIP is wicked or sucked up by the fabric. Then, the water comes in contact with the roots and the plant drinks the water,” I explained.

Photo: Rachel Glass

After teaching the Becker girls (above) how to make SIPs I took a quick break. When I came back to the room from my break, I found out one of the girls had taught an adult how to make a SIP all by herself!

 My mom and I invented the seed match game so people could learn what seeds go to which plants.

The Becker girls extraordinarily (unlike some other kids I’ve taught) seemed to want to learn more about gardening. I knew that because when I introduced them to the seed game they enthusiastically started to match the seeds with the pictures of plants.

After the kids constructed their SIPs, we gave them chocolate mint seedlings to plant in their new homemade planters. 

Not long after teaching kids how to make 2-liter SIPs, we taught more children to make SIPs. In this case we taught our Girl Scout troop.

 Please download and share!
Little Green Girl

SIP Instructions updated: 3.17.2012


H2 said...

Excellent work, Little Green Girl, sharing the SIP gospel. We are really proud of you!

Plus, that seed game looks like a lot of fun.

Unknown said...

That is really neat! I'm definitely going to give this a try. Thanks! :)

Dutch253 said...

That looks like an interesting idea. My question is this: what are the advantages of an SIP over a regular old pot?

Robj98168 said...

Very smart, LGG. Noe I have to buy some soda in a 2-litre bottle to try it myself!

H2 said...

Dutch: traditional drain-hole pots dry out quickly. All SIPs--whether these two-liter pop bottles, an earthbox, or our two-bucket method--have a reservoir for oxygen and water to keep the roots happy.

Our knowledgeable friend Bob Hyland says SIPs
"out produce traditional drain hole, top watered beds, drain hole pots or planters by as much as 50% or more while using in the range of 90% less water."

You can read more at his blog...

Chronicles the Voyager said...

Thanks for sharing, I made one and planted eggplant. :)

Becky said...

i'd love to make some of these little planters but am curious to know how to get my hands on 'wicking fabric'?

Debbie said...

Becky, You can get the Pellon Thermolam at Joanne Fabrics or Minnesota Fabric in the states. Happy gardening!

Emily said...

Could I grow herbs in these?

@udj said...

will you share your seed matching printable?