SuccessfulSelfWateringContainers's Blog



This is where you’ll be able to get a better idea of what converting any tapered round or square container you have into a self-waterer can do for you.

Why would I want to do that, you may ask. The answer is simple: growing something in properly constructed self-watering containers is without a doubt the best environment for plants. You watch them thrive versus just grow. 

What that means is healthier plants, better vegetables and herbs, and a lot less work for YOU, the gardener.

Once you accept that, then the thing to do is go over to  From there, you can order my book which explains in simple and easy to understand steps HOW TO CONVERT ANY TAPERED ROUND OR SQUARE CONTAINER YOU HAVE to a SELF WATERER. You can even use this system with rectangular containers.front_cover17

Of course, you can ignore this improvement and continue with daily rituals of frequent watering and regular fertilizing that containers demand. 

You can struggle to find someone to water for you when you go on vacation.

You can learn techniques to provide slow and steady water, sometimes using drip irrigation systems designed for containers (not cheap).

You can plan to place plants in water filled tubs, all the while amusing your neighbors. 

And you can always continue to lust after that elusive weather system with moderate rainfall, as it seems to miss your house and garden just when you need it most.  

How did all this come about, you might ask?  It was borne out of necessity and frustration.  Let me explain…

First I had to be convinced that self-waterers were a viable alternative. I used the 2007 growing season to try several market-available self watering containers for vegetables, herbs, and other plants (not inexpensive).

What ensued was nothing less than remarkable.  Everything grew quickly, with more health and vigor than I had ever experienced. As an example, in four weeks time, basil grew to more than thirty inches tall and wide with strong, woody trunks. The tomatoes were also wildly successful—much better than what I had grown for the past fifteen years. Plants remained healthy and disease free; fruits were larger, tastier, and more plentiful right through October (I garden in Zone 5!).

And of course, my watering chores were greatly reduced.  With the exception of some ninety degree days, I was able to space my watering to three-day intervals as the plant roots reached into the reservoir for their needed water. What could be easier? 

Take a look at this Angel’s Trumpet, specifically the disproportionately small container relative to the size of the plant.  If you grow this plant, you know what a water hog it is. And getting it to bloom on a regular basis takes so much fertilizer that you want to invest in the fertilizer company. The container is one that was converted into a self-waterer and Voila! The plant took off.  AND the watering chore was reduced to twice a week instead of twice a day. 

Angel's Trumpet in Converted Self Watering Container

Angel’s Trumpet in Converted Self Watering Container     Photo: L. Ballato

I knew right then and there that I needed to use self-waterers for all my seasonal containers.  I even began thinking about my houseplants and how wonderful they would be in self-waterers. But the cost to convert my collection of containers into self-waterers would figure to be very costly if I purchased what was available in the retail market. 

What I came up with is a relatively inexpensive DIY technique to convert any tapered round container into a self-waterer.  It’s easy and doesn’t cost a lot.  In fact, most of the materials are things that are usually found around the house.  And an average do-it-yourselfer can do this without power tools, or lots of experience. 

My book takes you step by step through all of the “how-to” of this conversion with over 30 photos, Q&As, and easy to understand explanations.  You’ll get so much more than time out of growing things in self-waterers, you’ll wonder why it’s still been such a sleeper thus far.

Remember, it’s not about the time it saves you from the drudgery of watering. It’s about outsmarting the elements and having the absolute best plants you can have, regardless of your growing season.  For a gardener, the idea of transforming an average plant into stunning, lush vitality is heady stuff, indeed.