This is the beginning of my latest attempt at having a garden here in Albuquerque. I put out six of these five gallon self watering buckets ten days ago. I had to move them into the kitchen for four days because the weather went to below freezing in the mornings last week.
While it is not obvious, these are homemade self watering containers. The bottom bucket holds the water and is filled through a plastic pipe (behind the plant) which goes through the top bucket (on the inside bucket edge) to the bottom bucket. The top bucket has an ~ 3 inch hole cut out (the size of pop bottle bottom) in the middle. The bottom part of a plastic pop bottle is pushed into the bottom of the outside bucket. The plastic bottle bottom has holes cut into it so the water can get in.
The dirt in the pop bottle bottle and the dirt above it act as a wick, drawing up water for the plant. At least that is the claim. Seems to work so far. The height where the top bucket meets the bottom bucket is a small hole in the outside bucket. When I fill the bucket, water runs out the hole when it is full.
These are “container bush tomato” plants. I have no idea how big they will get or how big or small the tomatoes will be.
Look up self watering containers on youtube if you are interested in trying them out yourself. Pictures are better than words, and a video is better yet. I had to watch a few different videos before the concept made sense. Of course after I figured it out, I found better videos that showed and explained all the steps needed to make self watering containers.
I am also working on two raised beds in the Square Foot Gardening style though they will not be 4′ x 4′ but about 3′ x 6′ because I am using a roll around closet I found in a second hand store. It helps to be creative when it comes to gardening.