Self watering plant trays DIY
I finally got around to gathering all the materials I needed to put together some self watering plant trays. I plan on using the trays to keep my plants watered while I am away on vacation for a couple of weeks. The trays will also hopefully make a great place to start seeds in flats as well come spring. I made sure to get trays that will fit on my light stands so the plants can remain in the same position as they normally grow in.
I have two weeks to work the kinks out of the design but I think I will still have someone drop by just in case the trays need topping up with water or the capillary matting needs to be saturated again.
Here is one of the plastic trays with the lid removed and 4" clay pots placed as supports for the plastic light diffuser.
Here the light diffuser is in place. You can easily cut the light diffuser to size using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
Here the capillary matting is in place with a sheet of plastic film placed between the matting and the light diffuser to prevent water loss. Notice the last few inches of the tub are not covered by light diffuser and that the matting hangs down into the tray/water reservoir.
Here are a few plants in place. The matting has not been saturated with water yet. I am hoping this system works but I expect to have some problems until I get it all figured out. I am afraid of keeping the plants too wet or having them dry out for some reason. I also picked up some gravity fed drip irrigation systems so I may use one of those in conjunction with the self watering trays.
You could probably rig up an aeroponic rooting chamber quite easily as well if you kept the lid and inserted pots into it and got some Hydrotron. Maybe a self watering system for semi-hydro grown Hoyas for extended vacations?
Wish me luck.
Here is a link that might be useful: Here is where I got the idea.