On a recent trip to my local dollar store, I came across these buckets. They cost, you guessed it, a dollar each. Now, they’re not too heavy duty, but I didn’t need them to be. They hold about two gallons of water, but I don’t want them to just hold water. I want to grow things in them.
|Cheap, $1 2-gallon bucket|
|Ummmm, clean bucket.|
|Finished Soil Wicking Cup|
|Using the first one as a template|
|All the shelves cut and ready for drilling|
|Drilling the weep holes. You could also use a|
soldering iron to melt holes in this stuff.
The next step involved marking where the fill tube will pass through the soil shelf. I did this by tracing around the pipe pieces with a marker with the pipe held fairly close to the edge. Since the pipe will stay close to the edge of the bucket, the hole should also.
|Weep holes with fill tube hole drawn, ready to cut.|
|Fill tube hole cut and the wicking hole roughly marked out for cutting.|
After I cut these center holes, I stacked all five of the discs together again and drilled two more holes through each of them about a half inch from the center hole and directly opposite each other. These are for the zip ties that I will use to fasten the cup to the shelf. It may not be necessary to fasten the cup to the shelf, but I do it to avoid the cup slipping to a side and upsetting the soil and the plant.
|Internal view of a finished SIP. Total cost is $1.00 for the bucket,|
everything else was free on hand.
You can use the bucket sides to attach stakes and poles or cages to support high-growing or vining plants. Put them perpendicular to the fill-tube-drain hole line and anchor them to the sides with zip ties like the fill tube.
These are not as large nor as heavy-duty as when you use a 5-gallon bucket but the cost is great and they work.