this is a fully photo documented tute on how to make your own self-watering container for large plants. hopefully this one will support two pumpkin plants.  we also make smaller 5 gal bucket versions with only one "well".

step one, find a suitable container:
drill multiple holes with a large bit in 4 inch PVC tubing, we used two 7-inch pieces. the length and width will depend on the overall size of the container.
here's what the "wells" will look like in place. the holes are to allow water from outside the wells to permeate inside the two columns of potting soil.
next, drill a bunch of holes in an old lid from a container cut to fit on top of the wells in side the container.  this is for the platform base that the wells sit under.  the wells will go in the two circles with x's in them. drill holes very near to those circles so that you can zip-tie the wells on to them. also drill holes near to the top edges of the wells for this purpose.  
here is the bin again with the "fill tube". just a 1 inch PVC pipe with a bevel cut at the bottom. we will drill two holes near the top of the bin to zip -tie it in place.
hot glue landscape fabric onto the wells and add the zip-ties to attach the wells to the shelf.
here's the inner part upside down. I'm hot gluing landscape fabric onto the bottom of the wells to keep soil from coming out into the reservoir. 
here is the whole setup inside the container with the fill tube in the bottom left, note the hole on the left. there is another on the right that we will hot glue a swiss cheese drilled cross tube for good aeration (you'll see it in the next photo).   
next cover the entire shelf with landscape fabric to keep the soil from falling through the holes and add a landscape fabric covered aeration tube as pictured.
final step: fill with potting mix, water, and plant your pumpkins. we chose these fancy ones that I think look really cool and we can use for cooking. 


  1. awesome tutorial! and those pumpkins look cool--i almost grew rouge vif d'etamps but decided instead to try triamble/shamrock, a funny shaped, bluish-gray australian heirloom with gold meat. i've only tried growing pumpkins once before and they didn't work. i hope we both have good luck with them this year.

  2. Inspiring! Looking forward to seeing your plants all grown up. (Just another reason I need a drill press, too.)


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