Urban Gardening: Self-Watering Planter Box to the Rescue

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“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero


Your amazing book collection definitely qualifies as a library. Create yourself a garden, and your home will be complete, right? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you live in an apartment in the city. Luckily, with some knowledge, and the right planters, it’s totally possible to grow a thriving urban garden.

Who doesn’t enjoy some greenery on their balcony or window sill? Taking care of plants is one of the most calming and rewarding activities. They’re just like humans; the more love you give them, the more they’ll bloom. If you’re considering planting some veggies, you’re probably wondering what is the best and easiest way to keep them grow.

Although many people don’t consider it as an option, a self-watering vegetable planter box is quite a practical thing. It can be as large as you need it, it could welcome any plant you want to grow and spare you from thinking whether or not you watered the plants. So, without further ado, let’s see why a self-watering planter box is a thing you need.

Self-Watering for The Win

If you’re new to this whole gardening thing, you might not have a habit of watering the plants. Many people will plant their vegetables, flowers or other plants, and then they forget to water them as often as they should.

A self-watering vegetable planter box doesn’t mean it waters itself. It’s a type of innovative planter design that features a reservoir of water at the bottom. This reservoir connects the area where the plant’s roots are with a soil “foot”. The plant itself has the roots grow down into the soil foot and draws up as much water as necessary. Just the way it does when planted in a garden patch. So, in a way a self-watering planter allows the plant to grow and develop as it would normally do in a garden.

The reservoir allows the plant to have access to as much as it needs. And what’s in it for you? You don’t have to water the plant that often. What’s more, there’s no risk of overwatering, which is a common problem in container gardening. So, this way, you increase the chances of successfully growing your plants.

The first time you fill the planter, be sure that the soil is evenly moist. Add water from above until your veggies have a chance to strengthen their root system. If your planter is larger and is placed outside, you can add mulch to keep the soil surface from drying. It will improve the performance and once the vegetable is settled in, just add water as needed, to keep the water level topped off.

Benefits of Gardening with Self-Watering Planters

Even though you may think that urban gardening can’t compare with the traditional method, in reality, it’s superior to backyard gardens in a number of things. Growing veggies in planters can keep away weeds from the soil. Plus, the soil won’t erode or wash away during heavy rains like it often happens with garden soil. Let’s see some other benefits in more detail.

You Get to Plant Veggies Earlier in the Season


If you get a veggie planter you wouldn’t have to wait for the right season to come to start planting. Instead, you could plant your veggies earlier. Thanks to the faster warming of the soil in planters (compared to the soil at ground levels), you can plant your vegetables earlier. This way, you can get to enjoy the fruit (or veggies) of your labour earlier and for longer. Many gardens have raised patches because of this reason.

It Keeps Critters Out


All those critters that attack gardens won’t be able to destroy your plants. Slugs can climb, but the tall sides of the planter will slow them down and you’d be able to stop them in their evil mission. The same goes for many other insects. Having a copper planter may be a good idea as many gardeners swear that slugs won’t crawl over copper. These sure beats having to worry about protecting a garden from birds and pets.

Better Drainage


If you live in an area where it rains a lot, a planter can be the only way to prevent your plants from getting too much water and drowning (this especially goes for areas prone to flooding). A planter will drain better even if it is exposed to heavy rains.

No Tilling Is Better for the Soil


Your vegetable planters are a great way of setting up soil for some “no work” gardening. Instead of tilling up the soil every year, just add some fertiliser and amendments to keep the planter a suitable place for your plants. Go with mulch, compost or manure and other soil conditioners. Put them directly onto the top few centimetres of the soil. You don’t have to put too much effort into this, unlike tilling which requires a lot of work.

No More Back Pain


Gardening doesn’t have to be hard work with planters. Sure, it takes some effort, but you don’t have to end up with severe back and knee pain. These planters, especially those that are at least 30cm tall, can reduce all the kneeling that causes extra pain in the joints and muscles. Even if you’re a young gardener, you can still end up with this pain. See these planters as a smart investment in your health.

Great for Beginners

So, you’re new to this and you want to do things right. Self-watering planters will spare you from many headaches. Instead for worrying whether the vegetables got enough water, if any critters are attacking them, or if the soil is warm enough, just get your planter, add some soil, compost, seeds and a bit of water and let the magic happen.