⟹ HOW TO set up 5 gallon self watering buckets | Gardening | HeirloomReviews
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[Music] all right so I finally got around to stuffing my five gallon containers myself water in containers let me just give you a quick look at what they look like at the finished product you know what you should expect to see in the end and basically you can see it’s a container here and it’s filled with soil now I could always top the soil off because they are tomato plants so little extra soil on the top is you know you could always add to it but I like to put mulch on the confidence not woodchips what forget about using wood chips as a mulch unless them wood chips are completely blackened from having composted for two or three years then you can add it by adding raw wood chips as a mulch on the top that’s a big no-no don’t ever do that I don’t even recommend using leaves um experiment now using leaves as a top mulch I know if I like it is as much it’s got to be composted down so you can buy hardwood mulch that you can add to the top I might buy a bag or two just to shoot video for it to show you the type of stuff that I do like to add to the top for mulch I don’t even recommend using hay because hay will tend to cause this yellowing effect that I’ve been seeing a lot lately this year so I like the hardwood mulch that’s already composted down and I’ll show you the stuff that I like to use from blows that I buy I’ll try to buy a bag and show you guys just to give you an idea what your five gallon container is going to look like when you make these this is what the end product will look like now the cage I make out of this regular wire you can buy some Lowe’s or you can buy these things I don’t recommend using tomato cages because that thin wire my tomatoes when they put about six or seven one-pound tomatoes out you can guarantee that wire is going to bend and hit the ground so I have to literally tie my tomato cages down to the pail with these ropes as you can see here I made like a string here and then attach these strings to hold this tomato kay it’ll Bend that I’ve had to even Bend with this in place because these thin the legs they just collapse when you get about ten Tomatoes way about a pound that whole thing will just collapse like one big tower it cannot support the weight of 10 one-pound tomatoes and I get usually that many tomatoes on my plants and these are garbage you have to go with very thick I would say probably 9 gauge or 8 gauge wire this is probably probably 14 or 16 gauge this right here probably 14 gauge it’s too thin you need to go at 9 or 8 gauge on new art so I’d be very strong I always tell you to use rebar instead these cages cannot support tomatoes but as you see I like to I take the rim I’m going to show you how I do that inside the greenhouse and I like to put that on the top and the reason for the rim is that it’s not only extra from setting up for the face of it the false bottom the rim also you can add like landscape fabric to the top of it or a plastic I don’t recommend plastic I’m going to show you why but you can add a landscape fabric to it if you’re worried about weeds getting in there or over evaporating I don’t worry about none of that I also buy finals I get two funnels for like 89 cents at Walmart or a dollar 30 or saddle remember what it is you get two funnels a real cheap me to party two funnels if you want and I use those that one change that I would make to this this is a 3/4 PVC pipe you need to go a minimum of 1 inch that’s what I would recommend don’t use 3/4 the only reason why I use 3/4 is because they had so much of it left over from stock and from when my last greenhouse collapse that was made out of this material I had tons of this leftover so I just used what I had and pretty much throughout most of the excess because I don’t need it but it these parts were good so I say throw I use them as my fill tubes for the bottom so I mean one inch on that don’t do to 3/4 I did on two sizes so that’s kind of my fault but it still works it works fine and then of course at the very bottom over here you can see I got a little pipe sticking out you really don’t need that but I like to put it in and it just kind of helps keep that false bottom stable and everything but you don’t need it you can just drill a hole and leave it but if you do put it you don’t want too much bigger than the half-inch you don’t need it you know I need a bigger than a half inch pipe for that on the bottom over there all right so let’s take a look inside you can see I got quite a few containers you’ve got 40 containers that I use for my gardening purposes and in here this is how I set up my five gallon containers I usually go like this now I cut these to a height that’s going to work from my overflow so as you see down here with my overflow it’s a little higher than the top of that pipe so overall in the end I’m about an inch between the weir that were drains the bottom of that pipe is called the we’re from the weir of that drain tube and where the soil is going to be I’m about an inch I would say if you can go an inch and a half if you want to spare it you’re probably better off you absolutely do not want your soil from your you know where the false bottom is you do not want that song anyway shape and form near that water you do not want that because it will rot and I’ve had a couple of these where this plate that I made kind of sunk down a little bit on one side because these slid around when I was putting it together I was in a rush like I usually am and one of them toppled over like that I’m sorry you’re out of frame one of them toppled over like that and this thing was sitting in here but part of it was leaning in into the water part and I didn’t know and that’s one of the reasons why I was having some problems with the self watering containers last year was getting sickly and a plant was like showing sickly signs and it was just not doing good and I didn’t know why but I when I took them apart this year I know why now okay so you definitely want to make sure if you want to make like a second bottom like this and then cut the holes for it so these tubes fit into it or something like that you could do that you could fill this with gravel instead of using these tubes like you can fill it but that’s heavy that’s very heavy and it makes the pail extent excessively heavy and you don’t need to do that you could fill it with perlite if you want the more material you put in here the more you displace how much water you’re using for your false bottom and I like to keep as much water in there as possible because in the peak of the summer when these plants get to around four or five feet tall you believe me that one gallons worth of water that’s about 1 1 and a half gallons of water storage that will soak that water up by the end of the day you’ll be filling this thing every single day ok so I put my 4 pieces in there like that and I make sure according to my handle you can see on my handle this I make sure that one of these are about where my handle isn’t why is that I’m going to show you when I put my my plate down that I made from the top of this thing you know I have a you know here’s the cover this isn’t the same cover and plate these got mixed up but here’s the cover to the lid to the the lid to the pail when I bought it I cut the inside of the lid out and I made that false bottom out of it like I say this is different from the lid because it got mixed up so what I do is I put this in here and I cut it as tight as I can around the edge the tighter the better okay makes a nice seal for you and I drill holes in it we pulse because you want that excess water absolutely drain out of it so you cut some extra weep holes in there so it dreams and I usually like to line my hole for my tube that goes in there which is my PVC tube and your tube goes into that little container alright so what I do is I line it up like that and here’s that PVC you can see you know see how there’s the PVC pipe there and then my hole goes right over PVCC but i like to do that you don’t have to do that I’d like to do that okay it’s our way if something does get go down into that too but be a bug a piece of paper or I don’t know it all gets stuck inside this little thing and it doesn’t really get inside to here all right so I don’t really care about what gets in here I just don’t want it in the hole pal all right so I just wanted reasons why I do that so after you get that set up then you can cut yourself a piece of landscape fabric like I did here okay and you cut yourself see this is last year’s I cleaned it up pretty good I’m not worried about every little room guys I washed it out good it’s good enough all right you just line it up like so I can’t do this wall on camera you know I’m going to have to shut you off at some point so I could spline this up but you want to get your landscape fabric in there and you don’t have to make it this long I just have extra landscape fabric so instead of me cutting it all short throwing it in the garbage I just put it in there and just made it long like that you don’t have to do that but you put your landscape fabric in there okay and then you take your wicking cup which is this right here okay let’s see if I can get this apart okay so my wicking cups consists of two pieces two cups that I cut in half like this actually does a third part that goes into here I’m going to take this out sorry about that I’m sorry about that Russian here try to get these containers done actually what I do is I also put a spacer in the middle and that spacer kind of helps put this from sliding down the way it does like I was telling you this spacer dusk on how plus it it holds my wicking cup so okay so you go like that you can see my little cup thing is in the middle that’s going to support my wicking cup and then of course you know you got your bit of fabric I’m going to put in here I got to do that off camera I can’t do that way holding the camera and doing that so my wicking cups as you can see it’s a little dirty but sorry I take my wicking cups and you can see I got a piece of landscape fabric in there and then I just poke holes all around it gonna have to be neat or anything like that but you want to make sure you got enough holes in the bottom so the water can seep in and then this part of my wicking cup is above the false bottom and I make sure I put some holes on the upper half as well as the top is open and let’s see if we can get this back together the right way doesn’t really matter that I think it goes like that well it goes something like that right I’m going to I’m going to take this and I’m going to insert it into my pail but I got to set this up so give me one second I’ll be right back okay so now that we’re back I set my wicking top in place like you see there I push that down now again I can’t hold the camera and do this but I’m going to fill this up with soil not all the way but I’m going to fill it up to where I want to and when I come to tomato plants I like to vary my tomato plant fairly deeply almost to the bottom but I like to bring it up to soil at least two inches above that top of that wick and come and then put my tomato on top of that soil and go from there but a lot of times what I like to do is add about an inch of soil Oh an inch of Coco choir which is what this stuff is here this is coco coir I stuffed my wicking cups with coco coir instead of like a lot of people like to use peat moss but peat moss turns black and gets swampy right away it just seems like it rots this stuff doesn’t do that it stays nice and clean I’ve had this stuff sit in my container for like two or three years for years take them out like Wendy somebody plants that died the three or four year bell peppers when I take them out that Coco choir was still brown for the most part some parts of it were black but most of it was pretty brown for the most part so I usually like to put about half of an inch or an inch of Coco choir on a very bottom and then go soil from it if I’m there up so let me get a little soil in here let me because this you don’t really need this to be that long you can see how difficult this is for me to do with all this excess here it’s just I don’t feel like continent right now I might cut some of this off after I get some soil in it I might cut trim this back a little and then because I’m not I needs to get out of there it’s in my way well let me get some soil in there and I’ll be right back okay so I got some soil in there and like I say it’s kind of hard to film this and do this as I do it unless I set up a tripod I don’t really feel like doing it but basically you just set your tomato plant I like I say I like to set my tomato plants nice and deep so my tomato plant is basically going to be from like here roughly to the top of the pail which gives me about eight inches of submerging that stem inside the soil that’ll make it a nice healthy a nice strong plant when that plant gets nice and tall it’s got that this whole base will keep growing in the ground and get thicker and thicker and thicker so it makes it stronger so the base gets nice and strong good roots will come out of it so basically you just want to add your soil I’ll add one or two cupfuls like this so I’m going to trim this all this excess I’m going to do that off camera when I trim most of that back is we don’t need it it’s too long it’s in my way and what you want to do went from here is you want to you want to rock it that like that back and forth scheme you want to make sure that everything is going to stay stable if you’re going to have a failure you want that failure to happen now so if one of these things down here are going to fall or something is going to happen you want to know about and believe me you’ll know that it fell because you’ll hear it moving around on the bottom so right now nothing’s moving and so I’m going to continue to fill this with soil to the top I’m going to trim this stuff off and then we’ll come back and I’ll show you the final steps to touch-ups and how what’s you know the final things you want to do and I’ll be right back okay so I filled it with soil now it looks like I filled that hard and I said I wanted and fill it it’s just after you water this and shake it around and everything it’s going to drop down about an inch which is good because now when I add mulch to it I have a little room for some mulch and I like to add some mulch to my my one gallon water in containers whether that or I’m using like a fabric or plastic or something but then some of the final touch-ups is as you can see I put the label for the tomato plant next to where the tube is and the tomato plant when I set it in there I put it so it’s close to the tube like this so I can either tie it to the tube or like I just messed up here didn’t I big time okay well we messed this one up because I wasn’t paying attention but my handle is on the other side of the tube is not wonderful so that means this handle is now eMobile I can no longer use this handle unless I cut it out I think I can pull a handle out here and flip it around but the handle is supposed to be like this so when you lift your handle up your plants not in the center it’s off to the side so you’re not banging into the plant as you’re lifting the pail and believe me you want a little room between the handle and the pail I’m going to fix this at least so you can’t do it now but that’s one of the things you got to pay attention to is what direction your handle is in when you do it this way because the tube is the opposite side and as you can see if you don’t do it right your handle is going to hit the tube you want it to be here so when you lift it your tomato plant is here and you got room and you’re not smacking into your tomato plant so the final touches is I put my my tag this is the lucky tiger tomato so I put my tags there and then I take the rim that’s left over from making a false bottom and I just pop the rim on something to note too about when you do these containers if you decide to go to Lowe’s and buy the low set up like I got here and use this system do not buy the containers with the white lid on top don’t buy the white lids because you got to buy the lids separate from the container don’t buy these lids these these are horrible because these lids are very hard to snap on and are very hard to get off you will pull your fingernails up trying to get those off you don’t want them the blue the blue lids are better they make a better false bottom they’re very soft or very pliable they’re a little softer than the white ones which I prefer the white ones as far as the hardness of the plastic doesn’t want to bend is easy the blue ones are better because look how easy it is for me to pull this lid off see how easy I peel that up like that boom comes right off those white ones you’ll never get them off oh my god you’ll pull your fingernails up trying to get them off guaranteed I don’t miss only one of I want to throw them out tell you the truth why you want to make a better false bottom but these make a better false bottom in the sense that they fit so much nicer I can make these almost 100% tight around the container I’m not looking in a camera as I’m trying to show you I can make them set or almost fit really tight I did actually show you the dimensions of how I cut everything so you’re going to have to play around with those dimensions and how high you want that container you know where that lids going to be down but I set this up something like three or three and a half inches from the bottom to the very top of the hole and then my lid comes down snugly and sits right at about perfect height on that and it sits right on top of this pipe as well as those other pieces and it takes a pretty strong false bottom it’s it’s good enough for you’re going to get through the season with it but I don’t have the exact dimensions so you’re going to have to fool around with your dimensions a little bit I don’t want to give you the wrong dimensions and then you do it and it doesn’t work for you so you got to have to fool around with all those little those little nuances I mean I can do a five-gallon pail for you if you really want to know how to do it exactly the way I do it I’d have to buy the pipe and all that stuff I’m not looking to do that I really don’t have any more soil and all my containers are filled this is the last one I actually got one more to do which is an old cat litter bucket that I’m going to that I use for a self wicking five gallon container but this is the last one that I have that it’s purchase I have that one back there I got to clean up ambu and is still in there that’s got to come out and then I got to do that pal and I’m done all my tomatoes should be container and I should be able to start working in the backyard and over here I’m going to put the rest of my tomato plants but as far as the container goes yet there’s all kinds of little measurements in there I mean if you want me to actually engineer you something that’s going to take me a lot of time to do that so I would just suggest you figure it out on your own just showing you how I basically set mine up the higher your false bottom the more water you’re going to retain I don’t recommend going anything too much more than say three three and a half inches on your false bottom because you want as much of that soil as you can for the plant to grow for the whole year so you don’t want to go get old too much you want to make sure there’s a good mix and I usually say about three three and a half off the bottom is a good good enough reservoir to keep your plant watered throughout the entire day when it gets to four feet tall and you should be good enough with that all right oh and then then the final thing is you don’t have to do this part I like to do this I just buy funnels put them in the top like that and it just makes your watering easier plus it does help catch rainwater and some people put the plastic over here because they don’t want the rainwater to get inside the container because they’re told that watering it from the top is going to make it become too soggy and it it has to be able to get wet from the top as well as wick water from the bottom and then drain out tomato plants it works really really really good for it doesn’t work as well for pepper plants and then some of the last preparations I do I tell you stirring around the container and then I put these strings that hangs eventually these strings will hold up my tomato cages that I put inside here and there’s really not much you can do as far as trying to trellis off your Tomatoes is not a whole lot you can do you got to be creative with that part of it maybe you can build an external tomato cage or something a wall and then put these pails up against the wall just tie up the tomatoes to that trellis but be creative because the tomato cages that sit in here that I’m sitting here very good they move around believe me when I tell you when my plants get for faecal I’ve had these tomato cages completely collapse because they can’t support the way that the tomato plant once especially wants to get full of tomatoes as far as the soil mixture just use regular potting soil you should be fine with that I like to add a good amount of sand to my soil so it drains out and the whole thing doesn’t become soggy I really like to make sure that it’s it drains very well because I don’t want to do retain water for too long and stay soggy so I like the sand and then do your normal thing with your you know with your rock dust and your you know your fertilizers Epsom salt whatever you like to use you also want to make sure that you feed these at least once a week – mmm twice a month something like that I like to feed mine like once a week sometimes twice a week we’re a very light fertilizer that I use that I make and I use that and it’s not a harsh type of fertilizer it’s it can be consumed very quickly so I do use that setup to do this but you do want to feed these bener in containers now I can’t move that container because I might reach full retard on that one but I can do this one this one’s got to get watered so after I set my containers up you want to make sure you water it in pretty good you want to do this make sure that your containers are level because if they’re not you see how it pulls to the back so it’s pulling little soil for one side you want to make sure your containers a level if possible watch my little toes are off and then once it gets to waters like that I’m going to let it drain down it looks like it’s going slow but believe it oh it’s a lot of water in there and this is the first watering once it gets watered like that a few times it drains very quickly see it’s already drained all right and then after that spray your container down you don’t want any anything on there because you’re trying to keep the blight down to a minimum I’ll usually just fill it up from here and you’ll know it’s fall because you’ll see that food will start running water that’s another reason why I put it inside that plastic pieces BBC I got in there because if you don’t do that it starts bubbling water out the whole time so this prevents stuff from happening in it it’ll just feel like you see there and just start running I run it for about a minute or so you know not a minute a couple seconds just to make sure I wash out everything that’s in there and that’s it I got to do the same with this one how much it went down on that one so now I got room for my mulch and I got room for adding more soil if I decide to do that you could also Hill up around the tomato if you want to build a little health up around a tomato for some extra root support and everything all right so any questions is comment below I’ll do the best I can to answer it I’ll see you guys in the next one all right take care now [Music]

46 thoughts on “⟹ HOW TO set up 5 gallon self watering buckets | Gardening | HeirloomReviews

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing. I wondered last year how you did this set up. Looked like very easy to do. I may try it one day, will do it myself because this is not my hubby"s cup of tea for sure. 🙂

  2. I've had good luck with the buckets. Instead of funnels I cut a liter bottle in half and attach it to pvc and stick it in the hole. I use the 1 inch pvc to stick in the screw hole of the bottle. I need to put some scotch tape around the part that fits in the hole and it will be snug enough. Great video, thanks.

  3. I used to be a cake decorator and saved tons of frosting buckets and the only thing I have ever grown in them was potatoes which did well but now I'm going to try many other things now. Especially since they are self watering thanks for the tutorial I enjoyed it handle on wrong side of bucket and all! Lol Growing blessings!

  4. I used to be a cake decorator and saved tons of frosting buckets and the only thing I have ever grown in them was potatoes which did well but now I'm going to try many other things now. Especially since they are self watering thanks for the tutorial I enjoyed it handle on wrong side of bucket and all! Lol Growing blessings!

  5. Another question, do you run into any fungus/disease issues in the soil? I’m thinking there is not enough air circulation towards the bottom of the buckets. Thanks again for your help.

  6. If you use 33" tomato cages and turn them upside down you can fit the widest loop over the rim of the bucket with the narrow legs pointing up, it makes a really strong cage!

  7. wood chips as mulch is fine, but it benefits from being 2-4 inches of it, which is usually not attainable in a planter. leaf matter is ok also but that also invites a lot more creepy crawlies to be living near your plants.

  8. Your full of crap rebar come on I've been growing some of the largest tomatoes in the country and the cages are fine I've never had one colapse not from a 5 gallon bucket .Ive use wood chips for 25 years and have huge plants full of tomatoes .

  9. If you are saying the water is under the bucket or at the very bottom of it, then you need a wick to get the water up into the soil – did I miss something? You want the reservoir bucket's waterline to at least be a couple inches above the bottom.

  10. God uses leaves for mulch……………works pretty well in the forests………….THINK ABOUT IT!

  11. I am confused, I keep reading that the white buckets are the food grade ones from lowed and homedepot so for vegetables we have to use white?

  12. Nice video although I've been using fresh wood mulch for 40 years and have never had a problem. Wood will deplete nitrogen but easy fix is add nitrogen to your soil. Wood chips keep your top soil from drying out and from weeds taking over. It also cause fertilizer to slow release into the soil. Thats what had been working for me for the past 40 years, never a problem. Thanks for the video.

  13. I use Cain pole instead of metal fence putting big Cain pole in 4 places then take small Cain Poole with zip ties and wrap around every 8 inches works well and free that’s good

  14. Great video! They make a 5 gallon paint can opener. It’s about 5 inches long, red, I think Lowe’s has them. Works great, so might be the perfect thing for removing hard plastic lid “rings”. Cindy in Alabama

  15. Thanks for video – FYI your hand was very distracting / would be easier to watch without / for me at least

  16. Dremels are good for cutting plastic. Just cut the bottom of the hole your handle is in and pull it down to remove and then replace and pull up. A little tape and its closed again.

  17. Hello, come to cheer, come and greet, make clips, have fun, continue to fight. If there is free time, come and give some encouragement.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCstC-aWMkaQU3Pt1qO56C_Q/featured?sub_confirmation=1

  18. Hi, your Korean is so nice . haha.
    It looks good.
    I know because I am Korean.
    The water system is also very good to me.

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