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DIY Self Watering Container Reservoir Size

15 years ago

I've been working on some designs for self-watering containers. I have tons of Sterilite containers left over from my move. I wanted to build them quickly without a lot of drilling, measuring and cutting. I've skipped the fill tube and will just use a combined fill/overflow with a bulkhead connector. I've also put a bulkhead at the bottom of the reservoir to completely flush the water as necessary. Anyway enough about that, my question is about the size of the reservoir.

I've found that 5 gallon buckets would make an structurally sound wicking chamber for the large containers I have. I wanted to have a large reservoir, based on reports of having to refill tomato earthboxes twice a day in the heat of summer. I mostly grow peppers and basil and I wonder if the soil will be too moist with this design. When full, the wick will sit under a foot of water. I also worry that if the reservoir never empties, the mix in the bottom of the wick will suffer because it is always submerged.

Does anyone have any experiences with very long wicks and large reservoirs in self-watering containers. Most of the designs I've seen are much smaller water-wise.

Thanks in advance.

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