Ask a Question forum: Has anyone used a self watering/sub irrigation system in a container?

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Virginia
Bota
May 18, 2018 9:57 AM CST
Does anyone have any experiences using a sub irrigation system in a container garden? Looking for feedback from someone who has been using one for over 6 months. In theory, they seem sensible but what happens when there is excessive rain? Do they clog? How are they impacted if they are full of water and then freeze? Any positive or negative feedback is welcome.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
May 18, 2018 10:09 AM CST
I use the earth boxes. They work well for some plants. If it rains a lot, the overflow hole lets the extra water out and they have never clogged for me. I've noticed that a few plants stay too wet and don't thrive so they've had to be moved out. If it's something that doesn't mind being damp most of the time, they work well. I had boxes of nasturtiums last summer that did well. My sempervivums didn't like the constant dampness.
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 18, 2018 10:46 AM CST
I use them on a west facing deck and they seem to work well. I do water from the top still on really hot days, I figure more water is not going to hurt anything. When it rains or I over-water, it just runs out the overflow, through the deck, and onto the patio below. My deck is cedar and I stain it every spring, so whatever water damage might show up is addressed in the spring clean-up. So far, it's been minimal. I plant annuals (snaps, petunias, colorful stuff) and decorative grasses in the containers.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 18, 2018 10:58 AM CST
One of my local gardening friends showed me how to make one and they work very well. As long as there is an overflow hole you cannot overwater.
I did a side-by-side comparison a couple of years ago with some tomato plants. Tomatoes like consistent moisture. The test proved to me that the self-watering containers are a good thing.

I did purchase one that was made by a DIY guy. It was extremely overpriced but it came with a float valve so it could be connected directly to the garden hose. This is a good option for when you will be away for the weekend or on vacation. (But too rich for my wallet!!)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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