Every year my husband and I come home from the nursery with more plants and seeds than we have pots in our container garden even though we swear we aren’t going to do it this year.
And totally ignore when we are buying plants and seeds.
At least we are consistent.
We really don’t use the patio for anything other than a few potted plants.I finally made peace with myself that we will never be a hanging out on the patio around a fire pit kind of family (sad face.) Since our eyes and shopping cart are always bigger than our space and with supply chain issues and inflation we decided to turn the entire patio into a vegetable garden which more than doubled the amount of room we have to grow vegetables in a small space.
Patio container garden BEFORE
And because I sometimes forget that plants need water to live, every single
pot and planter in our container garden is a self watering planter. I fill
them with rain water from
this exact rain barrel planter
- another upgrade that is easier to clean and gives us space to grow more
plants! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)
My original garden upgrade plan was to build self watering planters like I did
this DIY Cedar Self Watering Planter tutorial
to line the borders of the patio.
After researching and comparing the price of materials to build new cedar planters, I found it was less expensive to buy two sets of these raised self watering planters. that you can configure like Lego for size and shape.
While they weren’t my first choice it turns out buying them was a better choice. Turns out everyone and their brother also needed cedar lumber and the store was sold out.
I like that the planters are quick and easy to put together. But they tend to leak because of all seams and connections. Even so, we grew a year's worth of
tomatoes in them and plan to do the same this year with the minor tweak of
adding a fish safe pond liner like this one
to the inside of each planter so it won't leak.
I bought a metal plant stand at a thrift store last year and gave it a couple of coats of this rust reformer spray paint and filled with DIY self watering planters I made from galvanized buckets similar to these.
I let the plants on the top row bolt hoping they will reseed.
I went with galvanized buckets because they are cheap, less likely to rust, and look cute. There are cheaper plant pot options but since I have to look at it and my neighbors have to look at it I chose to go the pretty route.
We moved the cedar self watering planter next to the herb garden. I gave it a make under by removing the worn trellis and trim. I replaced the now brittle plastic storage tub in the planter with a fish safe pond liner. Crossing fingers it doesn't need to be replaced as often as the storage tub.
The not so cute gray plastic pot holds a rosemary plant that broke the vow of not buying more plants than we have planters. It’s a tasty addition though.
We kept our self watering flower pots and filled them with bok choy,
scallions, and kohlrabi.We planted the other new raised garden bed with the
Lastly, I converted our big green flower pots to self watering planters and planted eggplant and peas. I snuck peas in wherever I could throughout the garden to add natural nitrogen to the soil.
And also, because peas taste good!
Looking for more gardening tools and ideas? Check out the following options – and more! - below!
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