DIY Self-Watering Pots

I like plants because I like oxygen.  A major obstacle is that I don’t have a green thumb.  This is due to being forgetful, which is due in part to multitasking, which is due to having a lot on my plate and in my head.  You get the idea.  I have some pretty, ugly, plastic self-watering containers.  Why can’t they be pretty self-watering containers?  Google is my bestfriend for information.  I found this video and thought I hit pay dirt!

Irrigation pipe and float you say?  Find it where now?  I did some web searching and they seemed to cost around $30.  I’m way too cheap for that.  I went grocery shopping and the dollar store was next door.  I figured it was worth a look for irrigation materials.

From the dollarstore I found:

  • a plastic funnel that had a pipe that looked large enough for irrigation purposes.
  • pebbles instead of leca.
  • A microfiber cloth as the porous membrane to wick water up to the soil.

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Great, now what do I do with all this junk?

    • I really like the look of the ceramic pots at IKEA but they don’t offer any drainage.  So I layered the pebbles at the bottom.
    • I took the funnel off and cut slits in the bottom of the pipe so that water would be able to flow into the pebbles.
    • Cut the corners off of the microfiber cloth and a hole for the pipe.  Place it on  the pebbles.
    • Place some soil, then the root ball of the plant and fill with soil.


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Pour water into the pipe and do it again when you remember.

IMG_0889That’s it!  For a few dollars you can make a self watering pot out of any pot to match your decor.  If you really feel you need a water level indicator, you can shape a piece of styrofoam to fit the pipe, and jam a straw into it.  Make sure the straw is about as tall as the pipe.  When you add enough water, the level fills up to the top of the pebbles, the styrofoam will become buoyant and you will see the top of the straw rise up the pipe.

New Year, Same Resolution

Back from Christmas break and two weeks of over indulging.  My clothes have been getting noticeably tighter and more uncomfortable.  Since I tend to hang my clothes dry I can’t blame my clothes for shrinking.  This leaves the only conclusion – I’m getting FAT!

Every year we all promise ourselves we are going to lose weight, eat better, and work out.  All too often people make promises to themselves, get overwhelmed and dive into a pie.  It’s ok to fall off the wagon and into a pie during the course of a year.  Don’t feel completely defeated.  Pick yourself up, wipe your face and try again.  Your resolution should be to Keep Trying.  Don’t quit trying!

Studies show that  if you wear a pedometer, you tend to walk a little more, take the stairs and at the end of the day, you’ve lost extra calories!  I highly recommend the Sportline Traq Pedometer from Running Room.  Unlike other pedometers I’ve had, this one is digital!  It doesn’t depend on you clipping it on your waist and specific orientation.  It can detect your motion even if it’s in your pocket or purse!  Of course you do have to measure your stride length, age, weight and the rest is automagic!  What surprised me after the first use was that it keeps track of the total time you move.  It’s disturbing to know that after an 8 hour day of working in an office, I walked only 1 hour total!  These are stats that motivate me to get off my butt more.  If you purchase this online, you can use ”JANFEB2013” to save 20% off your whole purchase until the end of February.  So if you don’t have the proper footwear, and apparel for running, add it all to the cart now!

I would also recommend getting a calorie counter app like MyFitnessPal.  It’s free, and has a huge database of foods.  If it isn’t listed in there, you can use the camera to scan the barcode and it automagically creates the entry with all the dirty details!  You can also put in recipes and have it break down the calorie count for a serving portion.   I’m a huge fan!  The one thing I don’t like is, no matter if you’re a man, woman, tall, short, young, old, the default calories it sets per day is 1200.  This can be dangerously low depending on the variables I mentioned.  I’d recommend speaking with your doctor before starting any program.  Since my doctor tells me I’m pretty darn healthy I tend to figure out how many calories I need from online calculators.  Based on this calculator, I change the 1200 calories to the number listed for ”If you reduce your current caloric intake to insert number here calories per day you will lose one pound per week without exercise.”

So far I’ve lost 1 pound.  Losing 1-2 pounds a weeks is a pretty healthy pace.  If I lose a more significant amount of weight, I’ll go back to the calculator and see how many calories I need and adjust accordingly.