Self-Watering Container for Scallions

Contrary to Pinterest belief scallions will not continue to regenerate indefinitely with only water and sunlight. It will work for a while but eventually the bulb of the scallions (where all the nutrients are being stored) shrivels up and then scallions become very sad and get thrown away. If however, you start scallions with sun and water and then put them in soil they really take off! There are tons of tutorials for this on Pinterest, which is where I first saw how to do this. Here is mine, hope it helps! 🙂

ImageHere’s what you’ll need:

  • plastic bottle of some kind (you could use glass but that’s a lot more complicated)
  • a utility blade (I couldn’t find one)
  • cheese cloth
  • soil
  • scallions! or whatever else you want to plant


First
thing you need to do is cut the bottle. Mine had a ridge that made the perfect place to cut. Like I said a utility blade would be easiest but I couldn’t find one so I got it started with a knife and a cut it the rest of the way with kitchen shears. The top of the bottle will be turned over and become the planter and the bottom of the bottle will be the water reservoir.

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Second
 step is to measure and cut the cheese cloth. Put it through the opening of the bottle and splay out the cloth inside of the top of the bottle so the water will travel up and into the soil. In the photo you can see I try to spread out the cloth so water can get to as much of the soil as possible.

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Third, 
add your soil! Slowly and carefully pile in your soil, tamping down as you go. Only a tiny bit of soil fell to the bottom and once the soil gets wet no more should fall through.

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Fourth, planting time! Just make a hole in the soil with your finger and put your scallions in and tamp down the soil around it. Continue until your planter is full!

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Fifth, water. First water from the top so any air bubbles in the soil can escape. You might want to add more soil on top after this because the soil has compressed down. Then just add water in the reservoir and set in the sun! Ta da!

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These two I made about a month ago, look how well they’re doing! The roots love it so much they’ve grown all the way down into the water reservoir.

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Lemon Tree!

We got a lemon tree! I’m very excited. We got a Eureka Lemon Tree (basically a normal lemon tree) which can be kept in a pot! Teehee! It can be kept either indoors or outdoors or both, AND it creates fruit ALL. YEAR. LONG. How amazing is that? I had no idea, I though fruit trees only produced fruit in the summer. Anyway! I finally planted it in a very big pot and not it’s outside getting used to the warm weather. This post is just showing how I decided to plant it.

I started with a really tall (about 30″?), black metal pot from Ikea for only like $30. Sweet. But it only came in black and considering that it’s metal and it’s going to be outside even in (Northern) Virginia’s heat I wanted to paint it a slightly less hand-burning color. Here is the pot before painting, sorry, these aren’t the greatest photos.

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I used Rustoleum’s Ultra Cover Primer first. I think the color spray paint I chose actually would have covered the black but it probably have taken more than one can.

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This is the pot after being primed. Looks like a cloudy hill. Or… something.

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I decided green is the obvious color to choose. If I’m going to have a lemon tree in the house producing fruit in the middle of January making me think of Spring then I want a giant bright green pot damnit! I used Rustoleum with a satin finish.

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One problem I encountered when I started painting the green was a weird fuzzy finish (see the next photo). I think it happened because I didn’t wait long enough between the primer and the color coats. I left it alone for about an hour and started again and it painted on smoothly.

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Voila! Pretty green planter!

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Also from Ikea I got a small rolling platform for the pot to sit on top of so it can be moved around easily. I also used a trick from Pinterest to help keep the weight down. In the bottom of the planter I used packing peanuts (plastic, not cornstarch) instead of rocks. It will allow the soil to drain some without adding almost any weight.

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Look how pretty she is! I only put the peanuts in about 8″ up so she has TONS of room to grow. She also smells INCREDIBLE, like, honeysuckle but even more intense!

IMAG0313Just one more picture, I promise! If you look a the base of what used to be a flower you’ll see a small green ball forming, that’s a lemon! Cool right?! There are three currently forming and the nice woman at the garden center told us that these trees will have lemons, blossoms, and just plain leaves all at the same time all throughout the year. 😀

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