Breaking Down the Self-Watering Containers in Brooklyn

Posted on Jan 11 2010 - 5:13am by Mike Lieberman

Since my backyard vegetable garden died, I needed to clean it up as the first step for getting ready for the spring season.

The first step was to breakdown the self-watering containers. Here is how I did that in my Brooklyn garden:

  • Tilted the container so that the water drained out of the drainage hole. I leaned the container up against a fence for a few minutes.
  • Laid a sheet on the floor to capture the soil.
  • Cut the remaining plant down at the soil line and put into the compost.
  • Turned the container on it’s side and gently shook out the remaining soil.
  • Broke up all the roots and clumps of soil.
  • These steps might seem easy, but it resulted in a mess. I’m likely going to change the way that I made them to make the breakdown easier.

    If you were just going to dump everything or making them for one time usage, it wouldn’t be a problem. I am composting the contents and reusing the soil, so that made it much more difficult and messy.

    The water and wet soil was getting everywhere and made for an unpleasant cold and windy day.

    Do you think there would’ve been an easier way for me to break these down?

    • shawnacoronado

      For me, pot breakdown is much easier. All I do is turn them over in the compost bin or out in the garden. Remove plastic at the bottom of the pots. Done. I can see where cleaning pots up for an apartment dweller would be more difficult, yet next year I recommend you just put them in the back of your car, drive them to your Grannies, then dump them all in the garden. :-) Good luck! Shawna

    • Mike Lieberman

      These are the ones that I dumped at my Grandmother's. It was definitely a pain. Likely gonna change the way that I make the containers this year.

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    • Tara

      Mike if you have a hole cutter and are willing to cut 2 – 3 inch holes in the sides of your buckets, you could increase your space/yeild ratio. By inserting plants into the holes in the side, strawberry tower style, you can grow more. Requires the same amount of water/fertilizer.

    • Mike Lieberman

      Thanks for the tip Tara. I'd definitely be willing to do that. Been thinking about growing some strawberries next season as well. Thanks again.

    • Mike Lieberman

      Thanks for the tip Tara. I'd definitely be willing to do that. Been thinking about growing some strawberries next season as well. Thanks again.

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