Allow for Air Circulation in Your Self-Watering Containers

Posted on Nov 12 2010 - 3:07am by Mike Lieberman

I have about 10 self-watering containers on my balcony garden. In taking care of them, I’ve started to notice that the reservoir containers have been starting to stank and form algae.

The reason for this might be because there is no room for the air to circulate. The air can get in through the overflow hole, but no other way to get out.

What I’d recommend is to add 2-3 additional drainage holes around the reservoir container to allow the air to freely circulate.


6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. mmustapic November 26, 2010 at 1:27 am -

    I also have several overflow/drainage holes around the bottom just to prevent this. Also, it should be possible to replace the water in the container by tilting it, although I didn’t try it. Also, if your container has a pipe to fill it from the top, you should be able to let it overflow for a while till the water is replaces. But it seems a TERRIBLE waste of water.

  2. Mike Lieberman November 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm -

    When the water gets stagnant I usually just dump it into the grass down below. Like your idea as well. Might waste some water, but what else can be done with it?

  3. Accidental friend February 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm -

    Is this happening b/c those [copper] pipes haven’t been used this time? Was air ventilation the additional purpose of those pipes used in your NY urban garden self watering containers, aside pouring in water /watering plants from beneth?

  4. Mike Lieberman February 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm -

    No. I couldn’t really tell before because there was no way for me to get to the reservoir container.

    I removed the copper pipe for a few reasons.

    After leaving several comments on this blog and my other one – If you don’t mind me asking, is there a reason that you are using an alias and a fake email address?

  5. Holy H April 14, 2012 at 3:17 am -

    just a question about the wicker basket. Do you leave the lid on them when you put the plant container on top? Or just use the deli container without its lid so open to the hole of plant container?

  6. Mike Lieberman April 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm -

    Lid open.

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