The planters are doing great so far. I love how the squash and zucchini put up the giant sun catching leaves and send the vines bubbling over and onto the ground.
Last year, I built some sub-irrigated planters (SIP) using the excellent 2-bucket design from Green Roof Growers. The concept is based on the commercial product, Earthbox, but costs far less to build at home. The basic idea is that the plants wick up just the right amount of water from the reservoir underneath. The design includes drainage holes at the top of the reservoir that prevent over watering, so it’s really easy to keep keep plants happy using this system. They really seem to thrive when they can drop their roots down through the screen and into the water below.
Last year we had cherry tomatoes and some mixed greens, which were delicious but seemed to really attract a lot of aphids. This year I added a third SIP and we’ve planted heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers:
…as well as some snap peas that are doing really well so far:
I also built the wooden boxes the planters are sitting in to give them a nicer aesthetic and to protect them from the sun. This project has been really fun and is part of a larger effort on my part to make things myself.