Self Watering Pots for Rooftop Garden

A friend made these DIY Self Watering Plant Containers for his green roof, and I wanted to share them with you. He built a small deck on the roof of his building in Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY, and watches GardenFork to learn how to do stuff. neat.


These self watering planters are homemade, he stacked two 5 gallon buckets on top one another, cut a hole in the bottom of the upper bucket, slid a perforated pipe in there, and cut a slot in the side to fill up the water reservoir. I’m going to have to make a GF how-to video on how to make self watering containers.

Rooftop gardens need constant watering in the summer, the plants dry out in the hot sun quickly. In Brooklyn you add to that the breeze coming off New York Bay, and you get dessicated plant leaves quickly.

Vegetable plants that work well for rooftop gardens are ones that do well in the summer heat. Peppers are great, lettuce not so great. Squash, especially winter squash, do well, and because their vines sprawl all over a roof, they also create a cooling effect for the roof, shading it with the large squash plant leaves.

Herbs like basil, sage, rosemary – those from the Mediterranean – are good for rooftops.

We’ve done a how-to video on making a drip irrigation system for a rooftop garden here. The drip irrigation system uses soaker hoses, its an inexpensive way to water your rooftop garden. Here is another soaker hose drip irrigation video we made for our vegetable garden.

How do you water your roof or patio garden? Let us know below:

Check Our More GardenFork Here:

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  1. Sandy says

    I did something very similar with the 5 gal. buckets, but I used a 2 ft or so piece of pvc pipe down through both buckets. That way I can fill them up from the top. I also found that making a funnel from a water bottle makes it even easier to fill.


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