I am trying a new watering system for my deck. This would replace, or at least accent the manual system I use. (You know, water from a jug when I remember or notice the need.)
I purchased a pack of 5 Self-watering Probes from Amazon. I have to say the instructions that came with mine were pretty minimal. They did not mention soaking the ceramic prior to use. They did mention that the tubing would be more pliable if it had warm water run over them.
I have pressed the probe into two of my pots, filled them with water, and put the ends of the little tubes in a gallon jug of water. I did not have anything to weigh down the ends of the tubes. And I didn’t soak them at all. I did press the probes as deeply into the pots. I think the very bottom of the probe may be an inch or two above the surface of what ever the pot is on.
I can not seem to get good information on if the water reservoir needs to be higher than the prob, same level, or lower. And water dynamics have never been my thing.
The tube is 30 inches long. The probe is 4 ¼ inches long with a max diameter of 1 ¼ inches.
I am not sure it will really make a difference, but I am soaking 3 of the probes for 15 min before filling them, then putting them in the pot.
The ends of the tubes need to be tied to something that will hold them to the bottom of the jug. I used an Allen wrench that was part of a shelving kit. I have a good half a dozen of these in a jar. Since all the tubes are going in the same jug, I used one Allen wrench.
My biggest question now that I have it set up is going to be the height of the plants versus the water jug. I am assuming that this will impact the speed the water is drawn through the tubes. Right now everything is on the floor. If it seems that the jug is going down fast, then I will change the heights.
I have some liquid plant food in the jug so it is a greenish color. I have been very happy with the jugs I use. I found milk jugs were a bit flimsy, and could not be used for very long, especially if they sat in the sun at all. They seemed to disintegrate and start leaking. These I have used to carry water for quite a long time, and they are not showing any signs of leaks, cracks or defects.