Windowfarm: how I built a self-watering vertical garden #Plants & Gardening#container gardens#gardening#living small#vertical gardens April 19 2012 | kellbot the_kellbot Two dwarf sugar pea plants. Now that we have a place with nice big windows I'm trying my hand at a windowfarm. Windowfarms are drip planting systems that are set up vertically, making them great for places without a lot of outdoor gardening space. Windowfarms are made from plastic bottles stacked vertically. A small airpump lifts water from the reservoir at the bottom to the topmost bottle, where it then trickles down over each plant. The plants, which were started in root plugs, are sitting in 3″ net cups filled with expanded clay pellets. The pellets offer root support for the plant, and retain water while still allowing plenty of oxygen flow. My set up is, in a word, ugly. Eventually I plan on having four columns hanging in the window, and with any luck they'll get more attractive as I go along. I used a large plastic orchid pot to hide the water reservoir, which is simply an upside-down water bottle with a coil of 1/4″ tubing coming out the cap. The blue tray is leftover from a previous hydroponics experiment, and is there to hold the bottle vertically. Related Post 66 things you can grow in a container Organic Gardens Network put together a primo list of four dozen things YOU! can grow in a container. Given that you've got enough light, you... Read more To make the joint between the cap and the tubing water tight, I sacrificed the barbed end of a plastic hose connector and pushed it into the cut end of the tubing. This pushes out the sides of the tubing and keeps water from escaping. The water line is about 3 feet long and runs up to a t-joint, which you can just barely see in the photo of the reservoir. Airline tubing from the air pump comes in from the side, and the black tubing carries water up to the top of the plant column. The basic theory of the system is that water comes up from the bottom and is then pushed up the black drip tubing by air from the air pump. Undergravel filters in aquariums work on a similar principal. Getting it to actually work is a trial and error process, and your reservoir needs to be high enough above the t-joint to keep the water pressure up. The air pump also needed some tweaking to work well. Too much air and you get a noisy system that doesn't lift water well, too little air and you get a quiet system that doesn't lift water well. I found a nice four-way adjustable valve on Amazon which allows me to carefully adjust the airflow. The system is on for 15 minutes every two hours, which I'll increase as the plants grow. I've planted dwarf sugar peas, tomatoes, and basil so far. With any luck I'll have something edible in a few months. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo kellbot Kelly Maguire, also known as Kellbot, is the Offbeat Empire's web developer. @kellbot @the_kellbot PREVIOUS An adoptee explores her relationship to motherhood NEXT Always be prepared: How much water do I need to keep on hand in case of emergency? Show/Hide comments [ 4 ] This is really awesome. I've recently taken an interest in indoor gardening because our outdoor growing season is so short. My first attempts at herbs were only somewhat successful but I want to keep trying. Having even just herbs and greens year-round would be so awesome. Reply now all you gotta do is get yourself a fish tank and you'll be sweet! http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/information.html Reply Thanks for sharing! Seeing this made me wonder if there are tricks to increasing the light you get through windows without resorting to grow lights (right now I have a complex mess of mirrors…). I'd love to see more solutions to indoor gardening. Reply Hi! I made a water pump using an eye drop bottle and able to lift water up 1.9m so far. I believe it is even more simple than the one you have now using the T-Joint. Please have a look via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G2Me0zf4cY Hope it is useful for you. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.