Plant Bath

A DIY tub for your flats, to water seedlings from the bottom.

This Tub is made from a Bakery Crate used to protect bread on its trip to the Grocery Store. They can be found at Flea Markets or Yard Sales or maybe you can intercept some on their way from your nearby Bakery to the Landfill; give your Bakery a call.

Any container can become a Plant Bath with the addition of a leakproof plastic liner. A Clothes Basket will do. A Shower Curtain makes a great liner. Just drape it over a Cardboard Box, or whatever, and Presto, Magico; no thirsty seedlings.

To make mine, I draped a sheet of 8 mil plastic over the Crate and secured it with a Nylon Cord (right side of Left photo) which encircles the Crate and is held tight by an elastic Bungee Strap. Holes were drilled in the four corners to hold the cord in place. Clothes Pins on the sides keep the liner from falling off the cord.

I put tracks under the Crate that allow me to easily pull the water-laden Crate out where it easier to load. The tracks are narrow boards topped with smooth vinyl house siding. (see bottom right; both photos)

Bottom Watering has much going for it:
Damping Off Disease kills Seedlings by attacking the tiny stems at the soil line. It prefers wet soil which is minimized by discreet bottom watering.

Water is applied to the area that matters - the Root Zone.

Runoff occurs when the potting soil dries out and shrinks away from the sides of the pot, allowing water to run down the sides and out the bottom drainage holes, and leaving the Root Zone high and dry.

Overwatering causes water to move through the soil, absorbing nutrients along the way,  and causing Nutrient Leeching.

Fungus Gnats love damp humusy soil. Top watering creates a condition that the winged egg-laying females are attracted to.

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