Save water and plants » SIP and save rather than soak - Photo of 09/07/14 about 1 month after start of installation on 08/04/14
Part of a Flickr album
Also see this blog post at InsideUrbanGreen.org
This is a small scale research and demonstration patio garden that displays the proven ability of sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) to save water, nutrients, time and in the long run your plants.
These SIPS employ what I term the "Bubble SIP" method of supplying both water and oxygen directly to the root zone where it is does the most good. SIPs save in the range of 70% of the water when compared to traditional "drench and drain" top watering.
There is a drought crisis in California. Why is the extension program and "master gardener" community still admonishing home gardeners to "make sure your plant pot has a drain hole?" They should be banned just like plastic bags.
Outdated advice about the need for drain holes leads to wasted water, nutrients and your valuable time. In the long run it also wastes plants. Top watering with drain holes is not a sustainable method of urban horticulture. Run-off is wasteful and often harmful to the surrounding environment.
Prove all of this to yourself. It is easy to do and applicable to either decorative or edible plants. The method is scalable regarding planter size and quantity of planters. I used smaller planters to fit the limited space available.
This demonstration garden will soon move to a more permanent location in San Diego. Contact me if you are interested in supporting this progressive urban gardening movement. Flickr mail or urbangreenscaper [at] gmail [dot] com.