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water Help designing a 5 gallon square bucket self watering system

I know I’m still 5 months out from getting to the outdoor potting stage but I will have some free time off from work around Christmas and I figured I would start assembling a few self watering buckets since I have a ton of extra buckets lying around. 
 
The concept I would like to try is to use two of my buckets stacked inside one another and to use the bottom bucket as my water holding tank and the other bucket for my soil.  The problem I am facing is that the bottom of these buckets are very uneven and cutting a circle in the bottom for my net /wicking pot is going to be a little tricky since the bottom of the container is not flat, so drilling a hole in the center of the top container is going to be very tricky.  Does anyone have any suggestions how I can I can cut a hole in the bucket and to insert a net pot so it sits flush on the bottom of the top container so soil doesn’t just pour through the whole since the net pot won’t sit flush on the bottom of the top container?
 
My idea was to get a large sponge or a piece of foam rubber to sit underneath the net pot as a sort of make shift gasket to help seal any compartments where soil could drop through into the bottom bucket/water reservoir.  I know this might take some visualization but basically what I’m thinking of doing to take the foam rubber and to cut a hole the size of the net pot and then sit the net pot inside the foam in between the net pot and the surface of the bottom of the top container to prevent soil from leaking into the water chamber.
 
If anyone has any other ideas how to create a self watering container using these square buckets I would love to hear your suggestions.
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Are you supposed to put a net pot in the bottom of your insert bucket?
 
Or put net pots into the LID of insert bucket, and just a few holes like a 1" hole saw for water uptake in the bottom of the insert bucket, then place that into your holding tank bucket?
 
Never done what your trying to do....maybe I am not envisioning the set up you have in mind??
 
 
EDIT:
 
Just looked up DIY self watering bucket.....Now I understand. Very cool, and now that explains all these double bucket grows I see with 1" pvc tubes sticking out of the top.
 
You could put in two net pots to fit whatever that widest flat part in the middle of the bucket is possibly.
 
Pretty neat system.
 
 
 
you want soil in the net pot... its not gonna keep flowing into the water chamber... the soil in the chamber will be minimal... if it really bugs you you can line the net pot with some newspaper or paper towels as well as over the holes around the bucket... it will keep the soil in, let water through and will not be a barrier when the roots make it there they will grow right through... but you really dont have to worry about soil flowing into the chamber because, one, it will be packed in place and 2 you will be watering from the bottom so no water to run down the soil in the bucket to wash it into the chamber... plus once the roots fill all the holes nothing but water will be going through
 
Just spent an hr watching youtube vids on these DIY set ups. 
 
I am going to give it a serious go...I liked the set-ups that use a cover vs open topped designs.
 
I went through THP Glogs forum....found a couple similar set-ups and a couple vids as well.
 
Fits my needs perfectly.
 
These vids stood out for me...
 
This video is also in glogs...he's a member here.
Couple kids with a great vid
 
 
 
sorry just reread and misread your question the first time... for your situation, you can always just use a smaller net pot, or do what i use to do on weird shaped buckets and instead of a large hole for a net pot, drill a smaller one and just use cloth for a wick... old tshirts, wash cloths... or a lot of little holes with twine doubled or trippled over and forced through... soil doesnt have to be in the water to wick... just do like a candle with some kind of clothe... even rolled up newspaper will work for a while till the roots get there but eventually fades away... i recommend cloth wicks and just roll up an old tshirt or wash cloth so it fits snug in the hole you make while dangling into the water chamber
 
Masher said:
Just spent an hr watching youtube vids on these DIY set ups. 
 
I am going to give it a serious go...I liked the set-ups that use a cover vs open topped designs.
 
I went through THP Glogs forum....found a couple similar set-ups and a couple vids as well.
 
Fits my needs perfectly.
 
These vids stood out for me...
 
This video is also in glogs...he's a member here.
Couple kids with a great vid
 
 
 

i love that first one with them all connected... tops are up to where you live i think...some place that might be too hot for the plants but good for places it rains a lot... good vids...
 
 
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AlWGQIMHok[/media]​
 
this guy makes a good point too about saving money... if net pot doesnt fit, use another container that does and drill holes... probably something in your recycling bin that would work...
 
Thanks for all of the links and the suggestions.  Since the bottom of mine is not flat like the buckets in the video it is going to be a challenge cutting an even circle that keeps the cup flush to the bottom.  I do like the idea of using two smaller cups that can fit inside the channels of the bottom of my bucket.  The method with using a rag or an old t-shirt as a wick would also seem to work well with my setup.    I would love to hear feedback from people who have built self watering containers.  Do you generally get the same results/yield  from your self watering containers that you do with your containers that you water from the top?
 
what about using multiple 1 inch net pots?  that might work on cat litter buckets. 
 
and edit:  what if you use a spacer (like cutting a sheath out of one to do a "three" layer ordeal?)   
 
 
just a thought. 
 
You might want to take a look at dennish's grow log. http://thehotpepper.com/topic/58709-dennish-2016-bacca-to-the-future/page-6 He's using SWPs, some proprietary from Greenhouse Sensation http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/quadgrow.html?gclid=CJSG_pLsidECFawW0wodTRIFTQ and some home made. These use wicks cut from capillary matting and I'd expect the water delivery would be more predictable than using an old t shirt or something.
 
Wicks are sized according to pot size 6 litre pots use a 4" wide wick. 11 litre (3 gallon) pots use a 6" wide wick. The wick should be long enough to reach from the base of the reservoir, up through the soil to the bottom of the transplant. The roots of the transplant find the wick and then growth really takes off. It's reasonable to expect double the yield of a plant in the same size pot but conventionally top watered. 
 
I'm going to suggest an alternate method, which I've been using myself for awhile.  It's a modified "Hempy" bucket.
 
Hempy is really simple. You drill a hole approximately 3" up from the bottom of the bucket.  You fill the bucket with perlite, just past the drilled hole.  You add a growing media on top.  Done.  Top water it until you get runoff from the hole.  Or, add a fertigation system, to make it really easy.
 
I have several grow media that I like for this system.
 
3:2:1 Coco coir/perlite/aged manure (my best result and favorite)
3:2:1 pine bark fines/peat moss/perlite (works very well)
70/30 peat moss/perlite
75/25 coco coir/perlite
 
The nutrients in this system are also super simple.  You can grow organically with Neptunes Harvest Tomato and Veg, or you can go even easier, and use CNS17 Grow.  Use either for the entire grow.  Easy.
 
I'm showing you tomatoes, but I grew most of my peppers this year this way. 
 
http://thehotpepper.com/topic/57951-what-tomatoes-are-you-growing-in-2016/?p=1395108
 
I've used them for 3 years now. They work great. All you need to do is layer the bottom of the container with garden fabric. Then you can shove the net pot into the whole. Doesn't matter how big of a gap it is. Just measure your reservoir gap and get a net pot that will fit.

Post 19 will show what I'm trying to explain. http://thehotpepper.com/topic/60389-ocd-2016/
 
OCD Chilehead said:
I've used them for 3 years now. They work great. All you need to do is layer the bottom of the container with garden fabric. Then you can shove the net pot into the whole. Doesn't matter how big of a gap it is. Just measure your reservoir gap and get a net pot that will fit.

Post 19 will show what I'm trying to explain. http://thehotpepper.com/topic/60389-ocd-2016/
 
I used to use this system, but I switched because it is so wasteful, and so much more work to use the 2 buckets.
 
I switched to the Hempy style, and the "Albo Tote".  I saw you were using the 27 gallon totes.  If you've never seen this before, I have to say, it works really well:
 
http://albopepper.com/30-gallon-tote.php
 
Not that I want to criticize your method, but as a fellow grower, resources are precious, and I'm always looking for a easier, but better way, to grow things.
 
I made one last year using 2 free icing containers and a 3" net pot in the bottom. Worked great.
 
Pictured here on the left. To the right of it is the same thing but in 5 gallon buckets. The tote to the right of that is a Kratky container;
 
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