vegetable patch management
pots
wet pots
Wet pots are designed to grow plants that thrive in boggy conditions.  They are also very cheap to make and, like all pots, very portable.


description of a wet pot
Illustration of how a wet pot works.Illustration showing how a wet pot works.
A wet pot is a watertight container that has a set of holes drilled in it at about a 1/3 of the way up its side for drainage.  Basically it works like a Decor self-watering pot only with a much larger water reserve, and because this reserve is closer to top of the pot it creates wetter soil than what you would get with a Decor pot. 

Any watertight container will do but I a mainly use a standard bucket.  A bucket is large enough to hold sufficient water to meet a plant's needs for three or four days but small enough to allow it to be moved easily. 


making a wet pot
  • Photo of wet pots with Chinese vegetables in them.
    Wet post with Chinese vegetables in them.

    Photo of a wet pot with green Pak Choy plants in it.
    Wet pot with green Pak Choy plants in it.

    Photo the lower half of a wet pot.
    Lower part of a wet pot showing the holes drilled in it for drainage.
    Take a watertight container, measure to a point approximately 1/3 of the way up its side and mark the point with a pencil.
     
  • Repeat the process three or four times around around the side.
     
  • Drill small holes at regular intervals around the container using the pencil marks as a guideline.   The holes should only be about 3 to 5 mm large, which is large enough to allow excess water to drain away but small enough so soil is not washed out the holes in large amounts.  As the pot is designed for water loving plants the holes are only there to stop the container from filling with water.   They are not there to create good drainage.
     
  • If the container is being placed on a surface that you don't want to become wet then place a saucer underneath it catch any spillage from the drainage holes.

Not that these instructions should only be seen as a rough guideline.  Feel free to experiment different sizes and hole heights etc..


using wet pots
Wet pots should only be used for plants that like boggy conditions.  I mainly use them to grow Asian veggies such as Pak Choy, Mizuma and Tatsoi, however a range of bog plants can be grown in them including mint and Vietnamese mint.  

As well as thriving in the boggy conditions Asian vegetables grown in wet pots are less likely to go to seed as the quickest way to get and Asian vegetable to bolt is to dry it out a bit, which is far less likely to happen with a wet pot.

Having made a wet pot as described above simply fill with a combination of soil, manure and compost and plant away.  I use a lot of manure as Asian veggies like a rich soil.

CONCLUSION
As well as being ideal for plants that love boggy conditions wet pots are also very portable and are much cheaper and easier to make than wicking pots.  They are very cheap when compared to Decor self-watering pots.