Back a year ago, in my manic, no-sleep days before we moved, I found a website (http://www.josho.com/gardening.htm) that explained how to make, on the cheap, the very expensive self-contained watering planter systems that cost an arm and a leg.
I had the day off from work and the supplies, so here I go.
The supplies: 2 Rubbermaid containers, a pond basket and a bit of pipe are all the materials needed. The tools are a drill, a jigsaw, and a marker. I got the jigsaw from the tool lending library.
First you measure the height of your pond basket and cut one of the containers down to size. Then you cut a hole in the middle that is a bit smaller than your pond basket. Note that my container was dirty, so dirt got everywhere. Next time I will wash it out first.
Then you make a hole in the side for the pipe and drill a bunch of holes.
The pond baskets go in the bottom of the whole bin sitting upright, then the cut off container goes in upside down.
Cut a bit of pipe off at an angle.
To use, fill the pond basket first with soil, then the rest of the container. Add fertilizer. Plant your plants. When watering, use the pipe on the side. The water goes down to the bottom of the container where the plant can drink to its heart's content.
The whole process took about an hour to make three.