· a drill with hole-cutting drill bit of 100mm for the holes in the
bottom of the reservoir pipe and a 40 or 50 mm drill bit for
the hole for the fill pipe at the upper side of the fill pipe;
· a 10 mm drill bit or a sharp kitchen knife to make the
. a ruler to get the holes 90-100 mm above the bottom;
· a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipes; and
· a pair of scissors to cut the duct tape.
1. Drill two drain-holes of 10 mm diameter close together 90-100
mm from the bottom of the box, in the centre of a short side so
that they open into the top of the reservoir pipe. You can use a
10 mm drill bit by hand.
N.B. Two 10mm holes keep the cane toads out, a larger square
hole cut with a kitchen knife does not. Holes opening into soil,
outside the pipe tend to clog up, especially when there are
worms in the soil.
The water reservoir
2. Cut a length of 90 mm PVC drain pipe to fit reasonably tight
length-wise into the box; measure carefully as boxes vary in
length and are sometimes tapered towards the bottom.
3. Cut two large holes in the water reservoir pipe, a bit in from
each end of the pipe, using the 10mm hole-cutter/drill bit; these
will let the water out quickly when filling up the box.
4. Cut a hole the size of the outside diameter of the fill pipe near
one end of the water storage pipe on the opposite side of the
large holes. Use a hole-cutter slightly smaller than the fill pipe
and a round file to make sure of a tight fit.
5. Cover that fill-end of the water storage pipe with duct tape to
stop soil from washing in.
The fill pipe
6. Cut the fill pipe, about 500 mm of 40 mm PVC pipe.
Putting it together
7. Stick the fill pipe into its hole in the water storage pipe.
(Use silica if the hole is a bit large.)
8. Place the water storage pipe in the box, with the large holes
facing the bottom and with the fill pipe on the side opposite the
drain holes. Place soil behind the closed end to make sure the
open end fits snuggly against the box.
Filling the box
9. Mix two handfuls of organic mineral-supplement plus compost,
well-rotted plant materials or bio-char into two to three buckets
of good soil, a good potting mix, or a mixture of sand, clay and
10. Fill the box with the soil and the reservoir with water.
11. Plant the seedlings and water them in from the surface to get
them started, soaking the box.
12. Cover the surface with an appropriate mulch to keep weeds
down, reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool in summer.
Good mulch will also become food for the micro-biology, an
important part of all healthy soils.