One simple way to save  water, time and sometimes even your plants is with a self-watering container, but commercial versions can cost a ton of money. California gardener Ray Newstead has a solution for that: build your own.

Ray’s innovative EarthTainer(TM) design uses rubber storage bins, a plastic aquatic plant basket, and PVC pipe to create the perfect solution for growing great heirloom tomatoes, but could be used for other vegetables as well.

Visit EarthTainer.Tomatofest.com for complete instructions on how to create your own (he even has videos to help you along).

If you’re not in love with the way the bins out on your patio or in your garden, you can easily camoflage them with other plants.