Start by using a good potting soil that is rich in nutrients designed for container gardening, something like Miracle-Gro would be a good choice.
You will need 3 gallons of potting soil for each container.
Just follow these 4 easy steps…
1. Fill the wicking cup with wet potting soil and firmly pack the first 2” to 3” of potting soil. Don’t overdo it, just enough to keep the potting soil from falling through the wick hole at the bottom of the cup.
Add more soil until the cup is full and gently pack to get out all air pockets.
Now place the wicking cup into the large 3” hole in the bottom of the container. Now install the water tube into the 1” hole at bottom of the container, with the tapered end down.
2. Add the rest of the potting soil up to 1-2” below the top edge of the container.
It is best to thoroughly wet the soil as you add it, this way it helps to get out any air pockets and pre-wets the soil for transplanting. Do not over saturate the soil.
3. Fill the water reservoir through the water tube until water reaches the overflow tube on the front of the container. Do Not Over Fill.
4. Now you are ready to transplant into the self-watering container. After transplanting it is important that plants get the right amount of nutrients, as the original nutrients are depleted from the potting soil.
See Adding Nutrients for more information