Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Caterpillars -Armyworm?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 8:58 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 8:48 pm

» Cutting back on my SFG about 75%
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 8:40 pm

» New England August 2017
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:30 pm

» Oregon City Newbie
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:04 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:00 pm

» Newbie Oldbie
by sanderson Yesterday at 12:53 pm

» How Many Square Feet Do You Have?
by trolleydriver 8/18/2017, 11:44 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by trolleydriver 8/18/2017, 4:56 pm

» who has chickens
by llama momma 8/18/2017, 1:40 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in August 2017? 2017
by Kelejan 8/18/2017, 1:34 pm

» Tips for compost tumbler
by trolleydriver 8/18/2017, 12:10 pm

» Franken-mato!!!
by hammock gal 8/18/2017, 7:48 am

» Mid-Atl - Aug 2017 - Planning/Planting Fall/Winter Garden
by BeetlesPerSqFt 8/17/2017, 11:05 pm

» Amaranth
by Scorpio Rising 8/17/2017, 9:53 pm

» It's actually more like surviving.... these days...
by RoOsTeR 8/17/2017, 3:14 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 8/17/2017, 2:40 pm

» Heat wave and shade screen
by sanderson 8/17/2017, 1:17 pm

» Sweet Potatoes
by sanderson 8/17/2017, 1:04 pm

» Grow Produce from Produce!
by countrynaturals 8/17/2017, 11:18 am

» Huge Box of Seeds from 2003!
by countrynaturals 8/17/2017, 11:12 am

» Water....
by BeetlesPerSqFt 8/17/2017, 8:45 am

» Bee 'Sleeping' in Cucumber Flower
by hammock gal 8/17/2017, 7:10 am

» Store Bought Compost
by plantoid 8/17/2017, 6:58 am

» N & C Midwest: August is here!!! 2017
by Scorpio Rising 8/16/2017, 9:58 pm

» Monarch Supporter
by Scorpio Rising 8/16/2017, 6:54 pm

» Top Dressing with Compost
by donnainzone5 8/16/2017, 3:59 pm

» What do you know about making sauerkraut?
by CapeCoddess 8/16/2017, 3:55 pm

» cherokee purple...seed to dish
by CapeCoddess 8/16/2017, 12:57 pm

» I feel VERY fortunate!
by AtlantaMarie 8/16/2017, 8:28 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  has55 on 7/17/2015, 7:04 pm

avatar
has55

Posts : 1632
Join date : 2012-05-10
Location : Denton, tx

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  sanderson on 7/18/2015, 3:43 am

Very interesting. Then he said no compost or manure in the growing mix!! Shocked

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14386
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  boffer on 7/18/2015, 9:59 am

+1 That's the simplest design I've seen for a SFG size wicking box. And, he has the experience to support its effectiveness.
avatar
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CitizenKate on 7/18/2015, 10:27 am

@sanderson wrote:Very interesting.  Then he said no compost or manure in the growing mix!! Shocked
I was curious about that statement, too.  He seems to have an an aversion to compost in general, but I followed the link to his site to see if he explains why he doesn't like compost, and found this in a text article on building his raised beds (http://www.albopepper.com/SIP-raised-bed.php):
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 769
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2015, 10:27 am

has55, would you please post the link for those of us who can't get the vids to work on their stupid li'l tablets?
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6302
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  boffer on 7/18/2015, 10:38 am

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp9Jdyno9hI
avatar
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CitizenKate on 7/18/2015, 11:07 am

Well, for some reason, the quote from Al's site didn't get saved with my last post.  I'll try again.

This is his explanation of why he doesn't like to use compost in his potting mix.

"Yeah, but. Yeah but!" I've gotten reports of people who have used 1/3 manure, 1/3 peat moss & 1/3 vermiculite (Mel's Mix) with great success in SIP containers. This might work for some people. This is your bed and you can try what you want. But manures and bagged composts may have very small particles which could fill up your pore spaces. They also have a very broad range of NPK values and using them may be hard to predict. So I don't recommend it to others. Instead, I stick with the guidelines that EarthBOX recommends.


I'm not sure I don't agree.  I'm using MM in my sub-irrigating containers for the first time this year, and the plants I have growing in them are not doing well.  With the mix I used last year, you could tell the water was traversing the mix, because (except on very hot days) the surface was always damp.  With the MM, the tops are always dry, except when it rains.  I dug down into one of them that no longer had a plant in it, and it was dry in the top 2 inches, then I started to find damp mix beyond that, but not very damp.  I've also noticed that water consumption from the reservoirs is significantly lower this year, which may mean less water getting to the plants.

I have neighbors growing the same plants in the same containers, and theirs are doing great - just like mine did last year.  So that probably eliminates environmental issues, such as the heavy rains we got earlier in the growing season.

Whereas the MM is doing fabulously in my raised beds, and I will definitely continue using it there, I'll probably go back to the mix I used in previous years in my containers.
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 769
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2015, 12:37 pm

I didn't have luck with MM in the Earthboxes either. It didn't seem to wick up the water. I supposed it would work with tomatoes & such where the roots go deep once those plants are established and large, but they'd have to be watered from the top for a while. Eventually the system of not having to water so often would kick in.

Although I've read on the forum that some have great luck with MM in their Earthboxes.

CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6302
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/18/2015, 12:59 pm

I wonder if the problem might be partly the wick, or other parts of your system, CC. The roots of my tomato plants sometimes completely pack every inch of my 5-gallon containers with MM, which I take as a sign that the plants are getting value from sending out so many roots -- water, nutrition, aeration, etc. The single self-watering container I built has MM in it and the roots pervade the soil very well in it too.

I've seen some SWC's with pretty small wicks. And because MM can dry out and lose its ability to absorb water properly, I take it for granted that even with great soil and/or a SWC container, I'll have to give MM some extra watering.

On the other hand, the richness of MM means I will have to do less fertilizing and will have an inherently good soil instead of the largely inert stuff and high-fertilization rate that so many others recommend for containers.

If anything, I've pondered whether the thing MM in containers could use is a bit more vermiculite, as water retention is so vital in my endlessly hot and dry growing seasons.
avatar
Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3638
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 56
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  yolos on 7/18/2015, 1:22 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:
On the other hand, the richness of MM means I will have to do less fertilizing and will have an inherently good soil instead of the largely inert stuff and high-fertilization rate that so many others recommend for containers.

If anything, I've pondered whether the thing MM in containers could use is a bit more vermiculite, as water retention is so vital in my endlessly hot and dry growing seasons.
I am having one heck of a problem keeping the MM moist.  Eventually I will add drip irrigation which should help.  I do heavily mulch.  But with hand watering using a wand, it takes forever to get the mulch wet enough to allow the water to enter the MM.  Then by the next day it is completely dry again.  I still have 160 square feet of beds with original garden soil that I have added some vermiculite.  I only have to water the old style beds about once a week.  Any bed with MM that is intensely planted has to be watered every day.  It will be bone dry the next day.

So I am seriously thinking about making a bed like the video.  Or else finding how to make MM that will retain some moisture for a longer period of time.  I think it is the peat moss.  I am thinking about trying coir.  Does anyone use it in MM and if so, exactly what variety of coir.  There are so many different brands advertised.
avatar
yolos

Female Posts : 3247
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 67
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  boffer on 7/18/2015, 3:14 pm

I'm enjoying everyone's feedback on their experience with wicking boxes. I haven't tried small boxes.

Kay and I  built SFG wicking boxes using different designs, and we had good results using MM in them.

Walshevak's boxes
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5716-experiment-to-deal-with-pure-sand-and-high-water-bills

Boffer's box
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3068-sfg-wicking-boxes

In my box, the top inch or two stayed on the dry side, and required watering until the seeds or transplants got established.

The size of the plants' root structure depended on the type of plant.  Some, like lettuce, had root depths to 3-4 inches, while tomato roots went down into the wicking baskets.
avatar
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CitizenKate on 7/18/2015, 11:36 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:If anything, I've pondered whether the thing MM in containers could use is a bit more vermiculite, as water retention is so vital in my endlessly hot and dry growing seasons.
I was wondering the same thing, Marc.  Perhaps MM can be amended slightly to optimize it better for sub-irrigation techniques.  The mix I used before definitely worked better for this type of irrigation, it all stayed moist right to the surface most of the time.  I'm not sure exactly why, but I agree it may have something to do with a soil's ability to absorb and retain water.
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 769
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  CitizenKate on 7/18/2015, 11:41 pm

boffer, I really like your version of a wicking box.  It's slick and solid, and looks easy to maintain.  This could be the solution to my box irrigation problem I've been playing with.  Thanks for sharing that.
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 769
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  boffer on 7/19/2015, 12:09 am



I forget if I mentioned it in my wicking box thread, but I recommend using something heavier than 6 mil plastic for the box liner.  

Because it was an experiment, I did it on the cheap.  For the tub box, first I silicone caulked all the joints; then I lined the box with some torch-down roofing material; then I used 6 mil plastic as a liner on top of that.  I still got a small leak.

If I were to build another one, I'd spring for PVC 30 or 40 mil pond or shower pan liner.  I've read where some folks have used EPDM roofing membrane, but it's primary ingredients are ethylene and propylene. I haven't looked to see if they would leach into the water, or if they would be a hazard.

Have fun!
avatar
boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  walshevak on 7/19/2015, 6:07 pm

I've moved into the house that has the wicking boxes now.  Only 1 of the wicking boxes is in use this year, planted with sweet potatoes.  The other 4 are so full of grass and weeds that I'm going to pull everything out when the weather cools off and redo them.  I need to make them tabletops.  I just can't get down to tend them.  However, the one that is in use is doing fine and still wicking. 

 Based on another site I follow, they use more peat in their mix than we do.  The claim is the peat is what enhances the wicking.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast
avatar
walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4354
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 74
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Self-watering SIP Sub-irrigated Raised Bed Construction (How to Build)

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum