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SFG on top of waterbasin

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SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  satchid on 7/2/2010, 6:16 am

Dear all,
Last Year I had a standard sfg. the garden has to be watered every 2 days even when i did not had the time or when i was not home for a few days (weeks). Therefore I have buid a sfg on top of a pond. I got the idee from nature, in nature the roots get water from the lower layers in the earth.
I have now 180 liter of water in a box. the sfg box with a bottomplate is placed on top of the waterbox. then I made 4 holes in the bottom plate wherin i placed 4 flowerpots that reach the botom of the waterbox.
The pots are filled then with peetmos pressed toghether so that they can convey the water to the mixture in the std sfg box.

The mixture in the SFG box is allways damp, NO watering every few days. the plants are growing at least twice as good. I fill the boxes every 2 weeks.

The photos are not the best because it is in full blistering sun and 35°C temperature. whe had no rain for e few weeks.

In the first picture you se the contrast between the normal SFG (on the
left) and the one with water box. you can see the waterbox under the sfg
box.

The last pictures is a courgetes plant. It is placed in 1 corner square of the WSFG. (Wet Square Foot Garden)







It is allso much easyer to germinate seeds. on a normal sfg the seed get somtimes dry after germinating if you do not take extreem care for to keep de surface wetted at all times. In the wet sfg (I call them: the WSFG) the seeds stay mooist all the time becouse the water is fed from under.

One disadvantage: Everything is growing at least twice as fast, allso the weeds!!!. But not a problem, the weeds are plukked out and placed on top of the soile and blocking then the evaporation and allso reducing new weed comming up.

I hoop others are doing the same as I did. So please let us know how it wend.

Willy

satchid

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  LaFee on 7/2/2010, 6:26 am

That's awesome, Willy!

What do you do about mosquitos? Is the top box a little smaller than the bottom one, or is it the same size and resting on the top? could you keep fish or frogs in the bottom box?

I understand the pots with the wet moss -- but how does that wick into the top box? Does it just draw it up like a straw?

What material is the bottom plate of your top box, so that it doesn't rot out? (I'm assuming you used pond liner to hold the water in the bottom box)


(sorry, 20 questions -- but that's really a cool idea)

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WSFG

Post  satchid on 7/2/2010, 6:56 am

What do you do about mosquitos? De top box is closing of the bottom box so that mosquitos can not enter the waterbasin. There are airholes of 4cm diameter, but de entrence is blocked with a prop of steelwool

Is the top box a
little smaller than the bottom one? no, it is the same size and is resting
on the top.

Could you keep fish or frogs in the bottom box? no

Does it just draw it up like a straw? Yes.

Willy

What material is
the bottom plate of your top box, so that it doesn't rot out? It is this conrete plywood 18mm thik. I will see how long it lasts. the Dry boxes that I still have will be changed next winter and i will use artifisial floor board.

I'm
assuming you used pond liner to hold the water in the bottom box. Yes

satchid

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WSFG

Post  Garden Angel on 7/2/2010, 7:28 am

Wow, a picture certainly is worth a thousand words! and in this case veggies too! That sounds like something that would work for me here in this heat, but what I'm wondering is ,

(1 ) how would that work in the fall or winter if we get lots of rain like we did this year? I could cover my boxes but woud'nt the water seep into the bottom box if it rained ? and I wonder if it would make the bottom of the first box heavy?

(2) does it make a difference in temperature ? it would probably be cooler in the summer but at night in the winter I wonder if it would affect the temperature of the soil or maybe we could just put black plastic down to try to keep the soil warm? have you had any problems with mold?

sounds like you would use less water !
a set up like that would certainly keep out the gophers ! I have screens at the bottom of my boxes to keep the little vermin out!

Garden Angel

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 7/2/2010, 8:10 am

Hi,
Last year somebody posted a comment on wicking beds. I got interested and did some research. I had a spot in my garden where the hose would not reach. It is very similar to the pictures of the above gardens, however instead of a second level/lower level to your box you dig it into the ground. It seems to be working and we had had 10 weeks of no rain with just a single rain at 6 weeks. The heat has been awful here. Lots of sites are in Autralia. I think it is a great idea. Happy experimental gardening.

Patty from Yorktown

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  satchid on 7/2/2010, 8:58 am

(1 ) how would that work in the fall or winter if we get lots of rain
like we did this year?
I was afraid for the cold foryear allso, but our foreyear was cold for a long time wit cold polarwinds. It whas slower in growing, but not slower then the refference dry boxes.

I could cover my boxes but woud'nt the water seep
into the bottom box if it rained ?
The top box is deliberatly drilled with several holes so that there is air for the plants comming through them and specialy to drain the water out of the topbox into the waterbox, there is allso a drain pipe in the water box so that exessive water can evacuate wen it is full. We do not wand the plants to drawn.

I wonder if it would make the
bottom of the first box heavy?
It is allways aproximately the same because the water drains out.

(2) does it make a difference in
temperature ? I do not know this, mine are build after the winter.


have you had any problems with mold?

only a little bit at the moment? It seems that the plants are more healty, and therefore do atracht less bad things. but for molds: what would coloidal silver do to them? You can see a litle bit of wite stuf on my courgetes (see photo) , this is a kind of a mold. it was much more in the beginning, but a spray of coloidal silver diminished it significantly. Coloidal silver is completely harmles, i even drink it myselve.

sounds like you would
use less water !
I think it will be more water because of a little more evaporation.

Willy from Belgium

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WSFG

Post  Garden Angel on 7/2/2010, 6:49 pm

Thanks Willy for taking the time to answer all my questions , I think this is a good idea and I showed it to my husband and he agreed. This fall we will try your idea on one of our boxes but now we have to wait out this summer heat ! I will keep you informed about what we do when we start, and I'm looking forward to hearing about yours in the future so please keep us all informed !
And welcome to the SFG board !


Last edited by L7 Ft Gardener on 7/2/2010, 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : want to say welcome)

Garden Angel

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  satchid on 7/3/2010, 6:24 am

Hi,

I do not know how far the season is in your place, but if you have some reasonable part of the season left, then you can make a small test WSFG

I dit the first test in an old toolbox.
It is about 30cm high. in the middel of the hight i placed an acrilick plate, cut some holes in it and put a few petbottels in to act as a wik when filled with peetmos.




filled everything as needed, and planted spinage and some other that i forgot. Now you can see strawberrys in the box.

It workes magnifisent.

So instead of waiting to next season, you could test it already now.

Willy

PS is there a spellingshecker in this forum?


Last edited by satchid on 7/3/2010, 6:41 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  boffer on 7/3/2010, 10:53 am


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WSFG

Post  Garden Angel on 7/3/2010, 12:54 pm

Thanks again Willy ! I just might try that , let me see what we have around here to use I will let you know what we do ! and I don't know if there is a spell check on this board , but please don't worry about it !! you are doing fine , english my not be your first language but I would only hope to do as well as you are if I spoke your home language ! keep posting and happy gardening !

Also thanks to Boffer for the example also ! and also Boffer I wanted to thank you for all the very useful info you take time to post here for us!

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

Post  satchid on 7/3/2010, 5:38 pm

Boffer, It was me that was looking for info on this last year, I wanted to know if someone had done this befor. I do not know wat happened with my membeschip, but it has been lost. I wanted to place a pot down into the water in the middle of every square, someone answered that one pot in the corner of 4 squares would be plenty. this proofed to be OK, I have only 4 pots in in a 4' X 4' box.
I allso made plenty of dillings trouhg the bottom plate so that air can go to
the soil via the bottom like in a flowerpot. Then I made allso breading holes to let air into the area above the water. To avoid snails and insects going to the water area, i place a prop of steelwool in the openings of the breeding hole.
Then I also placed a pipe to fil the box with watter. I allso placed a pipe with a floot, just a piece of polystyreen that floots on the water with a stick so that i can see when its allmost empty and allso when the box is full wen I am filling it up.

Thanks

satchid

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Re: SFG on top of waterbasin

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