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Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

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Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  Cincinnati on 7/2/2011, 5:32 pm

I have several Earthboxes - self watering containers which use a pound of fertilizer and a pound of Dolomite prior to each re-planting. Does anyone on this forum have experience using MM as a replacement for "Potting Mix" in self watering containers?

Since no additives are required with MM, I was thinking about replacing the Potting Mix in all Earthboxes with MM for the third planting in the Earthboxes.

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/2/2011, 5:55 pm

my husband built two self watering containers out of the large rubber maid containers for our children and we us MM for the soil.....i have to tell you.....the plants that are in those containers have done the best ....they have sprouted faster....grown faster and grown thicker stock.... it has really surprised me.....the only thing we have to do with these two containers is put water in about once a week.......remember though we are in the PNW so they do get some top rain as well Very Happy

this is our second year of gardening......we have two 4x4 and one 2x8 square foot garden box's ....we have a back garden in the ground ....we have two self watering containers that my husband built for the kids and a bunch of self watering round containers from wally world.....we also have 3 topsy turvys and a topsy turvy tree....we have two garbage can's growing potatoes along with two wine barrels growing them....

LOL.....we have so many things growing here and there I could go on and on.....

......I LOVE IT!

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  Uprooted on 7/2/2011, 6:05 pm

I have tomatoes that are not thriving in the self-watering containers w/ Mel's Mix. Now, I have no idea if that is the reason they are not doing well. But take a look at Gloria G's responses to me on the subject in the thread below:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8122-too-late-to-plant-tomato-transplants-in-atlanta-area

Sounds like Family Gardening has had great results, though, so that may not have been my problem at all!

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/2/2011, 6:56 pm

the only thing i can think of ....is i use perlite instead of vermiculite in my MM....the potting soil you buy at the store has perlite in it....so maybe that is the differnce.....not sure.....

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  happycamper on 7/2/2011, 7:22 pm

I use self watering pots & planters. The pots range in size from 12" to 24" and trough planters that are approx. 10" W x 9" L x33 inches long and 26" L x 19-3/4" W x 10-1/2" H . Kentucky wonder pole beans in the very large pots w/trellis and all sorts of things in all the others.

I have used the large self watering pots for tomatoes in past years but have not tried them with MM yet.

I do not consider my pots and planters as part of my SFG, my raised beds are all SFG. The pot and planter soil is dumped by buckets into a lawn cart, soaked (floated) in water, mixed, left for one hour to absorb water and then put in containers. The mix I use is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost and 1/3 perlite. Close to MM but not.
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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  Unmutual on 7/3/2011, 1:25 am

I made a 4'x4' SFG wicking box this summer and those veggies are actually doing a lot better than my traditional boxes. And yes, it uses MM.

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  boffer on 7/3/2011, 1:37 am

@Unmutual wrote:I made a 4'x4' SFG wicking box this summer and those veggies are actually doing a lot better than my traditional boxes. And yes, it uses MM.

Well, gosh, tell us about it! Walshevak and I are the only ones who have talked about how and how well wicking boxes can work with SFG.

How did you make yours?
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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/3/2011, 2:24 am

oh....wicking box's for SFG ....would love to hear more.....my hubby was talking about doing something like the self watering for my SFG Very Happy hubby was talking about putting one of those kiddi pools under my SFG some how to self water

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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  middlemamma on 7/3/2011, 3:52 am

I have several tomato plants in DIY self watering containers we made out of plastic totes that were on clearance after christmas from lowes. We put MM in them and they are doing great. Fun experiment so far.
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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  boffer on 7/3/2011, 8:15 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:oh....wicking box's for SFG ....would love to hear more.....my hubby was talking about doing something like the self watering for my SFG Very Happy hubby was talking about putting one of those kiddi pools under my SFG some how to self water
hugs
rose....

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3068-sfg-wicking-boxes#22723

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5716-experiment-to-deal-with-pure-sand-and-high-water-bills#49172
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Re: Anyone Using MM in Self Watering Containers?

Post  Unmutual on 7/3/2011, 5:11 pm

This is the basic design for my wicking bed. It's not as fancy as some others, but then I didn't want it to be either. I just wanted it to serve my purposes which are: automatic watering, rainwater harvesting, table top.



It's a 4'x4' bed made from 2x6's for the sides and 4x4s for the legs. The sides are held by joist hangers. The bottom is 1/2" plywood being held up only by the 2x4s under the bottom 2x6s. At the top of the bottom 2x6, 2x2's are put in along the inside perimeter. Another 2x2 is mounted on top of the side 2x2's and secured to the top of it.

Regular pond lining is on the bottom to hold ~40 gallons of water(it's held in place by the 2x2's). On top of the 2x2's is plain old wire cloth. I cut 3 holes on each side large enough to hold 1 gallon plant pots that I had laying around. I then covered the wire cloth with landscaping fabric and filled in with MM. It took a little while for the MM in the plant pots to fully absorb enough water where it would actually wick. The next morning, the top of the bed was moist and has stayed moist ever since. A little green is starting to grow now, so when I redo it I'd probably use 4 pots instead of 6.

I've only filled it with water once, and that was initially, even with the dry weather we've been having. Even though I made no actual drainage holes, the water drains naturally between the top and bottom 2x6's.

I call the experiment a success and I have started planning 4'x2' SFG wicking beds to replace all of my other beds. Maybe I'll even take some pictures of the construction...if I remember.

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