I am adding more self-watering containers to my fruit and vegetable garden

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/22/i-am-adding-more-self-watering-containers-to-my-fruit-and-vegetable-garden.html

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Those tomatoes look delicious. The dog, however, seems concerned, perhaps at being automated out of a job by the device.

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We’re using something similar! I just happen to be a part of a project building a Therapeutic Garden here in New Westminster, a city beside Vancouver BC. We’re using self watering planters that use a system designed by Life Space Gardens.

Mind you, we’re building the boxes from scratch using rough hewn red cedar that we’re teaching participants how to plane, cut, sand and build. Inside the box is a kit from a company called Life Space Gardens that holds water and feeds it back to the plants.

And we started in September, the exact wrong time to start a garden project, but hey, it’s covid times and the program is helping lots of people!

The whole project is not only for the garden, but to teach our participants how to use power tools, plan and construct things as well as ongoing classes about how to apply and practice Horticultural Therapy. Follow along on our Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/growceryfoodnetwork/

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you can send me some seeds? beautiful pics

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Starters from the farmer’s market or friends.

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I’m looking for a friend with a certain kind of seed not sold in stores, perfectly fine to mail. <3

Have you tried stacking these containers vertically? They could be easily mounted to those hand rails in the pictures, and gravity assists with self-watering.

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I made a very simple self-watering bucket a couple of seasons ago. Standard 5 gal bucket with a trimmed down section of the kind of disposable pots new plants come in inserted upside down to create a reservoir about 4” deep in the bottom (I may have inserted a fill tube on the side, but don’t recall). A section of hemp rope traveled up through the compost and capillary action kept it ■■■■■ without developing mold. Even still, the plant grew well, but was significantly less prolific than in our heavily shaded backyard garden. If we didn’t have the backyard space, though it’s what I’d use. If I bought everything new it would still only have been about $5 (assuming the disposable pot was free).

Do you get bugs in the tanks?

I’ve been using fabric pots for deck gardening in a condo but think I’m not going to bother starting a garden this year (will likely need to relocate at some point).

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I have not gotten bugs in the tanks but have considered screens in case of mosquitos. Thanks for the reminder.

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I have an EarthBox and I like it. I also have two City Pickers from Home Depot, which are smaller and cheaper, but otherwise very similar. Having wheels helps me roll them around the deck and makes it a bit easier to clean up or bring them under cover if the multiple days of rain have been overfilling them.

The other one I like, which doesn’t have wheels, but it does stand up higher and is easier for my wife to work on is the Keter Easy Grow. It has a visual gauge (little plastic float) that shows if the reservoir needs to be filled. And a spigots in case you need to drain it. I prefer the black plastic containers for growing in West Coast winter, it keeps the soil warm and winter time has a nice amount of rain and seeds really take off. Dill and horseradish are loving the weather right now.

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Safe for food crops.
I think it’s OMRI-listed.
I use it a lot.
One “dose” gives you ~30 days coverage. Strongly recommended.

ETA: having issues w Onebox
ETA2: still have issues

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Living in a cold climate, we got one of these a few years ago:

We’ve grown a bunch of herbs and some salad greens to great success. It’s a treat to have on the kitchen counter during the long, dark winter.
The only downside is you have to buy designated pods. I tried making my own using mineral wool as the medium, but they grew algae and only the basil seeds made it to full size.

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I had one of those. It was fun but I got tired of the chemically smell in the house.

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Huh, I haven’t noticed a chemically smell. I wonder if they may have changed the plant-food mix?
If anything, I’ve noticed a bit of an “old plant” smell when I let the dill get out of hand. It grows too tall and burns where it hits the light.

We have a lot of outdoor space for gardening and have been building decent soil, but I’m excited to try one of the DIY self-watering bins you included. Seems like it’ll make it easier to go off camping for a few days during the hot season.
Thanks for the links to the tutorials.

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