Our Self-Watering planters are a breeze, but right now I'm distracted....
Originally posted 7-23-09
Digger waiting for a "deposit" of organic fertilizer to roll in.....
Planter WateringThe soil-less planting mix we came up with seems to be staying moist, although the very top layer tends to dry out, so mulch or plastic covering seems to be necessary, especially when sprouting seeds. It's not to moist either. It appears to only wick up as much water as need to maintain that "damp sponge" consistency.
We've only added water once a week with the water/VermaPlex mixture, and the reservoir wasn't empty then. Of course, the plants are just seedlings now. When they get full size, the water usage will increase. But for now, we're not loosing water through evaporation and drainage like we experienced in the earth garden beds.
Planter Watering: So far, so good.
We planted seed directly in the container pot and most of them sprouted. They look very green. We're keeping them out of the afternoon sun on the east side patio and so far this seems to be enough sun. We are in Florida, you know, and it's the end of July. The sun is very strong.
When we first moved here, we wondered why folks had their gardens under shade trees. Now we know. I spend most of my time in the shade myself. I'm banned from the indoors and the refreshing A/C ever since a vigorous roll in the horse manure preceding a roll on the couch created such a stir.
Back to the pots. For now, these self-watering pots are sitting under a roof, so the torrential rains we get this time of year are not a factor. To test our system, we're going to move a pot or two outside, but still under some shade, to see how things go.
One thing we've figured out, we should fill the container with potting soil mix up to and even above the rim, sort of mounding in the middle. That way, the plastic cover will rest higher in the middle and most of the excess rain water can run off the plastic without going through the potting mix and out the bottom and carrying away nutrients. As they are now, the plastic sort of droops down towards the middle and I fear more water will find it's way into the pot.
We must get this test done if we expect to convert our entire gardening endeavor into a "self-watering container garden". For now, since I can't go inside anyway, I might as well test out that fresh pile of manure.
Next.... Probably a Bath
With all the water we're saving from our self-watering containers, there's plenty for dog shampoos (drat!).
Certified Organic Planter Garden Fertilizer Resources:
VermaMax®: Chicken Litter organically composted using VermaPlex®.
VermaPlex®: Created from Certified Organic Pure Black Castings™. Innoculate your garden soil and your compost heap.