Originally posted 3-12-10
Self-Watering Containers - Refilling and Recharging
When the last of the fall garden's plants froze and expired, we dumped the contents of the container pots into some plastic bags. These bags sat through the long, cold winter, just waiting for the Spring. All those microbes (and some earthworms) munched away during this time on the organic materials remaining in the soil less mix.
After purchasing some seedlings from the local "feed 'n seed", we were ready to refill the self-watering containers and plant. Ready for planting were some cabbages, collards, broccoli, and romaine lettuce.
Here's how we "recharged" the soil less potting mix for the containers:
- emptied out the bags into a wheel barrel
- mixed in some composted horse manure, worm compost, and Pure Black Castings®
- stirred it all about
- refilled the self-watering containers
These added materials would replace what was lost when we pulled out the dead plants and roots. We added about 5 pounds of the Pure Black Castings® per 18 gallon container.
Remember? Put it together.....
..... like so.
Planting the Spring VegetablesWe needed four containers for our seedlings. After filling the containers, we put our plastic "mulch" on the top and cut out holes for our plants. We planted the cabbages, collards, broccoli and romaine lettuce into the soil all the way up the stem to the leaves. This extra depth produces extra root growth for a stronger plant.
After planting, we filled the reservoir with water, adding 6 ounces of VermaPlex® to each pot as our only organic fertilizer. The romaines seemed a little pale at planting time, but after a few days, they greened-up considerably.
Moving our self-watering containers to a new spot.
Protection From The FrostJack Frost is still hanging around (this has been the second coldest winter ever in these parts), so we will have to protect our little garden for a while longer. Last year, as I recall, we had a freeze around the 15th of April. We lost most of the spring garden we planted.
This year, we're going to be proactive and expect the worst. For now, our self-watering containers are in a little cart behind the Scagg. At night, we pull it under cover if frost is threatened. We can also put another empty container over the top for extra protection. During the day, we move it around to the sun. When things heat up (and I know they will), we can also move these cool weather vegetables into a little shade.
Gives a whole new meaning to the term "truck farm".
Watching all this mixing and planting has just worn me out. I'm heading back to that comforter - Bill's going to have to manage without me for a while.
VermaPlex ®: Liquid soil inoculant and foliar spray fertilizer made from our worm castings.