Author Topic: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)  (Read 3565 times)

Offline fred

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Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« on: December 06, 2012, 09:36:38 AM »
Nearly gave up trying to grow anything just last year here in Bohol simply as we get hot periods of up to 3 months with no rain. The amount of water wasted trying to keep stuff alive is sucked up into the earth and then bone dry again after a few short hours..
The locals grow very little and most veggies are shipped in.
Since then I have tried planting stuff in large pots and sitting them 1".1/2 of water.. The water wicks up the soil and to the roots and works great..I mulch the pots with 2 inches of rice hull.
Ive now got about 30 pepper (different varieties) plants from seeds that American expats have given me from places like new Mexico. Jalapeno`s,red hot mini bell peppers...you name it... Ive got large sacks full of soil sitting in the water growing beef steak tomatoes and cucumbers and its so bloody easy...Just fill up the reservoir once a week..
Just had a look on youtube and found some even more efficient ways where a simple system can be made in a day and the whole thing is automated!! That means I never have to water again.. Like the sound of that.
More time to water self with SMB nutrients.
Anyway...I hope you enjoy the video`s as much as I did!

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This one below is what Im doing now with much success ..

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Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 09:50:15 AM »
 How about Hydroponic Growing? 

 
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Offline fred

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 11:01:09 AM »
Tried that before in various different ways but plants looked unhealthy and pale green... Too much knowledge required and too much plumbing!!
Also no supply of nutrient... If there was it would probably be too expensive.
This way works and it couldn't be simpler.
You can also add extra liquid fertilizer into the water trough once a week.. Nothing bad to say about this system..Plant them,net them,forget about them.. Until harvest of course!
Cheers,
Fred.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 11:03:00 AM by fred »

Offline RUFUS

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 12:09:29 PM »
Hydroculture...
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=hydroculture&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz35
You can grow plants in gravel with a double pot system.
I do this with all my houseplants, it works AWESOME!
The inner pot holds the gravel and has holes in the bottom to let water in and out, and the outer pot holds the water.
The roots of the plants grow right into the water and all you have to do is keep enough water in the pots to keep the roots covered.
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline fred

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 01:28:42 PM »
Hi Rufus..
I am also using the  double self watering pots and as you say,they work great... The problem here is that it gets so damned hot that Im forever filling the reservoirs...We often have to go away for a few weeks,sometimes months at a time due to our business here..On our return in the past the soil in the pots have turned to concrete and plants are all as dead as a Dodo.
 This is basically the same method except the reservoir is one entity that fills its self automatically via a 3/4" pipe connected to the mains and controlled by a ball valve.. The system Im building soon will be made out of hollow blocks and will hold around 30 X 5 gallon containers.
I`ll post some pictures as I progress to illustrate what I have in mind a little better when I have them.
Cheers, Fred.

Offline RUFUS

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 01:55:26 PM »
You should try gravel instead of soil.
The space between the gravel will allow more water to be available and more time between waterings.
If you are gone for months at a time, you are definitely gonna have to get someone to water for you or apply some automatic watering system.
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline fred

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 02:29:51 PM »
Rufus... Didnt I make it clear that its fully automated? Check the video out... It explains everything.
Quote
This is basically the same method except the reservoir (water only inside) is one entity that fills its self automatically via a 3/4" pipe connected to the mains and controlled by a ball valve..
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 02:40:42 PM by fred »

Offline fred

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 02:38:26 PM »
The inventors a guy named Larry Hall... He designed it to grow Tobacco after Obama put up taxes!!  Funny guy...Old school too!



How and why I invented The Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!!
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Offline RUFUS

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 03:16:57 PM »
Rufus... Didnt I make it clear that its fully automated? Check the video out... It explains everything.
Quote
This is basically the same method except the reservoir (water only inside) is one entity that fills its self automatically via a 3/4" pipe connected to the mains and controlled by a ball valve..
Yes, I watched the vids, and you also said your soil gets hard as concrete.
I'm just trying to impart some RUFUS wisdom.
I have been growing houseplants in water/gravel for years and was just letting you know that gravel is a better medium for doing what you are doing.
Actually, I use clay balls that are about the size of deer droppings, but have used fish tank gravel and river gravel as well with excellent results.
The clay also holds water if the water dries up for further water retention.
I read your solution for automation and my last sentence statement was an affirmation of those needs, not a moment of un-clarity.
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline tom.inbigdtexas

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Re: Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 12:45:58 PM »
***
I`ll post some pictures as I progress to illustrate what I have in mind a little better when I have them.
Cheers, Fred.

Fred,

I'll take your word on the technical aspects of your growing methods... but I will need a photo of a map to your house when the vegetables are ready for picking. :D

Tom
Dallas, Tx, USA
Mactan, Cebu, PH

 


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