Getting Prepared For The Philippines > Hobbies and Interests

Sub irrigation (Wicking bed)

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fred:
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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GRQzhFBCot4 Small | Large

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5iVBMBxvMsA Small | Large



Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am:
 How about Hydroponic Growing? 

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlRLBpYYoKU Small | Large

fred:
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.

RUFUS:
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.

fred:
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.

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