The constant challenges of an everyday vegetable gardener and dealing with all the aspects of planting as an amateur.

It is an awareness that helps to achieve Garden perfection.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garden boxes - I'm trying it!

This is the basic plastic storage box I started with after reading directions on the link below which I have attached. This process is totally experimental but a few folks I have spoken with, love and swear by this method. The final pictures indicate the growth of the peppers after one week and the two tomoato plants after five days.

To the right is the support system which consists of various one gallon used plant pots available free at almost any nursery or big box garden retailers who recycle these containers or just getting rid of them. These containers will support the base (the lid of the storage box) which is cut out to fit inside and hold the potting mix.
I have now placed the storage top (after cutting it to fit) into the box itself (atop the one gallon pots). I then drilled several holes atop the storage lid to allow for some drainage AND cut out two holes at both opposite ends of the storage box over the two pots. This will allow for potting soil to be placed into these two pots only. I then used duck tape (yes, duck tape) to seal the edges of the lid onto the the inner sides of the container box. This prevents any potting mix from falling into the base of the container.

The picture below is the PVC pipe (1 3/4 or 2 inch) is then installed for watering but FIRST drill about 6-8 small holes at the bottom of the PVC pipe about 4-6 inches up the pipe. This will allow for the water to fill the container at the bottom from the water coming from the top of the PVC pipe. Next, cut a hole in the storage lid just large enough to allow the PVC to be lowered to the bottom of the container and about a foot "above" the top rim of the container. Then secure this with duck tape to the sides of the container if there is any opening from the cut you made. You are now ready to place potting mix to in the container.
Fill the container and the two end pots (on both ends where you made a cut out above the two pots). Fill with potting mix to within 2-3 inches from the top of the rim (as shown). Now. lightly soak the potting mix with water to allow it to settle a bit. This will be THE ONLY TIME that you water the soil. Now fill the container to the top rim with potting soil as shown below.
You are now ready to add some type of slow release vegetable plant food. I originally looked for Dolomite but settled on a similar Vigoro ganular mix. Spread the soil from side to side with about a 2 inch depth to allow for 2 cups of plant food. See below, then cover the plant mix with the soil from the 2 inch spread that you did. Now drill three holes on both 'ends' of the container just about an inch below the "container support lid" that the soil is resting upon. This will allow drainage and keep the water at that level.

Then cover the entire container with a heavy black plastic trash bag and secure it with either string, clips or something similar. The next step is planting. Lets assume you are planting 4 pepper plants as I have done and is shown below. Cut out four (x shapes) in the plastic, one for each plant (just enough to get the plants inside the X that you cut out). See the picture below and place the plants in the soil where you have cut out the plastic with an X . Then add any additional needed soil around the plant but under the plastic. You are now ready to fill the container with water through the PVC above the top of the container box. 

Below is my finished product and a picture a week later. They are growing! I know this sounds like a lot but IT IS SIMPLE, doesn't cost much and appears to have excellent results. As you water through the top of the PVC pipe, you will notice water draining from the side holes you drilled on both ends of the container just below the "container lid support". This is normal and will keep the water at the proper level. Never water directly into the plant, just through the PVC pipe. Soon you will notice the moisture in the soil which is what is suppose to happen. It becomes a green house type effect.

Best of luck. The picture below is the latest update from both containers and the plant growth.

1 comment:

Pam M. said...

If it's really hot and sunny I use white gabage bags instead of black. Black reatains the heat and will wilt plants before they mature. Tomatoes will NOT grow in any really hot weather. I plant in the earthbox in March in and again in Sept. in Florida. My seeds are started from Ruskin tomatoes. (Where I live).