|Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 06:29 pm EST : ||
We moved into our house a year ago and have decided that the best (and practically only) place to plant veggies in in planters on our huge deck. The deck is south facing and light reflects from the house and a wall on each side making it the warmest place in the neighbourhood and very bright. It also means that plants dry out very quickly.
I've discovered self-watering planters (subsoil type) and wondered how they work for others. Short of watering about 3 times a day in the hot summer, I think this might be the only way to keep any plants alive.
Has anyone tried them with veggies and have they had any success?
Has anyone made their own with any success? How? Were they any cheaper?
I've made self-watering planters with a mess of jugs and wicks and trays with pots sitting in vermiculite or shredded newspaper. It wasn't a pretty sight, but we were able to leave for up to two weeks without the plants drying out. It can be done.
|Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 11:20 pm EST : ||
I don't remember what was in the pots, but I'm sure it included tomatoes and herbs, probably also lettuce. This is the only plant photo I have from that long-ago era -- doesn't tell you much.
When using water jugs with wicks, and pots sitting in wet mulch, you can control the amount of moisture in the pots by how high you set the jugs, but as the water runs down, the pressure decreases. If you won't be there to tend them, you have to start them out a little too wet so that they won't be too dry at the end. That was the only real problem I found. Also, vermiculite worked better than the shredded newspaper.
I've never used self-watering pots, but they sound like a great idea.
- UT (winter) WA (summer),
Zone "8 and 5"
My Garden Journal
I grow veggies in pots every year, tomato, cucumber and peppers mostly. I've never used the self watering pots though. I already have a huge collection of pots and those are usually more expensive so I've never tried them. I have done the bottle system though and that worked pretty well for me so I would think they'd work well for you.
|Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 09:38 pm EST : ||
That is one beautiful tomato, Anne!
I'm in zone 9 and the summers can be brutal. I too have a small planting area, so I try to grow everything I can in pots. I haven't tried the self watering type but I can see where they can come in handy. I have grown tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, eggplant, bell peppers, peas & pole beans in various sizes of pots from window boxes on up to 10 gallon buckets. I had good luck with the "tiny tim" & "patio" variety tomato seeds and I used the "space saver" variety for the cucumbers. As for the peas and pole beans I just made sure they had something to climb on and they were happy. I just have fun trying to see what I can get to grow. I did fail at spaghetti squash, though,much to my dismay. This year I'm trying potatoes and I'm getting vines but we'll see if I get to harvest any tubers. I'm in the process of making some bamboo trellises so I can try to grow some "jack be little" pumpkins for the kids. We'll see how all that goes but whatever happens I have a blast trying and I hope you do too!
|Posted on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 02:16 am EST : ||
I have just bought a couple of self watering containers to try out. Have tomato in one and herbs in the other. Seem to be doing well, better than my other containers. I haven't tested them out over summer yet. The holes for filling the water reservoir in the bottom can only really be filled with a hose which is a bit annoying as I like to just use a watering can at this time of the year when things don't need so much watering here. I have just been watering over the top.
|Posted on Friday, June 06, 2008 - 06:12 am EST : ||
There is a free report about growing in containers at www.ContainerSmallGarden.com/freereport/ that you may be interested in. Can also find out about growing vegetables in containers at www.VegetableContainerGardening.com
- Western Australia,