EarthBox Forum

EarthBox Chat => Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 09:40:01 am

Title: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 09:40:01 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, alicemagooey. This was originally posted on April 15, 2009.

Hi.. I started last year filling my EBs per Donalds suggestions , moistening the mix as I went and filling the EB.

Now, I am reading in the EB instructions and hearing other people who have used EBs for years saying that a person can simply
1.remove old plant stems
2.dig out old fertilizer strip( probably some of the crusty soil on top also although the official EB PDF file does not say this)
3.add new fertilizer strip
4.cover with cover, secure and cut
5.plant new plants
in the EB replant kit instructions PDF, it says to pull back the x flaps and water from the top into each hole.  It does not mention when or how to fill the reservoir with water..
first or afterward?

Do people actually find that this method wicks as well as the start from scratch method of moistening and adding mix to empty earthbox?

i am hoping that i did not miss this in my searching for an answer..but sometimes, there are several differing opinions..and i would appreciate hearing them.
i do not want to do the process over after finding that my old , renewed EB was not going to wick correctly.

thanks
alice

ps... i have been reading and re reading old posts and Mickie whose opinion i respect, says that she just leaves her boxes mostly full and just replenishes the top.
I guess if i do not get any responses from anyone who consistently does anything different, like maybe Donald(??) ( i could not find specifically what you do but since you usually mix your dolomite into your whole mixture when first filling your EBs, i would think that you would empty and re fill your boxes yearly, using your time tested method of using a separate container to moisten and mix the mix before placing and pressing it into the EB.)

a
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:18:17 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cushman350. This was originally posted on April 15, 2009.

Alice,
 
If I have 30 boxes I can tell you what method I will use and it wont be dumping. If I have 1-5 I will dump and mix and wet until I am unable. I like to be certain about things I can control. I dont feel comfortable waiting to see if a box is going to come to life if I can make it 99.9% certain it will wick OK myself. IMO

Think of Box lady 1400+ EBs. I dont think they dump.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:19:38 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, FloridaPat. This user is located in Florida Zone 9A. This was originally posted on April 15, 2009.

I just use the old soil. Top it off if needed. Add dolomite and Azomite fertilizer and mix in the top two inches or so. Plant. Fill the eb via the tube and then water from the top. I give it a good drenching the first time. I dont water as I go. I havent had any problems yet.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:21:38 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on April 15, 2009.

I have 61 boxes sitting out in the yard, exposed to the elements since my plastic sheeting blew off with the first good wind. Although I emptied all the reservoirs last fall, Im sure theres water in them now. All the mix is moist/wet. When I replenish, I have no doubts that they will wick properly. Now, if the boxes were bone-dry, I would want to fill the reservoir a few days before replenishing, and watch to see if the boxes wick up to the surface. If necessary, do a kick-start  by pouring warm water across the top before you add the new fertilizer strip.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:23:14 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, maryal36. This user is located in Waukesha, WI Zone 5B. This was originally posted om April 16, 2009.

Thanks for the help.  I didnt want to dump, either.  But hos can you be sure that the old mix has enough water in it to wick properly?  Squeeze it, perhaps?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:24:01 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on April 16, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, maryal36. This user is located in Waukesha, WI Zone 5B. This was originally posted om April 16, 2009.

Thanks for the help.  I didnt want to dump, either.  But hos can you be sure that the old mix has enough water in it to wick properly?  Squeeze it, perhaps?

A box that has been wicking properly should have a dark brown color - somewhere between dry coffee grounds on the dark side to damp/wet earth/ground on the light side.  And when you grab a handful, it definitely feels damp like a wrung wash cloth uniformly across the whole surface.  Drier or a lighter color and not a uniform color (aside from the surface fungus/salts/etc.) are signs of faulty wicking.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:25:21 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, alicemagooey. This was originally posted on April 16, 2009.

Thank you , Thank you ..Thank you !!! all ...for the terrific answers..!!

yes, Cushman.. i realized that the people with zillions of boxes probably would not dump..
but the additional information by Mickie about how exactly to tell if they are wicking and what to do in the case of wet, element soaked boxes( which i have some of also) and dry, garage stored boxes, (which i also have a quantity of)..how to deal with each kind specifically...

You all made it crystal clear.. perhaps this post should be stickied somewhere also as it is so specific and terrific !  It cannot go into the New to Earthboxes, start here sequence...post..
not sure where it should go but it should answer all questions about how to get up and running for year two onwards..!!

Cheerio and thanks again.!
have a great EB year !
alice
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:26:05 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cushman350. This was originally posted on April 16, 2009.

Place maybe in Tip of the Day.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:27:41 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, grb1. This user is located in Zone 5b Southeastern Wisconsin. This was originally posted on May 26, 2009.

For those of you who have too many Ebs to dump and clean the mix, how do you deal with the thick mat of roots that collect on the aeration screen just above the water reservoir? I only have 4 Ebs so it wasnt a big deal to dump the mix to clean out the old roots. I was amazed at how thick the roots on the aeration screen were.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:33:24 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on May 26, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, grb1. This user is located in Zone 5b Southeastern Wisconsin. This was originally posted on May 26, 2009.

For those of you who have too many Ebs to dump and clean the mix, how do you deal with the thick mat of roots that collect on the aeration screen just above the water reservoir? I only have 4 Ebs so it wasnt a big deal to dump the mix to clean out the old roots. I was amazed at how thick the roots on the aeration screen were.

I don't deal with them. My boxes are left out all winter, which gives them roughly 7 months sitting idle with no plants growing. By the time I get to them in mid-spring, I don't find any roots except the large tap or anchor roots still attached to the leftover stumps...those just pull out with a firm twist. Everything else has decomposed, and water coming out of the overflow is a good, clear, forceful stream, indication no blockages. That's good enough for me.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:34:32 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, grb1. This user is located in Zone 5b Southeastern Wisconsin. This was originally posted on May 27, 2009.

Mickie, Thanks for the reply.  Do you do it that way with all your other boxes (non earth boxes) to? Also do you plant the same things like tomatoes and beans in the same boxes year after year?

grb1
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:36:07 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, grb1. This user is located in Zone 5b Southeastern Wisconsin. This was originally posted on May 27, 2009.

Mickie, Thanks for the reply.  Do you do it that way with all your other boxes (non earth boxes) to? Also do you plant the same things like tomatoes and beans in the same boxes year after year?

grb1

Yes, I pretty much do the same in my other tote planters. In the fall, I cut off or pull out (whichever ie easiest) the spent plants. Then I put the lids on the totes for the winter. It better if the mix is moist when I do this. Come Spring, no real roots to be concerned with. I look at it this way: Mother Nature doesnt rototill or remove old roots before reseeding the earth... Im blessed with winters and a few very cold weeks to allow Nature to prepare my boxed earth.

I do try to shift my plants to other boxes where possible. Since I pretty much grow the same things or families of plants, I just rotate over to the next rows, or trellises. Its not perfect, and some boxes wind up with similar plants in consecutive years. Keeping a journal helps keep track of such things.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:37:28 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, JoeV. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

So your saying, just leave the boxs out all winter...so freezing weather wont hurt the boxs...I would think the water or moisture left behind would freeze and expand in the boxs. Could this damage the box etc.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:39:36 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, KayakerNC. This user is located in Eastern North Carolina USA - Zone-8. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, JoeV. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

So your saying, just leave the boxs out all winter...so freezing weather wont hurt the boxs...I would think the water or moisture left behind would freeze and expand in the boxs. Could this damage the box etc.

You could always just tip it a little, towards the drain hole.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:40:27 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, KayakerNC. This user is located in Eastern North Carolina USA - Zone-8. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, JoeV. This was originally posted on May 28, 2009.

So your saying, just leave the boxs out all winter...so freezing weather wont hurt the boxs...I would think the water or moisture left behind would freeze and expand in the boxs. Could this damage the box etc.

You could always just tip it a little, towards the drain hole.


Exactly... with the help of a friend, we tip the boxes to pour off as much water as possible, which is nearly all. This winter, I tried laying out sheets of plastic, but the wind took them and made a big mess, so most of the boxes were left exposed to the snow and rain, with no ill effects. Im trying to come up with a winter cover, sort of like the shower curtain, except no elastic, just ties. I need to find the right material that I can work with to make the hem for the ties and will hold up to the elements for several/many seasons.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:45:04 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on June 1, 2009.

I leave my boxes out all winter and can get temps at minus 10 below. I just tip them  to get most of the water out of them, then I cut the stems off at soil level. Then add new cover over the entire box. This spring I uncovered them and removed covers and old roots, old fertilizer fluffed up the potting mix...and got ready to plant.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:50:32 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, csleung. This was originally posted June 4, 2009.

I always add a shovelful of homemade compost each year as well as greensand (for tomatoes), bone meal, dolomite, ground granite, and chelated iron. I'm on my 5th year of using the same soil mix. My earthboxes are now full of earthworms (from the homemade compost)--I think they like it in there--they take care of getting rid of old roots and leaves for me. Supposedly I think the 5 years is the max for using the original soil mix, but my veggies are still producing so well that I'm wondering if I can keep on going before dumping for a few years...As far as wicking goes, I've never had an issue with that...
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:52:06 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on June 24, 2009.

@kathy

Do you think that would fly in South Dakota winters, where ?25?F is not unheard of?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:53:10 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cdc9778. This was originally posted on June 27, 2009.

Some replies make me wonder about the "old farmers rule" of not planting tomatoes in the same area two years in a row.  I "trust" the rule hence dump and restart each year.  Maybe I"m wasting time and $$$.  Any ideas ?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 10:59:10 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on June 27, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on June 24, 2009.

@kathy

Do you think that would fly in South Dakota winters, where ?25?F is not unheard of?

There's not much difference, if any, of -25*f or -10*F... frozen is frozen once the temps go below 32*F. As Kathy said, drain the water and cover the mix to keep new rain/snow out...the boxes held just fine.

I alternate years between my cucurbit and tomato plantings. The mix is way too expensive to just dump every year. Unless you had a devastating disease that contaminated the mix, save your time and $$$. In fact, new mix every time leaves you vulnerable to more incidents of BER. Tomatoes planted in "seasoned" mixes are less prone to it.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:00:19 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on June 30, 2009.

I agree Mickie  frozen is frozen and I say yes they will hold up. I have not rotated my crops in the boxes, no problems so far.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:01:39 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on July 2, 2009.

Ahhh, but you guys have never had plastic and metal items (like car door handles) snap in your hands in sub-zero temps, especially when you needed to open that door to fix a flat tire!! That sort of thing just doesn't happen in 0 to 30 degree weather.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:03:04 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on July 27, 2009.


True, but as long as you are not handling the boxes they should be fine, we have boxes in very, very cold climates, like Iowa with prolonged -18 degree weather.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:04:09 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on July 27, 2009.

Well, I'm glad I wont have to empty the boxes out. Most of my other containers over-winter with the same soil.

Do you put new EB brand shower caps on your boxes for the winter, or home made plastic covers?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:05:57 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on July 27, 2009.

Well, I'm glad I wont have to empty the boxes out. Most of my other containers over-winter with the same soil.

Do you put new EB brand shower caps on your boxes for the winter, or home made plastic covers?


Thats a project Ive been working on... in the past, I just left the used covers on, but the elastic is shot, and they just blow off eventually. Next winter, Im going to use large trash bags  held down with either tape or heavy rubber bands if I can get them cheap.

We need some good, durable winter covers that will last several many seasons. Kathy 

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:07:44 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, azure247. This user is located in Zone 9 - 10, Suisun City, CA. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Thats what I plan on using too, even at 1$ per cover (if you buy enough), I think trash bags are more affordable at less than 10 cents each. 
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:09:10 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MaryB. This user is located in Zone 7, North Central AR. This was originally posted July 28, 2009.

Last winter we slid each EB into a large trash bag and sealed the end so the entire box was inside the bag.  After removing the boxes this spring, we reused the trash bags in the garbage can. That worked for us and plan to do that again this fall.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:10:19 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, azure247. This user is located in Zone 9 - 10, Suisun City, CA. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Thats what I plan on using too, even at 1$ per cover (if you buy enough), I think trash bags are more affordable at less than 10 cents each.
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MaryB. This user is located in Zone 7, North Central AR. This was originally posted July 28, 2009.

Last winter we slid each EB into a large trash bag and sealed the end so the entire box was inside the bag.  After removing the boxes this spring, we reused the trash bags in the garbage can. That worked for us and plan to do that again this fall.

As of this weeks sale, Ill have 81 EBs, and with a bad back, cant lift them into the trash bags. After the boxes are emptied (with help), Ill leisurely winterize each one. I envision myself sitting on my scooter, bottle of alcohol in hand with cleaning rags, exterior duct tape, and super-sized box of trash bags.

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:10:54 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MacSmiley. This user is located in Zone 4b in South Dakota. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

That makes a lot more sense to me, having 3 EBs on a balcony. What size trash bags do you need to contain the entire EB? And is that with or without the staking kit outriggers and casters?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:13:53 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Mickie: Drinking alcohol or rubbing alcohol or both?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:15:19 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, MaryB. This user is located in Zone 7, North Central AR. This was originally posted July 28, 2009.

I think the trash bags were 55-gallon, 3 mil bags. I cant lift the EBs without hurting my back but I can lift one side at a time and slip the bag underneath without a problem. We tip them over and dump the water first which makes them considerably lighter. Most of our EBs have casters but not the EB staking system. These bags easily fit over the casters too.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:16:02 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Mickie: Drinking alcohol or rubbing alcohol or both?

Since it will be Fall, and Ill be freezing me arse off, probably both 

Mickie
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:17:52 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, LavendulaFLeur. This user is located in So Cal (The Valley) Zone 10. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist The EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on July 28, 2009.

Mickie: Drinking alcohol or rubbing alcohol or both?

I was wondering that myself!
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:20:13 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, davejung. This user is located ub Zone 9 - - Just North of Tampa Florida. This was originally posted on September 13, 2009.

I was just at the Earthbox research center this afternoon and spoke to Mr. Wislet as well as there other people. They said its very possible to get as many as 10 crops from the same original box of mix simply by  removing the old plant roots, scooping out the used fertilizer strip and topping off the box with new mix, than replanting the box. They also spoke of a newer way of laying the fertilizer strip depending on what your planting (running the strip vertical instead of horizontally when planning just two plants) They say this has proven to provide a slightly better growth for the two plants. Mr. Winslet also commented that too much has been made of trying to find the perfect fertilizer, that just about any good fertilizer will work, he stressed the biggest mistake he sees people make is laying the strip and planting the plants so that the two are too close together, he said the fertilizer strip should be as far away from the plants as possible. Had a great visit and picked up everything I needed to get going again. He also has great deals on plants ready to be planed, nice and small roots so a very small "X" need only be cut in the cover instead of trying to get a bigger root ball through the cover.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:21:56 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, BRC. This user is located in Tampa Bay, Florida Zone 9B. This was originally posted on September 13, 2009.

If it was the older gentleman you spoke with his name is Blake Whisenant...!!

Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:26:27 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, dancing lemons. This user is located in Richmond VA Zone 7+. This was originally posted on September 13, 2009.

davejung,

Thanks for the report on your visit.  I planted many of my boxes this year with the fertilizer strip in the middle across the box vertically and not down the long side.  My tomatoes are very vigorous.  I cant remember who posted (last year) that Blake puts his fertilizer strip this way for tomato plants but I got the idea from this forum and it worked great!!

DL
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:28:26 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Maybe someone can help me answer this question I have about wicking devices here?  I made some self watering containers utilizing 5 gallon buckets and 3 1/2 gallon buckets, one fits into the other leaving a nice size reservoir, I used pond basket for the wicking devices, problem is the pond basket bottom does not touch the bottom of the outter bucket, there is about an inch or so below the bottom of the pond basket to the bottom of the outer bucket, will that be a problem for me?  Im planting tomatoes in them this Spring?
joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:30:15 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

That will not be a problem until the water in the reservoir drops below the basket.  That is why the EB is so brilliant.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:31:36 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, weedbreeder. This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Would it be effective to cut a hole in the bottom of the pond basket large enough to take a plastic drinking cup? Cut off the bottom so the lip of the cup sits in the hole and the cut portion rests on the bottom of the bucket. Cut slits in the cup vertically at 0, 45. 180, and 315 degrees (this idea stolen from the internet). Stuff the mix all the way to the bottom.

Jim
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:32:21 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Jim:  The reason I used the pond basket is it looked a little more sturdy than the plastic cup. LOL  I will be watering them at least once or twice a day with them holding my toms in them.   I just noticed though, that the EBs wicking device and the GPs both go all the way to the bottom and mine missed it by just an inch.  The pond basket is five incher and its about six inches from the top of the bottom bucket to the bottom of the bottom bucket for the reservoir.  It gave me a bigger reservoir using a 3 1/2 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon bucket than using two 5 gallon buckets with the same pond basket, as that time the pond basket came up out of the it rested in about 1/2 an inch or so.

I did notice that people said the wicking device had to touch the bottom of the bottom bucket for good wicking and it kind of worried me?  I got 50 of these things made.


joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:33:36 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, weedbreeder. This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Im confused. Didnt you say the pond basket doesnt touch the bottom? If so, what structural support could it be providing the screen?

     Also, if the screen is an inner  bucket, it probably doesnt need any support. Its only about 10" or so diameter at the bottom and stiffened by the bottom rim. The plastic cup is just to provide a "chute" to the bottom sos to have medium all the way to the bottom of the outer bucket and not dissipate (re-read gardendocs reply below).

     However way you decide to go, good luck. Fifty buckets! Wow. Don't forget to post some pictures when things get rolling.

Jim

Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:35:08 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 15, 2009.

Jim:  I wish I could figure out the way to post pics, I have a lot of them to share; but, its so time consuming trying to figure it out.  Ive never been good with computers unfortunately, and have tried many times.  Im planning on building a staking system around the buckets and self watering drip system hooked up to a timer also.  Im retired so have the time to spend hours dreaming up these ideas and then trying to put them on paper.  I was trying to figure out how far apart to space the buckets from one another.  Most of the tomatoes I'm putting in them will be beefsteak types, and spreaders.  I was thinking about pinching some of them at the top to encourage them to spread out instead of up, that being the case I've not decided the spacing between the buckets yet.  I figure it should be at least 1 1/2 ft away from each other if not 3.  Any ideas?
joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:36:31 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, weedbreeder. This was originally posted on December 15, 2009.

Joy, I cant help you there. Sorry. There's a ton of experience on this site, and I'm sure you'll get your question answered.
Jim
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:37:17 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 15, 2009.

Jim:  That's ok, will have the answer before the time comes.  Today my shed is getting shelves and Ill be able to hook up some T-5 lighting in there, a heater or window a/c when I'm done complete with a potting bench.  Who says you can only grow tomatoes in the Spring/Summer?   Right? LOL
joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:38:38 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on February 26, 2010.

  What is gif?  MWS?  What?  Confused here; but that shouldn't surprise anyone right? 

My shed is complete; but my potting stand and other stuff isn't, I chose to get green fiberglass instead to build a greenhouse with out of wood, green fiberglass sides, a glass and aluminum door, and clear fiberglass top with air vents.  Just waiting for my friend to find the time to build it for me, hopefully this weekend?  I have to seriously think about repotting up my tomato plants they are getting rather tall and all I have are fluorescent lights right now.  Keeping them under the fluorescents for 16-19 hours a day to assure they are getting a little light anyways and have the lights almost on top of them.  The T-5 lights are much better, they will come next year I hope.
joy 
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:40:56 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, odyhill. This user is located in SRQ, FL, Zone 9/10. This was originally posted on August 14, 2010.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Maybe someone can help me answer this question I have about wicking devices here?  I made some self watering containers utilizing 5 gallon buckets and 3 1/2 gallon buckets, one fits into the other leaving a nice size reservoir, I used pond basket for the wicking devices, problem is the pond basket bottom does not touch the bottom of the outer bucket, there is about an inch or so below the bottom of the pond basket to the bottom of the outer bucket, will that be a problem for me?  Im planting tomatoes in them this Spring?
joy

Joy last year I had 2 grape tomato plants in 2- 5 gallon buckets and they did unbelievable. here was my design for the earth buckets. I went to Walmart and bought 2 food strainers that measured 10 inches in dia., cut the handles off of them and tipped them upside down in the 5 gal bucket, I drilled a 3/8" overflow hole in the bucket 4" up from the bottom took a 1" pvc pipe and cut an angle on it just enough for this fill tube not to rip the strainer set the pipe in against the edge of the bucket and rotated it till the angle on the pipe set on the strainer, then poured in the dirt, mixed with the granulated lime, fertilized with a ring around the inside edge of the bucket, then cut a hole in the bottom of a shopping bag that fit the fill tube and slid the bag down over the whole thing, cut an "X" in the middle of the stretched bag and planted the mater plant. This only holds about 1 gal of water so it needs to be checked often once the plants get any size to them. I went out there one day and the plant was so loaded a branch had broke off. I had one of these rigs empty so I stuck the broken branch down in the soil in the empty bucket and that thing lived and produced for another month. talk about tough
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:42:42 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cushman350. This was originally posted on August 14, 2010.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, odyhill. This user is located in SRQ, FL, Zone 9/10. This was originally posted on August 14, 2010.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on December 14, 2009.

Maybe someone can help me answer this question I have about wicking devices here?  I made some self watering containers utilizing 5 gallon buckets and 3 1/2 gallon buckets, one fits into the other leaving a nice size reservoir, I used pond basket for the wicking devices, problem is the pond basket bottom does not touch the bottom of the outer bucket, there is about an inch or so below the bottom of the pond basket to the bottom of the outer bucket, will that be a problem for me?  Im planting tomatoes in them this Spring?
joy

Joy last year I had 2 grape tomato plants in 2- 5 gallon buckets and they did unbelievable. here was my design for the earth buckets. I went to Walmart and bought 2 food strainers that measured 10 inches in dia., cut the handles off of them and tipped them upside down in the 5 gal bucket, I drilled a 3/8" overflow hole in the bucket 4" up from the bottom took a 1" pvc pipe and cut an angle on it just enough for this fill tube not to rip the strainer set the pipe in against the edge of the bucket and rotated it till the angle on the pipe set on the strainer, then poured in the dirt, mixed with the granulated lime, fertilized with a ring around the inside edge of the bucket, then cut a hole in the bottom of a shopping bag that fit the fill tube and slid the bag down over the whole thing, cut an "X" in the middle of the stretched bag and planted the mater plant. This only holds about 1 gal of water so it needs to be checked often once the plants get any size to them. I went out there one day and the plant was so loaded a branch had broke off. I had one of these rigs empty so I stuck the broken branch down in the soil in the empty bucket and that thing lived and produced for another month. talk about tough

If I had buckets, Id have clear hose from Lowes and set it up with a mother container, tank, rainbarrel? with a siphon line to every fill tube. Keep momma full, the rest is history.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:43:48 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on August 15, 2010.

Some of the people on this one web site is buying plastic colanders from a dollar store and doing just that, and I understand that the Dollar Tree sells a bundle of hair caps used to keep your hair dry for mulch covers you get like 12 for a $1. 


I had both my five gallon self watering containers (I have 40 of them) and my EBs and GPs all hooked up to a drip system where I turn my faucet on and these small drip hoses all go into the water fill tubes, takes about 7 minutes to fill them all. LOL 

I'm working on a cross between a greenhouse and hoophouse now to cover all of them and then cover that greenhouse/hoophouse with bug screen, the thing will have a door and window, so that should help with bugs this next summer, I'm making it out of PVC pipe. 
joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:45:54 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, baileyj. This user is located in Zone 7A---Annapolis, Maryland. This was originally posted on November 13, 2010.

Joy, 
I know you posted on other more recent threads but I have a question about this thread.

How did your non-EBs work out?  You said you had a 3.5 gal within a 5 gallon container with the pond screen. Was the growing area enough with the 3 gallon inner bucket?  What did you grow in the 3 gallon and how much fertilizer did you use?

I was planning to make Global buckets to supplement my EBs  with 2-5 gallon containers for berries etc...but if I could use a smaller inner bucket I could have twice as many. 

Did you try the strainer in the bottom of a 5 gallon?  I may try that on one to see how it works, I am not sure if it would wick the same way, but worth a try.  I have 12 buckets I am ready to set up, with all these ideas I need to just start.  Lucky/unfortunately for me I am in Maryland and my season is ended so I can read/investigate the options and hope to be ready with new plans for Spring.

Also what is a GP?
Thanks, Judi
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 02, 2017, 11:51:29 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, baileyj. This user is located in Zone 7A---Annapolis, Maryland. This was originally posted on November 13, 2010.

Joy,
Thank you so much for the details..
Judi

Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:20:49 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Perky. This post was located in Bedford, VA; USDA Zone 7A. This was originally posted on November 14, 2010..

Joy,

I'm usually pretty good at figuring out and following written instructions / directions, but I have to tell you your description of how to put together your self-water bucket(s) has me stumped and/or confused!

If I read it correctly the 5 gallon bucket goes INSIDE the 3 1/2 gallon bucket (and the plant goes in the 5 gallon bucket)?     And for the life of me I couldn't figure out into which bucket the hole for the watering tube went.   

Maybe you could pretty please un-confuse me?!!??

Thanks,
Linda
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:23:04 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Perky. This post was located in Bedford, VA; USDA Zone 7A. This was originally posted on November 14, 2010..

Joy,

I'm usually pretty good at figuring out and following written instructions / directions, but I have to tell you your description of how to put together your self-water bucket(s) has me stumped and/or confused!

If I read it correctly the 5 gallon bucket goes INSIDE the 3 1/2 gallon bucket (and the plant goes in the 5 gallon bucket)?     And for the life of me I couldn't figure out into which bucket the hole for the watering tube went.   

Maybe you could pretty please un-confuse me?!!??

Thanks,
Linda

Quote
I traced the upper part of the pond basket on the 5 gallon bucket in the center of the bucket bottom and then traced the PVC pipe hole using the PVC pipe to get the right size hole, then I used a jig saw to cut the two holes out.

Sounds like the 5 gal bucket is inside the 3.5 gal bucket. The 5 gal has the pond basket hole and the water tube hole plus drainage/aeration holes in its bottom. The 3.5 has an overflow hole in its side at the level of the bottom of the 5 gal.

That's what I get from joys instructions anyway.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:24:50 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, joy112854. This user is located in Zone 8B Crestview, Florida (close to Pensacola). This was originally posted on November 14, 2010.

Cushman:  You and me thinks a like. 
joy
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:28:37 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, writeone. This user is located in Orlando, FL; Zone 9B. This was originally posted on March 19, 2011.

When tipping the box to remove water, a movers dolly is perfect and allows one to do it solo if necessary. Its also great for transporting the box distances more than a couple feet or so.

http://littlebitmoving.com/moving-dolly/ for photo of the style dolly.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:33:03 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cushman350. This was originally posted on March 19, 2011.

Back when I messed with rubbermaid clones I had a very large one on this type of dolly, Habor Freight, very reasonable.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:35:27 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, baileyj. This user is located in
Zone 7A--- Annapolis, Maryland. This was originally posted on March 19, 2011.


I can understand the transporting use for the Dolly but for draining ....why do you need a device? 
I just tip it ....now lifting/moving is another animal 
I don't see the problem with the EBs...or are you talking Rubbermaid clones, global buckets etc...I have no experience with those. 

Judi
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:38:34 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, benhuntin. This user is located in Crawfordville, Florida Zone 8b. This was originally posted on March 5, 2012.

I empty all of my containers after the season into a 50 gallon drum with a lid. Its alot of work but I like to wash out my containers after each season.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:40:33 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, oldsarge. This was originally posted March 6, 2012.

SOME OF MY BOXES ARE 6 YEARS OLD OR OLDER. SINCE i LIVE IN TAMPA OUR WINTERS ARENT VERY COLD,EXCEPT FOR LAST YEAR. I DIG OUT THE FERT SOX AND FLUFF THE SOIL ABOUT 4" PUT IN MY ADDITIVES CAP IT AND PLANT. THIS YEAR ONE OF MY OLDEST BOXES SPLIT UP THE SIDE. RIGHT NOW WE ARE REPAIRING IT WITH CAULK AND SHIPPING TAPE. IF IT HOLDS AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT WILL, I WILL START IT LIKE A NEW BOX.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:44:41 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, seansmum. This user is located in Queensbury, NY. Zone 4-5. This was originally posted on March 6, 2012.

Sarge,
I doubt it was the cold temperatures unless you didnt drain some of the water to allow for expansion. We have frequent temperatures below zero here and I have never had a problem.
Sue
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:46:31 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, movrshakr. This user is located in Zone 10a- near Cape Canaveral. This was originally posted on March 6, 2012.

He lives in  Tampa--very rare freezing, so no expansion problem due to that.
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:49:14 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist the EarthBox Hero Member, Kathy. This user is located in The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on March 6, 2012.

I just had to chuckle at this thread...it goes all over the place, from soil wicking to home made planters to moving full containers and throw in some winterization, guess that didnt "bug" any one?
Title: Re: Soil Wicking Question for Second Year EB's
Post by: EarthBoxAdmin on June 05, 2017, 08:52:30 am
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, peter_fla_usa. This was originally posted on February 6, 2014.

Wicking always ok. Keep a cover on always.. clear plastic  hot summertime solarize. Keeps weed seeds out. Wash the mix sometimes like the idea of using 2-3 tbs. vinegar per gallon for the wash.