Author Topic: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct  (Read 302 times)

JB

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Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« on: May 23, 2020, 01:05:34 am »
Greetings all,

I'm a returning member after a 5 year break due to being away during much of the summer. I looked at the 3-part Earthbox video of Blake setting up the Earthbox and explaining the system--as a refresher.  I saw him and "Dorothy" dump the potting mix into the box after putting some water in the reservoir), pack the corners and press the mix into the water to start the wicking, then mix in the dolomite and do the rest. Never once did they add any water to moisten the mix. They dumped it in right out of the bag. So.... I thought, gee, maybe I'd been doing it wrong all those years back. I did wet the mix slightly, because I just couldn't see putting it in right out of the bag like they did--it went against my grain having seen the word spongy...and I saw the written instructions said "moist" media (though no info about how to moisten, no images of water or hoses in any instructions) but my boxes overall were fairly dry. I planted my tomatoes and watered from the top down. That part is nice and moist.

After worrying about this for a couple of days, I decided that the video just had to be wrong. Since I'd already done the dolomite, fertilizer, built the mound, planted, taped the cap, I lifted the cap from different angles, and as best I could tried to moisten the mix everywhere. What a mess I made!! I couldn't get all the way to the screen, nor under the fertilizer.

Do you think I may have gotten it moist enough for it to work.... Or... should I recut the slits, take the cap off, take the plants out, try to lift off the top portion that has the dolomite, moisten the bottom part, and then the dolomite part, and put it all back together?  We've gone to some trouble trying to squirrel proof our area (ha!) and I would hate to have gone to all that trouble (and expense, as after 5 years I felt I needed to replace the old mix in the boxes) and then not have the plants grow properly.

So what do you think? If I'm going to do a re-do, I should do it now while the plants are still small. Or... is there a way to know if I got it moist enough so I don't have to take them apart. Is there any chance the wicking will reach the dry areas and moisten it?  Sigh.....

PS, I'm listed as a newbie. Is there anyway to "reinstate" my former status and access old threads? Or perhaps with the platform change, all of those threads are long gone? Happy to see Gardendoc is alive and well  :)  I still have my "snack" in an airtight container!

Many thanks,
JB
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 01:12:34 am by JB »

gardendoc

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Re: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 06:42:28 am »
You'll be OK. Water from the top around the plants so water gets into the mix and keep the reservoir full. The mix will hydrate. And welcome back.
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gardendoc

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Re: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 06:45:20 am »
Here's an EarthBox setup video we shot several years ago, 
https://youtu.be/XpTnMa9S5vQ
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JB

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Re: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 09:14:24 am »
Hi, and thanks for the reply.

I actually did fairly much what was in the video you posted except my fertilizer is lower in the box. I was surprised, in the video, that more water wasn't added to the mix--it seemed fairly fluffy. Based on that video, I think I added enough water, but the curve of my "loaf" is now a little sloppy and not as high, because the moisture brought the level down some. I guess I'll dampen some extra mix I have and build it back up.

JB

Gswoody

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Re: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 12:41:47 pm »
I am having a similar problem! This is my first time using an Earthbox. I followed the directions exactly and watched several videos and didnít wet the growing media first. I keep filling the reservoir until it comes out the overflow, but the dirt under the cover is dry! My tomato plants are wilting!!

gardendoc

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Re: Box set-up, conflicting info, how best to correct
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 06:16:38 pm »
Water around the plant base through the cover holes
Why Google, when you have me?