container design

jimnburlJanuary 20, 2013

Good evening. I hope someone can answer my questions, as there seems to be something I don't understand about DIY self-watering buckets.
The reason I want buckets is simple. They allow me to grow plants of markedly different requirements as to pH, fertility and drainage right next to each other. So I'm very, very interested in the self-watering bucket idea. What I can't understand is this idea of cutting a hole in one bucket (or liner) to insert a net pot or cup with slits, then allowing a half-inch air gap above the water level to air-prune the roots. And the reason I can't understand it is this: plants grow in the ground. There is no air-pruning in the ground. It seems that roots will enter the net cup anyway, and spread sideways into the water reservoir. So why the air gap? Jim

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I don't grow in self watering containers, but I have read about them and found the idea intriguing. One version that's popular on gardenweb is Raybo's Earthtainer, which I've linked to below. In that set up you use landscape fabric to prevent the roots from escaping the upper chamber. The net pot is filled with mix that touches the upper chamber and acts as a wick, but the fabric doesn't let the roots get through.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raybo's Earthtainer

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:50PM
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