Thinking about the EarthTainer

ligreenthumb(7 LI, NY)February 27, 2011

I have done OK with gardening in pots over the past few years and am excited to try out EarthTainers this year to improve yield and quality. My first priority are tomatoes, but I have a number of other crops also ready to go. I have some questions/thoughts for the other enthusiasts out there, so thanks in advance for your help/info!

1) In ver 3.1 of the EarthTainer build, I like the idea of the pea fencing but I was unclear how many of the pea fences actually need to be purchased to make a single EarthTainer. Could someone please clarify? If I were to purchase from Gurneys, for example, how many items would I need (knowing that 1 item=2 sections) for each 'Tainer?

2) Has anyone integrated compost or other more natural nutrient mixtures instead of the chem fertilizers into the grow medium?

3) I don't recall any discussion about rotating the EarthTainers. In the past I have turned my pots from time to time so that the plant grows healthy on all sides. Is this necessary or feasible with the EarthTainer?

4) If I need to put the 'Tainers on a concrete slab, any thoughts about what type of insulation would be best to reduce the heat-transfer during the peak summer months? Along these lines, has anyone measured water and/or growth medium temp throughout the season?

5) Has anyone observed mineral buildup or nutrient diffusion into the water reservoir from the grow medium? (I may check this myself during the season as part of my experimentation.)

6) I believe 2 tomato plants/'Tainer are the recommendation, but what happens with more or less plants? What other crops have been tried successfully, and how do the number of plants/'Tainer change?

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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I have done OK with gardening in pots over the past few years and am excited to try out EarthTainers this year to improve yield and quality. My first priority are tomatoes, but I have a number of other crops also ready to go. I have some questions/thoughts for the other enthusiasts out there, so thanks in advance for your help/info!

1) In ver 3.1 of the EarthTainer build, I like the idea of the pea fencing but I was unclear how many of the pea fences actually need to be purchased to make a single EarthTainer. Could someone please clarify? If I were to purchase from Gurneys, for example, how many items would I need (knowing that 1 item=2 sections) for each 'Tainer?

That's correct. Gurney's has a funny way of identifying something as an "Offer". To make the base cage and the extension cage, you need 2 sections per EarthTainer, which equates to one "Offer". Be sure to use the 50% off coupon at the link referenced in the Guide.

2) Has anyone integrated compost or other more natural nutrient mixtures instead of the chem fertilizers into the grow medium?

I would avoid adding in Compost, as this will cut down on the necessary aeration of the roots. Stick with the 3:2:1 Combo Mix recommended in the Guide, as well as you will get suggestions re: Al's 5:1:1 Mix.

3) I don't recall any discussion about rotating the EarthTainers. In the past I have turned my pots from time to time so that the plant grows healthy on all sides. Is this necessary or feasible with the EarthTainer?

Yep, Werever possible, I rotate the 'Tainers in the Summer at 6 week intervals. It's called: "The 'Tainer Tango"!!!

4) If I need to put the 'Tainers on a concrete slab, any thoughts about what type of insulation would be best to reduce the heat-transfer during the peak summer months? Along these lines, has anyone measured water and/or growth medium temp throughout the season?

Use a piece of wood or other material to provide an amount of isolation from the concrete. The dual wall in the new design acts somewhat like a Thermos Bottle, which will help.

5) Has anyone observed mineral buildup or nutrient diffusion into the water reservoir from the grow medium? (I may check this myself during the season as part of my experimentation.)

Yep. That is why I recommend the Clearex treatment found on the last page of the Guide.

6) I believe 2 tomato plants/'Tainer are the recommendation, but what happens with more or less plants? What other crops have been tried successfully, and how do the number of plants/'Tainer change?

In addition to tomatoes, I've grown Eggplant, cukes, corn, Snow Peas, Peppers, carrots, - - just about anything does well in them.

Raybo

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:40PM
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