chuck(Z10,SW FL)May 31, 2012

I just ordered some nursery pots, 2 gallon.

Having been using some homemade self watering containers:

I want to try and devise a trough system where I can set the blow-mold pots and bottom water them using a closed system that will recirculate the water every hour or so bottom flooding the pots and sealing up the tops of the pots to prevent evaperation. I am thinking that if I drill holes into a 1/2 inch pvc pipe and that will send jets of water to the screened bottom holes of the pots, the aireated water will provide suffucuent oxeygen for the plants. The run off will flow down the trough to a catch basin for recycling after an interval of perhaps an hour or so, what ever works out best. I expect that the potting mix will have to be pretty course, it will need to be capable of draining fast. The whole idea is to conserve water. I expect to have around 50 to 80 pots in use. It is a little like a bottom flood hydroponic system, but since I plan to transplant the plants when they out grow the 2 gallon pots, I need them to be ready for soil growth, not hydroponic growth.

I am wondering if diotenatious earth would be better than the baked clay products like oil-dry. I plan to cut a 3 inch hole in the bottom of the pots and line it with weed barrier material for good water and air flow.

It's going to be a pretty good project, so I thought that I would solicit some ideas and comments. The pots should be delivered in a few days, but the seedlings are not going to be ready for a while. I'm using soil blocks for propigation.

The picture shows a few 3 inch soil blocks made with a home made form:

but I have a commercial 2X2 inch soil block maker on order that makes 4 blocks at a time. The crop is going to be hot peppers. Thanks, chuck

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I think you'll clog your PVC pipe holes if you squirt the water through the soil and pump it back through the pipes.

That trough system sounds a lot like what some folks call a gutter garden? I hear nice things about them, but I'm not sure if folks bother with pumps or airstones (I think the water is used fairly rapidly and doesn't really have much of a chance to get nasty).

You could still do the air stone/oxygenated water thing with the gutters, if you wanted.

As to the idea of transplanting...A fellow on youtube that has a wonderful garden swears about using grow bags instead of containers. He prefers cutting the bag off rather than trying to handle/remove a 1 or 2 gallon root ball from a pot.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:03AM
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chuck(Z10,SW FL)

I decided to try using a pvc 2X3 inch rain gutter down spot tube as a resevoir.

I'll probably space the pots further apart if this system works well.

I drilled 3/4" holes spaced out to match the center hole of the pots, and used old white socks for the wicking . I poked about half down into thetube and pulled the other half up through the pot.

I made the stabilizing stakes long enough to use for tieing off the pepper plants when they grow tall. I will probably widen out the spacing some if this system works out.

Half of a sock is inserted through the hole into the tube.

The top half is poked up into the pot and rolled up into a bun.

The pots are secured to the tube by running wire through the base holes of the pot to drywall screws set into the 2X3 inch wood support below the tube.

Some 1X2 wood is used to stabilize the pots.

The 10 foot PVC down spout will hold 11 pots, and the capacity is around 5 to 6 gallons of water.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:19PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

seems like a lot of work when your going to move them again
" I plan to transplant the plants when they out grow the 2 gallon pots, I need them to be ready for soil growth, not hydroponic growth."
seems like adding an unneeded step,but its your time
do you realize how big a pepper can get in a 2 gallon container ?

wishing you luck and keep posting

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:52AM
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chuck(Z10,SW FL)

So far, it's going OK

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:55AM
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Posted by dickiefickle 5B Dousman,Wi. (My Page) on Wed, Jun 6, 12 at 1:52

"do you realize how big a pepper can get in a 2 gallon container ? "

Here is a plant grown in a #2 nursey pot-1.7 gal about.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:24AM
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