Need remedy -- air gap problem?? Earth**Box - see text

dancinglemons(7B VA)June 12, 2012

Hello all,

I grow exclusively in containers mostly EarthBox and EarthTainer. I have a question about the air gap between the water reservoir and the potting medium.

I have 2 EarthBoxes which run wet - please no suggestions on a fix as I have done them all over the past two years. A third 'wet' EB was replaced in 2011 by the EarthBox folks. Wish I had known the other 2 would continue to run wet when I asked for the replacement. These EB's are 4 years old so no can use warranty.

I completely emptied the 2 EB's and reassembled them without potting medium to find out if they were defective and found that they have no air gap. DH set them up so they were completely level and we then added the water - level of water was above the screen in both EB's - before it started to go out the overflow hole.

Now here is my solution and/or question. I plan to drill a hole directly under the overflow which will give these WET EB's a proper air gap -and- allow the excess water to ''overflow'' instead of soaking the potting medium. Will giving them an air gap prevent the growing medium from staying extra WET ?? Please refer to the EarthTainer construction guide if you are not familiar with 'air gap'.

Any and all help is appreciated.

Thanks,

DL

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Azinine(7b)

If you drill the new hole in the proper place then I see no reason why it wouldn't solve your problem. The only downside is that the reservoir will hold less water which will call for more frequent refills.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:54AM
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terrybull

sure you can. just measure down a 1/2 inch and drill a 3/8 or 1/2 hole. that will give you a 3/4ish gap. i have done it before on another brand(gadeners supply junk) which didnt come with a overflow hole.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:52AM
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emgardener

Or you could raise the screen with something, blocks of wood, pvc pipe segments, ...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Athenian(USDA 10B/Sunset 22)

I think I would try raising the screen. Can you cut some PVC "legs" to lift it and not lose any water space?

Athena

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 3:12PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks one and all. I will go with the extra drainage hole because I have the automatic watering system in place. I will try to get some photos and at season end will report back.

Cheers,
DL

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 3:35AM
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chuck(Z10,SW FL)

HI DC, you post is quite interesting. I was thinking that an air gap would materialize pretty quickly because the plants will use water thereby causing the level to fall away from the screen in a short time.

The thing to do would be to refrain from adding water until the water level becomes to within an inch of the bottom. Perhaps a small dip stick made from a wood dowel would be handy. If you were to drill a hole about 1 inch from the bottom of the tank and insert a clear plastic tube glued to the outside of the container, you could have a visual water level indicator.

Yes, drilling a lower hole will insure an air-gap. The function of the airgap is to prevent plant roots from growing down into the tank is it not?

Thank you for your post. I intend to follow my own advice and add visual water level indicators to my own self-irrigation containers.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:14AM
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