Earthtainer Cost Saving Ideas?

J.PinterSeptember 18, 2011

I'm thinking about building some earthtainers for the spring, but the cost of building one from all new materials had me looking for some ideas about making them cheaper and possibly sturdier.

I'm thinking I could reduce the cost by not cutting apart another rubber tote to make the 'base' and supports that hold the soil above the reservoir, which seems like a potential potential point of failure. I like the idea of using short sections of PVC pipe or conduit stood on their end as supports for the soil platform, but I'm not sure what to use as the platform itself.

At first I thought about galvanized steel for the 'base' since it's pretty resilient while still being easy to fabricate with the power tools I have available, but I worry about zinc leeching in constant contact with the reservoir.

Have you been down this road before? Do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear them.


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wertach zone 7-B SC

Use 5 gallon buckets. Mother Earth News has a good article on how to do it. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mother Earth News

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:30AM
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wertach, Thanks for that link! Reading it now, looks like that might be just what I'm looking for.

Slightly off topic: Has anybody had reasonable success growing watermelon in containers? I was thinking about giving 'Moon & Stars' a shot when spring rolls around, but the info I've found seems kind of inconclusive about how practical it is.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:12AM
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high density polyethylene (HDPE) is what i use for the soil bench. and you can grow watermelon in a swc.
this is one of my (motherbox). first year in the experimental stages.
pumpkin plant two months ago.

pumpkin three weeks ago.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:32AM
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terrybull, That pumpkin is amazing!

Do you find your HDPE anywhere special?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:59AM
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i got mine from farmtek and i used 1/4 inch thick. you could get by with 1/8 inch for a smaller container. there are alot of other places that sell it in smaller sheets. just do a search. farmtek calls it polymax.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:05AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

You could usw a tin can with both ends cut out in place of the PVC to holr the bench

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:01PM
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"but I'm not sure what to use as the platform itself"

Do a further search for self watering containers or SWC.

You can cut out most of the lid center to fit in the container and support it on 5-6 lengths of 3" diameter pvc. This will make a single wall SWC. There are several other successfull variations using one container and the lid.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:33AM
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