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Self Watering containers?  Toplef10Self Watering containers?  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Self Watering containers?  I22gcj10Self Watering containers?  14dhcg10

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Self Watering containers?  Empty Self Watering containers?

Post  OldCrow 9/25/2020, 12:14 pm

Hello Everyone, 
My wife and I will be out of town for a couple weeks late Oct. And I have two pepper plants and 3 tomato plants in 2gal HomeDepot buckets with MM. They are very productive and I'd love to keep them going all winter!
In Maine they are indoor plants and I've been looking at self watering as a solution to keep them through 2 weeks. 

The issue is that I've just been growing them in normal buckets with a couple drain holes. Every video say to use a "wicking" extension into a water reservoir. But to make that setup requires new plantings. I can't imagine transplanting mature plants. 

This MM is highly absorbent, so what would happen just setting a bucket in a 1-2 inch trough filled with water?  Would the MM over absorb and choke the plants? Is the wick the regulating part of the puzzle? Am I just SOL Sad 
Thanks for your thoughts
OldCrow
OldCrow
OldCrow

Posts : 45
Join date : 2020-05-09
Location : Mid Coast Maine 5a

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Post  OhioGardener 9/25/2020, 1:06 pm

Don't know how successful it would be for you, but when we are going to be gone for an extended period of time I make wicking system for our houseplants.  I buy a wick from Hobby Lobby that is designed for making oil lamps and such. I use a stick to push one end of the wick down into the planter next to the roots of the plant, then hang the other end of the wick into a small bucket or bowl that is approximately the same height as the planter and fill it with water. The soil in the planter will pull water out of the wick as it is needed and keep the plant happy.

You could probably do the same thing by placing a 5 gallon bucket between two plants in their bucket, push a wick into the planter next to the roots of the plant, and drape the wick into the 5-gallon bucket of water.

Just remember the two most popular sayings of us engineers:

1. There, that should work.
2. Well, that should have worked.

____________________________

Never plant without a bucket of compost at your side.
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Location : SW Ohio

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Post  OldCrow 9/25/2020, 1:30 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Don't know how successful it would be for you, but when we are going to be gone for an extended period of time I make wicking system for our houseplants.  I buy a wick from Hobby Lobby that is designed for making oil lamps and such. I use a stick to push one end of the wick down into the planter next to the roots of the plant, then hang the other end of the wick into a small bucket or bowl that is approximately the same height as the planter and fill it with water. The soil in the planter will pull water out of the wick as it is needed and keep the plant happy.

You could probably do the same thing by placing a 5 gallon bucket between two plants in their bucket, push a wick into the planter next to the roots of the plant, and drape the wick into the 5-gallon bucket of water.

Just remember the two most popular sayings of us engineers:

1. There, that should work.
2. Well, that should have worked.
WOW GREAT IDEA!! That's the old K.I.S.S principle at work! And there is a HobbyLobby only 27miles away. Which in this corner of the world is close. 

I'm a retired EE from building Manned Flight Simulators. Never heard that "saying" but certainly heard those words many, many times  Very Happy
OldCrow
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Location : Mid Coast Maine 5a

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Post  OldCrow 10/21/2020, 1:38 pm

Hello OhioGardener, 
Thought I'd give you an update on that wicking trick. WORKS GREAT!

I've wicked 3 tomato and 2 pepper they are all in 2gal buckets. I got 12ft of 3/4" lamp oil wick for $6 from Amazon. 

I then cut up 12"-16" long pieces and soaked the wicking material for a day. Then I pushed half in to the bucket's soil with a 1/2" square stick and then dipped the other half in to empty cashew nut container(about 1.5qt) of water. 

At first my bell pepper started sucking well. But the other not so much. I puzzled for a day or two then decided my wicking holes I'd made were too large. So I got a long slot screwdriver with a 1/4" square shank and tried the 5 not wicking in a new hole. Now everybody is drinking strongly  Very Happy  

Oh and other good new is the banana pepper plant I'd despaired over being spider mite infested, has started spouting new leaves!! cheers I had just kept the soil damp after literally cutting it back to a 6" stub. 
Our trip has been cut back to 1 week so I think I'm good as I've already not watered these guys for the past week and they are look good. 

So again THANK YOU  OG for that great trick. 
OC
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