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Old December 10, 2017   #151
dmforcier
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<lol> I could believe that my plants thought my watering wand was magic.

Perhaps you can start with with one wick in the reservoir and insert others as the season goes on (get them in the soil now). A small feed backed up by hand watering is reasonable.

I still worry that you have (if I read you correctly above) a moisture meter that you don't trust.

Also, I'm not entirely clear on the drainage of your tubs. Are they sealed below? or will excess water drain through?
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Old December 10, 2017   #152
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Hi...I have been out to the growers and here is what I have found out that they used on the Plants I bought (In Photos) ...They Used what they sell as Big Red Tomato Mix and it has Big Red Tomato Food in it ..and I bought 1kg of Big Red Tomato Food...Plus a bag of the Tomato Mix to Try out either on some new Seedlings or Topping up some of my present plants...I would really appreciate an opinion on this especially the Big Red Tomato Food NPK as I would like to try out both products........Thanks Ron
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Old December 10, 2017   #153
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Have you tested how much your media will act as a wick all by itself? You may not even need the rag, if you just let part of the media touch the moisture. I know that a 5-gallon bucket, when placed in a consistent inch or so of water will wick that water all the way to the top of the media. It would be an interesting control for your experiments if you just bottom-watered one of your bins. You wouldn't maintain a completely consistent moisture level, but I would theorize that the plant wouldn't care. And if so, it would save you some work not having to make wicks.

Good luck with all your experiments. That's what makes gardening fun to me - not knowing exactly how things will turn out. Predictability is boring.
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Old December 10, 2017   #154
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Hi ..So I have a few small plants some at the stage they could be transplanted....Now the larger plants in the photo below..Could they be transplanted safely into the Big Red Tomato mix just purchased..... Thanks Ron
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Old December 10, 2017   #155
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Hi..Thats about it ....I have lost my scissors which I presume are buried with one of my new plants and I think I might have made progress..I now have plenty of water but its windy and cold...back to normal summer...cheers Ron
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Old December 10, 2017   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
<lol> I could believe that my plants thought my watering wand was magic.

Perhaps you can start with with one wick in the reservoir and insert others as the season goes on (get them in the soil now). A small feed backed up by hand watering is reasonable.

I still worry that you have (if I read you correctly above) a moisture meter that you don't trust.

Also, I'm not entirely clear on the drainage of your tubs. Are they sealed below? or will excess water drain through?
Hi...Yes I think one wick is enough in fact if the material cuts i could try 1/2 a wick and then 1/2 wick one on both sides...I can see the water in the soil ..where its darkened..
Its not that i do not trust the moisture reader..i cannot figure out how to use them and I have two of them...I must try and get them both figured out ...
Re Drainage .. Last year I put wiper cloth in the bottom of the drums to stop soil falling through ...This year I used River stones in the bottom outer gaps with a cut piece of Stainless Steel pot scrub in the centre hole so drainage is no problem ..The lowest point of the soil would be about 3-4 inches off the ground ...THe drum is sitting on a white plastic base which is attached to the bowl ..
I see the city Council is starting to use them round town in their flower displays but they paint them bright Yellow... I must get a picture... Cheers Ron
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Old December 11, 2017   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Have you tested how much your media will act as a wick all by itself? You may not even need the rag, if you just let part of the media touch the moisture. I know that a 5-gallon bucket, when placed in a consistent inch or so of water will wick that water all the way to the top of the media. It would be an interesting control for your experiments if you just bottom-watered one of your bins. You wouldn't maintain a completely consistent moisture level, but I would theorize that the plant wouldn't care. And if so, it would save you some work not having to make wicks.

Good luck with all your experiments. That's what makes gardening fun to me - not knowing exactly how things will turn out. Predictability is boring.
Hi...Time goes so fast ..I think it was 3 seasons ago when everything turned bad on me ..Everything was diseased ...Now the previous season to that My plants ( in planter bags ) were sitting on a slab of polystyrene in a plastic or polystyrene tray ...the slab of polystyrene had a capillary cloth on it that drew water from the tray which I regulary filled but never cleaned cause basicly it was too difficult and the plants would no doubt get damaged ...Now things went not too bad so I carried on with the same the next season and everything went really bad and after getting no help here locally except from two people who both had opposite views (one too much the other not enough of water)so thats when I joined Tomatoville seeking help...Then later I began to suspect that my under watering was not a good idea and was basicly creating all my problems ...It took me a while to accept this...Then I dumped the useage of planter bags but even at the start of last season when I started using drums ...I put them in steel trays and watered the trays and had wicks feeding the soil but I realised something was happening again and lifted the drums out of the trays and put them on the concrete ...You see I was manually watering from above also which was going through the soil into the same tray I was putting fresh water into so It was IMO just a continuous of the breeding of diseases I had the previous season.....So thats when I thought of watering above somehow with fresh water and got rid of watering from underneath completely..I now clean my greenhouse with an electrolux and although I continually think if my Ideas are wrong I still think my drum method is a really healthy way to grow Tomatoes and now that I think I have the wicking solved from a reservoir that is actually part of the drum...I am getting more convinced than ever...Of course I am not advocating wicking as a complete answer ...To me its a method to free up time between the 7-10 day period when fertilisers are applied ....It may well be that the reservoirs do not not handle enough water to get through the period of that long but I do know that underwatering is far better than overwatering having seen a planter bag burst open on moving when it had been sitting on a capillary cloth ....Even then looking back ..I never caught on that basicly my plants in planter bags were basicly swimming in soil watered from a capillary cloth.....Cheers Ron
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Old December 11, 2017   #158
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I would wait a week before you transplanted your seedlings. It will be much easier on both you and the plants once the roots fill the pots nicely and can hold the soil.
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Old December 11, 2017   #159
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Ron, I think you're on the right track about watering. At worst, let the plants tell you when they want more water and you'll get a feel for the rhythm and requirements.

Now, let's turn to the amount of light that they're getting. How many hours of direct sunlight are the plants in the greenhouse getting? You have a roof over them: how transparent is it? Glass, plastic, frosted?
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Old December 11, 2017   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Ron, I think you're on the right track about watering. At worst, let the plants tell you when they want more water and you'll get a feel for the rhythm and requirements.

Now, let's turn to the amount of light that they're getting. How many hours of direct sunlight are the plants in the greenhouse getting? You have a roof over them: how transparent is it? Glass, plastic, frosted?
Hi..The roof is corrigated Fibre Glass Most is clear but there is a part frosty sheet but its on the south side and the sun starts to the south east about 6.30am..then travels north in an arc til it sets around 9.30pm in the south west..I took sunlight into consideration when I built it and its the best I could do......The roof is slanted with glass on the East ,North and west sides especially to get the sunlight...I still have the bubble wrap on the south side and on part of the northern wall where it just cannot get sun.....I have often thought of reflecting the sun across my greenhouse from the south side???

I have just removed the soil from the top of two drums ....and heaped the soil in each drum up around the stem creating an outer halo for soil to be added without touching the stem ....I then mixed 1/2 the soil w perlite in it in a bucket with basicly the same amount of the new BIG RED Tomato Mix...and mixed them together and put it around the plants replacing what I took out plus more to bring the soil level up higher...My idea is to try and transfer some "green" over ????? I watered it in and now I just wait and see if anything happens..If I see no harmfull reaction and they look positive i will do more the same way...as there is still time to do this...
I still have 10 seedlings as a backup and will put them in Big Red Tomato mix also and see it it brings positive growth....
I Think the two plants pictured look not too bad but wait till next season when my seedlings will get the growth treatment...??????

Regards Ron
PS If anybody recognises the leaf please let me know ..Both were in the Seedlings tray i knocked over and i have to wait til they grow before I can attempt to work out what variety they are..I do have a list of what were in the tray on my computer...

Last edited by murihikukid; December 11, 2017 at 10:28 PM.
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Old December 12, 2017   #161
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Well yeah, this is the height of summer. The sun is over the horizon for 15 hours a day. But you can't seriously claim that your plants are getting 15 hours. There's things in the way, like trees and houses. Would you claim 12 hours? (That's quite a lot, actually.)

Anyone know what the attenuation of fiberglass panels is?
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Old December 13, 2017   #162
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Hi..OK I am no photographer but here are 4 shots of the Sun at 7 50pm taken within a couple of minutes at different positions..in relationship to my greenhouse ...Of course it is daylight saving time here...i cannot recall whether the clocks go back or forward ...it never worries me.. I do not have to get up and milk cows...???
now the Sun has arced around from the east so its position at 6.30 - 7am will be basicly at the same position but on the other side ..IE the east side if that makes sense...
I have been adding soil mix to "my plants" (not the bought ones ) which hopefully will perk them up .....I have now forgotten what I was wanting to add to my message and the reason for the edit... Sorry ?? goodness knows what I will be like in a years time...

REgards Ron
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File Type: jpg 7.50pm Sun_2017-12-13_195854.jpg (134.0 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg 7.50pm Sun_2017-12-13_200048.jpg (140.9 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg 7.50pm Sun_2017-12-13_200247.jpg (100.8 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg 7.50pm Sun_2017-12-13_200448.jpg (73.1 KB, 54 views)

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Old December 13, 2017   #163
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Hi..9.30pm ...still light enough to work ??...But i am banned from the greenhouse..Cheers Marley (4 legs)

PS..I finally remembered..I was going to tell you I cut a piece of my Jolly Tie Material down the middle and put a piece either side cause I still felt an uncut piece either side was supplying too much so will see how it goes ...It must surely be close to the minimum...i wonder what an ideal amount of water a day would keep a plant happy ...300 - 330ml ????....I should have a good idea in a couple of months.....I presume i could work it roughly out by weighing the drum every day?? Removing the top soil from each drum and replacing it is giving me some idea and there is no sign of it being too wet or too dry so I think I am getting close to a suitable wicking amount of water..I am hoping that the new soil may just change the colour slightly to a darker green but no matter what... thats enough cause I think they are looking better every day ....
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File Type: jpg 9.30pm still light_2017-12-13_213634.jpg (119.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg Marley_2017-12-13_213444.jpg (47.4 KB, 52 views)

Last edited by murihikukid; December 13, 2017 at 05:44 AM.
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Old December 13, 2017   #164
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You don't let Marley in the greenhouse? Then he can't help you garden (Minnie's favorite thing). And how do you expect him to catch mouses?
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Old December 13, 2017   #165
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Hi..He is huge and might damage the plants....Meantime I may be able to upgrade my greenhouse ...i see a number of Glass Sliding doors on auction locally ...I have not seen any for ages so will wait and see how the bidding goes...Today is a rest day as I have to wait for new Big Red Tomato mix soil to arrive tomorrow (1/2 a metre) Cheers Ron
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