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Old July 6, 2006   #76
Mantis
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The broad beans are starting to get away.
The clear bottom tub has shown to be not so good as the light getting to the water has lead to algae growth. I will have to keep the light out of them somehow. Dont know if there are any paints that will stick to plastic , or I might have to wrap some cardboard around them or something.
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Old July 6, 2006   #77
garaj
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During the Autumn season of 2004, I set out three Homemade 18 gal self watering containers. They were based on the JMALT, or paint pail wicking design. Two of the boxes were destroyed by hurricanes. The third, planted with an OTV Brandywine and an Ugly produced a total of 232 ounces , or 14.5 lbs.

During the Spring season of 2005, I went with five boxes. Three were of the JMALT design and two were of the JOSHO, or pond basket design. Box no.1, JMALT, planted with a Big Beef and Champion, produced 14.1 lbs. Box no.2, JMALT design,planted with a Champion and a Fourth of July, produced 11.9 lbs. Box no. 3, Josho design, planted with an Early Girl and a failed Andrew Rehart, produced 13.44 lbs. Box no. 4, JMALT design, planted with Ugly and Brandy Boy, produced 13 lbs. Box no. 5, Josho design, planted with Mule team and Sioux, produced 13.9 lbs.

During the Autumn of 2005, I set out seven boxes and planted just one plant per box. Plants were pretty well destroyed by a hurricane on October 24th.

This Spring season, 2006, I reverted to two plants per box. Box no. 1 with OTV Brandywine and Sioux produced 15.2 lbs. Box no. 2 with two Mule Teams, produced 12.3 lbs. Box no. 3, with Brandy Boy and Mortgage Lifter produced 13 lbs. Box no. 4 with two Brandy Boys produced 19.8 lbs. Box no. 5 planted with Red Brandywine(Landis) and Tomande produced 11 lbs.

All boxes were filled with Lamberts potting mix, a cup of dolomite lime, and either two cups of Tomato Tone 4-7-10 or two cups of 6-6-6 fertilizer.

Conclusions thus far: The JMALT and JOSHO designs work equally well. The 6-6-6 fertilizer works as well as the Tomato Tone 4-7-10. Production, less results of Autumn 2005, average out to 13-14 lbs per box. The only positive variance was the 19.8 lbs produced by the Brandy Boys in Box 4 this Spring season. It should be noted that the average production experienced is less than 50% of the 30lbs per Box claimed in ads for store-bought e-Boxes and other commercial types of self-watering containers. Maybe I'm missing something. Garaj
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Old July 6, 2006   #78
feldon30
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Conclusion: Hurricanes are bad for tomato growing!
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Old July 6, 2006   #79
JBinKC
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Mantis, you might try Krylon Paint for Plastic it comes in spray cans and you could then leave a strip unpainted to help see water level.
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Old July 6, 2006   #80
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Mantis,

I am not 100% sure that blocking the light will stop the algae. I don't use clear bottoms, and at the end of the year there is invariably some green sludge in the water reserviour. I don't think it hurts anything, just looks ugly.
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Old July 7, 2006   #81
sirtanon
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It's virtually impossible to stop ALL light from hitting the water, but the more you can cut down on it, the better off you will be ultimately.

Also, even those 'opaque' tubs are not 100% opaque. The dark blue ones still let light through, so even on those, you need to take extra measures.

The best way to do it is actually using a multi-step approach. I've found that using two/three layers of spray-on paint will give you near perfect light stopping ability. 8)

First, if you can get it, a can of spray-on rubberizing black paint, like what you might spray on a bumper. Most walmarts and similar stores have it. it's thick, it's heavy, it works..

If you can't get the black rubberized stuff, then TWO coats of regular black spray paint will do fairly well.. but make sure it's a heavy flat black. It needs to have some thickness to it.

...problem is, it's BLACK which we all know is very bad for the roots in direct sun...which brings me to step 2.

Second, spray with a nice even coat of white or other very light colored paint. This will reflect most light which will both keep the container cooler, as well as reflect much more light than it lets through.

Ultimately, what the white paint doesn't REFLECT will be blocked out by the black paint underneath.

I've even tried it once on the pvc watering tube, but only once as an experiment. Really made a difference.

Give it a go, it's works nicely. 8)

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Old July 7, 2006   #82
tylenol
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Does anyone know if algae has any detrimental effect on growing tomatoes and other plants ? The water generally, at least here and during the summer, gets refilled twice daily. I would think that this "flushing" process prevents any type of stagnant environment, which I think could pose some problems. I'm sure algae has formed in mine, but has always "overflowed" clear water when I fill it. I've changed water containers for many an animal and pond over the years and swam in algae filled creeks..the key being cosmetically "clear" looking water..with no problems or ill effects.

Anyone know what problems could arise ?
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Old July 8, 2006   #83
Mantis
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I am not sure if it will cause any problems. I just read on a hydroponics web site that you shouldn't use clear containers because of algae build up.
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Old July 8, 2006   #84
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Mantis, live and learn--sure seemed like a good idea.

Garaj, I love to read comparison reports like this. Always find them interesting. I would guess that the yield difference between the ads and your own DIY boxes may just be due to variety selection.

(totally relate to all the hurricane damage )
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Old July 9, 2006   #85
Mantis
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Its all good. It has happened before tomato season so I will remedy the situation some how. Erics advice above seems really good. I have used that rubberised paint before and it does stick really well. Thanks Eric.
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Old November 21, 2006   #86
jackman
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I container garden(sort of) my tomato garden has 35 double tire with sides cut out. I have a 4" field tile pipe under the tires for each row(5 double tires in row) I water by putting hose into end of pipe and let it run until the water comes out around the tires. Each double tire has a double fence wire around them for steaks. this makes them 9' tall. On top of fence cages all the rows has Bamboo run across them north south east and west. The bamboo are spaced 14" apart this gives the plant some shade. All of this setup was free accept the field tile it cost 3.00 for each 10' peace. This works well for the tomatoes.
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Old November 22, 2006   #87
bydsign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackman
I container garden(sort of) my tomato garden has 35 double tire with sides cut out. I have a 4" field tile pipe under the tires for each row(5 double tires in row) I water by putting hose into end of pipe and let it run until the water comes out around the tires. Each double tire has a double fence wire around them for steaks. this makes them 9' tall. On top of fence cages all the rows has Bamboo run across them north south east and west. The bamboo are spaced 14" apart this gives the plant some shade. All of this setup was free accept the field tile it cost 3.00 for each 10' peace. This works well for the tomatoes.
jackman



Got any pics?
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Old November 22, 2006   #88
bydsign
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Here are the bootleg-Earthboxes that I made myself:


http://i10.tinypic.com/3zc179c.jpg



I followed the JMSHO method (I think that's what it's called...
it's the one with the pond bucket!)


You guys have given me ideas on how to improve my
current staking system... which consists of 1/2" PVC
pipe & some thicker bamboo purchased from HD.

I cap the water tube with some aluminum foil to keep
the mosquitos away.
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Old November 27, 2006   #89
Mantis
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Ok, we are well into the season down here and the plants in the swt's are doing better than any of the others be they in the ground or pots etc. To block the light from the resevoir, I wrapped some black plastic around the bottoms of the tubs. It seems to have kept the sludge growth to a minimum. I love these things and will make more of them for next year. Just hoping to find more durable tubs somewhere because I don't think the ones I have will last too many seasons.
Check the last page of Springs Commin a Callin thread, I have posted pics of my tubs in action there.
Cheers Mantis
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Old November 28, 2006   #90
jackman
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bydsign,I do have pictures,but can't figure out how to get them on the site.
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