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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 5
Location: Brisbane
What a mouthful of a title.

Anyway I have been using self watering containers to great effect on my balcony. Now I shall take over my parents in laws backyard!!! :swing:

Now, their soil is *&()^& and I want something that I can remove at will if need be. I am planning on extending my SWC reign of ter... I mean growing goodness and use 55 gal blue plastic drums sawed in half lengthways as my growing beds. These suckers work out at about 29cm high and 29cm across and 89cm long. 2 barrels = 4 beds = 1sq meter of growing area. In SWC terms that is a fairly large surface area and can be very productive. I am also going to incorporate extensive trellising for tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, beans and whatever else I can con into growing up instead of out.

The plan is to use 1 barrel for water storage (automated watering system did I mention that?) and 2 or 3 barrels sawed in half as the growing beds. Seeing as I will have a constant water supply to the beds I was thinking of using gravel in the reservior with a layer of shade cloth or landscaping fabric over the top followed by soil/coir mix on top. My other option is going the fully open reservoir technique with some wicks hung down into it, but this might complicate the build slightly.

The water storage barrel will flow into a bucket via a float valve setting the height of the water in all of the grow beds via siphon action.

My question to you guys. What have I forgotten? My garden in comparison to this is small. I see this system as something that is easily replicable, fast setup and potentially very productive. Should i go for the standard SWC fertilizer system of using dry fertilizer strips in the beds or dose with liquid fertilizer once a fortnight or something?

So many things to think of....

Any tips? I promise to provide lots of photos and probably a video.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:28 am 
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Depends partly on what you start with Mitch. I just set up a raised vege bed using mushroom compost and the veges are going balistic. It means that in the beginning there is no need to add anything at all. It is an organic mix and provides a great base, when the plants require that little something exta I will probably add a variety depending on what is in the barn and what I feel like doing. Maybe you could have a worm farm set up and mix up your own fertiliser.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:57 pm
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Location: Rural NSW temperate zones
I've been looking at container gardens and have hooked a few up together.
ImageImage
Image

I'm also planning on using a sump later so I can water the wicking beds and have them overflow into a main drain back to the sump. From there I can pump back to them.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 5
Location: Brisbane
An idea of what they will look like:

http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/935

Mushroom compost seems like a fairly solid idea. I used a mixture of coir, peat moss, and potting mix/soil for my current wicking beds and they work well.

Thanks for the responses.


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