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Self-Watering Containers, an Earthbox Photo Tutorial

By david_reaves
April 17, 2014

Don't have space for a garden? Don't have the strength or energy for digging, raking, hoeing, and weeding? A self-watering container may be for you. Here's how I set up my self-watering containers, Earthboxes, for this year's tomatoes.

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 19, 2014 5:48 PM CST
Very nice article, David. I have 9 Earthboxes that I use to grow vegetables during the cool months here. Our soil is mostly alkaline sand, so very hard to amend enough to grow much produce. The Earthboxes have been fantastic. They are especially great because they are raised to save my back, very water-efficient, and need no weeding. I have a micro irrigation system c/w timer set up to water them daily, too, so they need hardly any work once they are set up and planted. Just have to watch that a little bit of water comes out the overflow each day, and increase the time as the weather gets warmer, or as the plants grow. I also like that they are made from recycled plastic - in general, just a fantastic product, imho.

One thing I do when getting them ready that you didn't, is dampen the soil as I add it, then I don't worry that my seedlings will dry out before they get enough roots down into the box. We have very strong sun here, even in the short days of winter.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: David Reaves
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Vegetable Grower Region: Texas Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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david_reaves
Apr 19, 2014 5:56 PM CST
Elaine,

You are right, the soil does have to be moist. I solved two ways, the first was to only buy heaviest bags of soil...they are already damp. The second is to prepare the boxes in advance, watering the boxes so the soil can absorb moisture before planting.

David

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