Ask a Question forum: Sub-irrigated Planters

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Ardian
May 24, 2017 7:00 PM CST
Hello everyone. First of let me just say that I am new to this forum and gardening completly.

I have made two SIP's from buckets.

My system:

1- 7 gallon bucket with overflow hole.
1- 5 gallon bucket with drainage holes and a big hole in the center for a red solo cup.

I have filled up the 5 gallon bucket with miracle grow potting mix moisture control. I have planted in one SIP "red ghost pepper" and the other one "Jalopeno".

I do not have a plastic bag or lid covering the soil on the top.

I also did not put landscape fabric around the red solo cup or the filling tube made from pvc.

I use water soluable fertilizer as I assume that the water will dissolve the the fertilizer and wick it up to the roots of plants.

The soil looks and feels wet aswell.

I live in new york city. Up to date we have had only 3-4 days above 80. The rest have been 65-70 cloudy w. Sun.

I had problems the first week or two. Both plants seemed to be dying with some leaves browning and withering. After we had our 2-3 days of 90 degress. You can see the plants were starting to return to life.

Now my jalopeno plants is showing growth in height. While my ghost pepper has not physically grown in height.

There are also mushrooms/fungis growing in my ghost pepper planter.

Is this harmful? To the plant and or me?
Is this because with the weather the soil wont dry because its not to hot yet.?

What am I doing wrong. What can I do right to try and fix this?

Thank you very much.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 25, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Welcome!

Ardian, Please add some photos of your setup. It sounds like you meant to but they are not there.

As I had never heard of this form of growing, I had to do some reading.

http://albopepper.com/sips.php

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
May 25, 2017 4:11 PM CST
I'm not sure I'm clear on how you made your planters, but it sounds like the container with the potting mix in it is sitting with the bottom in water all the time.

Potting soil "wicks" up water at a steady rate if your planter is working properly. If not, the soil container may be sitting with the bottom couple of inches in water all the time. This will tend to keep the soil too wet for most plants to tolerate.

Is it possible that the red Solo cup you used has collapsed under the weight of wet soil? The bottom of the main bulk of potting soil needs to be held up out of the water reservoir. Also since you didn't use the landscape fabric to filter out the soil from getting into the holes in the cup, they may be clogged with soil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

ArdiNYC
May 25, 2017 5:15 PM CST
Yes DaisyL I have the exact set-up as AlboPepper. I will take some more specifics pics tonight, but AlboPeppers vids/pics are almost identical setup.

DyzzyPyxxy, Yes the Red Solo Cup is filled with potting mix and sits in the few inches of water all the time, so it can wick the water up to the plants. Also, no, nothing seems to be clogged with potting mix, and the solo cup has not collapsed under the weight of the potting mix. So the only part of the soil/potting mix in water is the red solo cup.



My fear is the plants are too young, and the wicking is over saturating the soil, and plant in combination. We really haven't had the greatest of weather. This would be why mushroom/fungis is growing around one of the plants. As this is my first time ever gardening, I thibk that I should Pull out the top bucket holding the potmix and plants and remove it from the water to let it dry out, and return it back as soon as the hot weather kicks in.

[Last edited by ArdiNYC - May 25, 2017 5:18 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 25, 2017 5:25 PM CST
Dip you make any holes in the red Solo cup?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

ArdiNYC
May 25, 2017 5:41 PM CST
Greene, Yes there are holes in the red solo cup. That is where the water enters for the wicking process. Also I did drain holes in the potting mix bucket so it could drain into the water bucket incase of rain. Also the water bucket does have an overflow hole to prevent the water from reaching the soil incase of rain or overfilling
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 25, 2017 5:48 PM CST
I think there needs to be an air gap between the water container and the potting soil container and then some sort of wicking device.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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