This thread is a continuation of PART III. We're interested in hearing about experiences with the system and/or ideas for improvements or modifications, so we can attempt to do better. Let's build a better eBucket!
Thanks for the compliment. That picture is from last fall/winter, 2011-2012. At the end of that season, I sent all those eBuckets to my cousin in College Falls, Ga., via a DGer who passes through Houston twice a year from Atlanta.
How's that for a courier service, LOL! She and my cousin have become fast friends, too!
Rita is one blessed iggy, to have you growing her greens, LOL! It has gotten so warm here, my greens were full of aphids and cutworms, so I ripped everything yesterday to prep the beds for the spring/summer veggies.
I grew some amazing stuff that last season in eBuckets...this was my first fall/wtr in raised beds, and, I did ok with the broccoli and cauliflowers. The weather was my main hindrance. It just never did get cold and stay cold enough for the cabbages to even curl up and make heads. But, I'm still enjoying it.
Don't think I'm out of the eBucket game just yet, either! Still promoting, because there are just some veggies that BELONG in an eBucket (for their good, and mine!!!)
Try the Aqua Oasis Water Reservoir. http://www.aquaoasisgarden.com. I have been growing tomatoes, peppers, herbs ..you name it ..the aqua oasis reservoir solves all your problems. 1.25 gal reservoir and perfect vegis. I'm planting my starter seeds tomorrow for early spring planting of 100+ tomatoes. Check out the site and eat healthy!
Amanda , congratulations on going for your masters . If I'm not being too nosey , what is it in ? My DIL went for hers after age 40 or so . Hers is in civil engineering .She's over a watershed district .
I sure like the buckets too , ala Gym Girl . Had good luck with them
Hi Lisa , We'll be leaving the seventh . We only got to Liberty Hill once, this last Oct . The boy called me today , the DIL bought an appaloosa today after weeks of looking .Remember her ? Been horse crazy for years . They have been setting up for a horse for weeks . They have barbed wire and I think they need different fencing .
I'm off topic again .
My master's degree will be in Natural Resources. I'm in a "technical option" for Environmental Assessment and Analysis and have obtained a graduate certificate in GIS. I'm very interested in wetland restoration and conservation in general. My bf and I are thinking about Montana after I graduate. I would LOVE to get a job in "range management" - in the last decade or so there have been several projects developing restoring the prairie ecosystem and reintroducing bison and elk in MT, UT, SD, Wisconsin, waaaaay out there. :)
I have been watching it from afar for some time now. Since my mom passed away I guess I am free to move about the country!
I wanted a more natural science based degree, but I'd have had to take a lot of undergraduate courses to make the "prerequisite" courses. It's taking me long enough, I want to finish before I turn 50!~! I have some years to go, but still ... :)
HEY LINDA!!! I found an Earthbox at Goodwill yesterday for $5. I think there must be parts missing. I have no idea what it's supposed to look like, but it's just the exterior green plastic shell. Something supposed to come with it? I'll have to look/see if I have to rig it somehow to use it, but the drainage hole on the side looks familiar.
-sigh- I'm whooped. Hope everybody else had a good weekend too.
A, I so admire you . That sounds like the kind of lifestyle I would have loved . Montana is another state I'd like to visit again . The woods just north of Olney , camped out was a dream vacation .We had the wilderness all to ourselves , with an area that had opium dens left by the Chinese when they were building the railroad down the mountain . No one knew they were there for many years until the woods were cut for the timber .They also have gold in the mountains N E of Helena . Another passion of mine , prospecting.
I know I'm OT but Gym Girl , Linda , will understand , she knows me . I get carried away .Sorry .If I ever get her out here to Georgia , I'll stick her in the river with her cousin , Wanda , and a shovel . LOL
Linda , the pepper plants will go into buckets today , We have been over run with Johnnys boys and family . Such a wonderful welcome home . Fish fry last night .Every one should have kids that treat a step mom as good as they treat me . You get out here , you have to meet them .
Love to all .
I just love you to death! And, you, too Amanda!
Hope to see you guys soon!
P.S. Thank you, again, for the wonderful cake!
The EB comes with a hard plastic perforated screen that sits inside the box on those little raised feet, and covers the water reservoir. If you notice, there are two depressions on opposite long ends. The screen has cut outs there so you can pack your potting MIX into the indentations, and then continue filling on top of the screen.
It also comes with a fill tube that sits inside a hole in one end of that same screen. But, if it's missing, too, you can easily cut a piece of PVC pipe to 22"-24", and it'll fit right down into the screen. Finally, there were soil covers that were rubberized around all the edges. Sort of like a shower cap, black on one side, white on the other. You can just use a cut up garbage bag (B or W) on top of the soil. Cut "X" slits through the plastic where you need to plant your seedlings. Either tape it around all sides with some duct tape, or use bungie cords. Helps keep the potting MIX from splashing up on your plants.
Lemme know when you're ready to plant it, and I'll help you. Actually, here's my pictorial for planting an eBucket. It's the very same principal and steps.
Seems there are several different screens to be had, so call them to make sure you're getting the one that fits your box.
I have the original (older) EBs, which are a tad bigger than the newer ones. Took me forever to figure out how come I couldn't fill my original boxes with 2.5 cu. ft. of potting mix, while the newer boxes would overflow with the same amount!
P.S. That $5 was a total STEAL!!!! You'll be so happy with what you grow in it!
Thank you ladies. I don't mind hearing about MT. It will be either insanity or a dream come true (?!), but Court and I agreed it would DEFINITELY be a trial run. I suppose that means I put everything in NC into storage for a year or two or ten. Including fish, iguanas, cats, and dogs? and Ebuckets!!!
Linda yeah, I figured there must be something elevated for a reservoir. You learned me good on that with my buckets. :D I could probably RIG something in there if my objective is not to spend $ which I don't have. As it is it looks like a giant windowbox. Without shower caps. Would absolutely need to cover the soil with something - my work is usually to keep squirrels out, but a backsplash for soil. Hmmm... Will let you know how this rig turns out. H ahha . I'll take dimensions and let you know what size it is, but I was desperate to get home to tell you what I found at Goodwill. ;)
Maybe the grate or screen could be replaced with multiple bottle-bottoms, or milk-jug-bottoms.
Here's some speculation:
Cut the bottom off some 2 liter bottles or milk jugs (or plastic quart tubs).
Punch or melt holes, or cut small slits into the bottoms or the milk jugs and a little way down tyhe sides.
Pack them into the bottom of your new EB so the sides touch and defoorm slightly. That will leave columns of soil MIX between eac h bottle, for wicking.
If you need less mix acting as wicks all the eway to the bottom, squish the bottles somewhat together so the bottles deform almost into squares near the bottom. That shrinks the size of the wicking cou8mn s./
Do the airspaces in the bottles need to be linked? Drill, melt of cut 3/4" to 1" holes in the sides of bottles so they line uop, then jam some 3/4" or 1" Tygon or PVC tubes into those holes to keep them aligned. Or staple the bottles so the holes are aligned.
The goal is to separate the soil from the reservoir so there is a 1" or so airspace between them. If the soil is constantly sitting in the water, it leads to an anaerobic, smelly situation down there...not good for the plants...at all...
ask me how I know these things...go ahead...ask...me...
>> The goal is to separate the soil from the reservoir so there is a 1" or so airspace between them.
Yup, that seems key to the E-anything syatem.
>> The goal is to separate the soil from the reservoir so there is a 1" or so airspace between them. If the soil is constantly sitting in the water, it leads to an anaerobic, smelly situation down there...not good for the plants...at all...
I totally believe that. Somehow it must be OK that a LITTLE of the soil must reac h the water so it can "wick up".
>> ask me how I know these things...go ahead...ask...me...
Sure, but I'm guessing that it was the best teacher of all: EXPERIENCE!
I keep wondering why roots don't drown and anaerob es get growing in the small areas where the soil MIX does reac h down below water lev el. I was guessing that the ex c ellent aeration pr5ovided by a big bubble of air sitting below the bottom of the soil somehow compensated for the small dead zone.
The photo suggests my favorite approach to gardeneing: Nerd of the Week.
Wow! I just found this E Bucket discussion. I am so impressed I just don't know what to say (an unusual occurrence). I can't wait to put one together! I still have about half of the older threads to go so maybe this has been addressed somewhere and I haven't come across it yet, if so, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Have you guys found that some varieties of tomatoes do better in the eb's? I read one post that mentioned that a Sweet Million ( I think) tomato did great-any other recommendations? My raised bed garden area is slowly becoming too shady for happy tomatoes and peppers and I don't really have another spot. These buckets will work perfectly! Thank you so much!!!!!
HA HA , love it Lisa . Rain for the last three days and nights . Slow and soaking . Praying I got some on my new fruit trees on the coast .
Dmurry , I have had the best luck with Beef Master and some bush that I don't know the name of . Also some tiny salad toms I got off of Gym G last year .I haven't planted that much as it's new to me too , but Gym G could answer that with much more savvy .
Rick - thanks for the ideas on creating a reservoir. I haven't had much time for poking around 'cause of school, but I'll be up to my elbows next week. :)
We are still stuck in spring here, which I don't mind a bit. Although it's too warm for winter clothes and quite too cool for summer. Since we have typically only 2 seasons here, it's taking a bit of getting used to. Folks around here still complaining about the temperature, but the plants seem to be enjoying it too!
I was thinking of growing greens in that earthbox I found, but it seems like too much space to just do greens. Do you think I could do 2 hills of butternut squash in there to go vertical? I have 6 gorgeous new seedlings indoors, but not sure what to put them in just yet. Will be planting in the driveway this year again. Only beginning at the beginning of the season and not at the end. :)
I already have my trionfono purple pole beans out there. They are strung on this metal frame that someone put to the curb last year. It's a free standing frame for some kind of hammock? It looks like a hockey goal. Ha hahaha. It's also white, so it was a little conspicuous in the front yard. I was going to spray paint it green, but we just moved it to the driveway where it looks less conspicuous and more like a metal thingee with beans growing on it. :D
Hey Rick - When I did all that reading on going vertical it seemed to suggest that my stuff would grow to support themselves. I got some small butternuts vertically year before last. I got a couple of small sugar baby watermelon too! I have seen folks put a "sling" on some bigger stuff, but I guess I was more wondering about the roots and how much space a "hill" of butternut should have.
Linda - anyone? Plant a hill of butternut in an ebucket? I was unhappy that first year because "something" came and made them sick somehow. The plants withered and died. I'm not big on pesticides or killing things generally, and since I garden for wildlife if my stuff gets eaten it's usually because I planned it that way. ;)
Love your avatar. Nice face with the name!
Never have grown any vining plants yet. I did start a zucchini squash in a 24"ePlanter, and it was growing beautifully until my life got in the way...
Sounds like a squash vine borer got you, if it shriveled up and died all of a sudden.
I think you could safely start your squash in an eBucket. They will love the built in reservoir. I'm going to plant zucchini in 15? 25? gallon molasses tubs, with an inverted tomato cage. Then, I'll drape the tulle (wedding veil) fabric over it to frustrate the Squash Moth. She can't lay squash vine borer eggs if she can't light on the stem!
Hopefully, my zucchini will be a good sturdy size by the time I'll need to uncover them for pollination.
P.S. I'm hoping to try out the Mittleider Gardening Method, and fill the two zucchini tubs with sawdust and sharp sand as the growing medium.
Check out a Houston veggie grower named ldsprepper on YouTube. Amazing yields and methods.
Linda , Wanda didn't make it for the weekend , had a fender bender , but all's well I was going to give her 4 toms but need to get them planted . No telling when she can get up now . She'll have to pick some up at the box store , I guess .
Linda has all the ans. all right , she studies this stuff .
I know, Sally - I've learned a lot from her in the past couple of years and followed every link she ever posted. :D
Now if only I could get my ______ to grow, but I'm a flower child you know. That's why the idea of buckets in the driveway appeals.
However - I think one of the problems of setting things up in the driveway is that the air stagnates. That's my theory anyway. House on one side and the concrete block retaining wall not far enough on the other side. We could pull the cars in all the way, but probably wouldn't be able to open both doors wide. The retaining wall (south/SE facing) radiates heat, and the house reflects it in the afternoon (W/SW).
Our hot humid summers just make that a heat wave in there. I wonder if it keeps some things from setting fruit, etc.
It stopped raining long enough to plant 4 more toms in bales , 3 toms in buckets .Have four peppers in buckets . It's been so cold with the wind that we wrapped up in a wool quilt to sit on the porch (Northwest facing ) and have fresh air . The house is stuffy with my dogs in there . They get wet , I sit on the porch and blow dry , comb . Still doggie .
Amanda you can try googling nctomatoman container gardening. I don't know how to link on the iPad but this man is in NC, I think and he grows plants in bags on his driveway. I've emailed him about my concerns due to our heat here. He basically said his did fine and didn't see why they wouldn't do ok here.
I have been inspired by the information on this thread, built a self-contained bucket (my daughter works at a bakery) and put a tomato plant in it yesterday. My question has to do with staking the plant as it gets older - what is the best method of keeping the plant growing upward and still give it some stability when the wind blows? In the hot months the wind is not usually too bad, but toward fall it is very gusty (so I'm just thinking ahead.) I would be very interested to hear any ideas, thanks!
I just use those long 6 ft. covered metal stakes from HD. They're kinda pricey when you have a lot of plants to stake, so I've pressed some free bamboo stakes into service since the initial purchase.
Congratulations on building your eBucket! LMK how it progresses.
Hi Gymgirl, Yeah, I can get some pics tomorrow and try to post them (sometimes it is harder than it looks since I'm not a computer person!) I mighthave some of those green plastic metal stakes that are only 2 feet long - will look for the big ones next time I go to the hardware or feed store. Right now I have a regular tomato cage stuck in the bucket upside down (it just seemed to go better that way because the top ring is missing). If the tomato gets big enough the stake will certainly be needed.
It's time to make friends with somebody who hates their bamboo... (smile)
Here the tomato will get sun and still be close to the house but not up on the porch. I used some rocks we collected from a friends pasture to sort of hide it since that white stands out so much. Will have to monitor to see if the rocks absorb too much heat as the season goes along. I also planted some basil below in the ground which will hopefully thrive on the overflow when I water the bucket (and help hide the bucket as it grows.)
A view from the top. The basil will only get morning sun (till noon) until it gets a little bigger. If this works out I hope to do this in other places near the house. Since we are under water restrictions here because of the drought, I'm not planting the main/big garden at all. (This seems like a perfect fix for times of drought.) Who can resist pesto on pasta topped with chopped homegrown tomatoes and extra
Um, I recreated those Pinterest burlap-bag covered buckets. They looked amazing at first. But, once they got wet and stayed wet on the bottoms, the burlap rotted out.
I'd only do it again if the buckets were out of the weather.
Just got my puter fixed . Been out of pocket with the first virus ever .
Krylon spray even does the ugly black tubs . G G is right on the ball . Thanks , Linda .
Gotta deliver a micro -wave for wedding gift tomorrow . For Johnny's grandson's wife to be shower . I won't stay for the shower , don't want to spend garden money on jail bail . Or ruin the day for bride to be by putting her future grand mother in law in hospital . LOL
Wow I haven't been lurking much and I have missed a lot. Love your garding ideas Gymgirl, haven't talked to you since the hardwood floors were =being installed and you were growing tomatoes. Do you know what ever happened to Carolyn who was a professor at Cornel Univ?
I just use silver contractor bags to cover my grow boxes. To fasten the cover,
I use those steel spring paper clips from the Office store; the one inch ones.
They hold the cover on great and are reusable.
I will forward a picture tomorrow; oops Friday, I will be out of town the next three
days. Taking my bride to the Oregon coast for our 47th.