Growth Containers

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

Greetings all,

I'm rather new here. I intro myself on the general form. From that posting a question was asked as to how I make my own Growth Containers. I posted the follow link as it has several picture with discriptions. (BTW I'm totally an organic gardener.)

I would like to know if anyone else here is organic and using either Earthboxes or making there own Growth Containers.

If you are on dial-up you will have to give this link a minute or so to load for you.
The Link:;act=ST;f=1;t=1156

Looking forward to getting to know you all!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Hi Olds.Welcome to DG!

I looked at your link and it's quite impressive.I have a question,as I'm planning on making some of these for winter veggies in my greenhouse.

When you put in the PVC supports that hold the soil mix,does the water level come up to the bottom of the PVC? I'm guessing that it does,to keep the tubes from filling up and then cutting off the air to the plant roots.I noticed that there were air holes in the PVC,so this makes sense.

I'm really interested in these,as I was looking for something that would work for me this winter.

I'm on dial up and on a prehistoric computer,but everything loaded in a reasonable time.I've done a step by step several times here on DG,and I'll go find the hyperlink of one over in crafts.It might give you some ideas as to how to post instructions here at this site. Your information is valuable to this place,and I'd love to see you show up over in veggies...also,we have a small,but dedicated bunch who love heirlooms,and I invite you to come over and see what we're about too.

edited to add hyperlink for step by step instructions

This message was edited Monday, Sep 8th 9:05 PM

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

Well hush my mouth and thank you for such a fine welcome!

If I understand your question correctly the holes in the PVC pipes do double duty. 1.) Water over-fill. 2.) Allow air in. In all the years I have been making and using Growth Containers I have never had root rot, fungi, or any related container problems. This is do to the aeration created by the holes.

This year I'm adding dwarf: 3-bananas, 2-figs, 1-key line. Also adding non-dwarf: 1-grape 2-blackberry. A few years back I had a papaya that was well over 12 foot tall in one. (The container size that papaya was in is the photo where I'm compairing container sizes.)

Now the float fill value after much time will start to leak. (It will be a very small leak.) However, with any plants in the container at all that leak will never become a problem. In fact it will not keep the water level up. If it should become a problem there is a on-off value on the manifold. Again, I can't ever see this as being a problem.

The only time the PVC works as a water over-fill is when it is raining.

I also make my own soiless mixture, and blend my own organic fertilizers. Please note: If you are using chemical fertilizers sooner or later you have to change out the soil. That maybe ok with tomatoes...but with items like grapes, lime tree etc that just does not get it done.

I will check out the link and again Much Thanks for the welcome!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

No chemicals here! YAAAK!

Do you have to put in the float valve? Or can you manually check and fill the water level?

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

No you do not have to have a float valve. Look at the drawing in my link above. You will see that many boxes use a PVC Pipe.

The only reason I'm changing over to valve system, as I make newer boxes, is when you have 30 boxes to fill every other day and the boxes will hold 9-10 gallons each that is about 285 gallons! That takes time to do it by hand. And yes, I'm a very lazy gardener.

Note: With 3 interminate tomatoe plants, 1 pepper plant all in one box they drink a lot of water. One the other hand the pineapples might get watering once per week to 10 days. With 4 water mellons growing out of one box the water will run out in 36 hours give or take.

At one time I gave thought to placing the boxes all on the same level of ground and connecting them all together with one large float valve. However, I went this way so I could change out containers or move them around.

Now this Link will show you a container I would not purchase. It lack a means for outside air to enter. Some of my first containers were like this one....nothing but trouble for me. Also no over flow...easy to over fill and get your roots wet. Yes it has a gauge, but I always seem to still over fill.

San Jose, CA(Zone 9a)

Welcome Olds...I am new to the forum also and was searching around to find where to post questions about an elevated plant bed, when I ran across your post. I never heard of the growth box before, but it looks like a really great idea...especially if you need to leave the plants unattended for a vacations.

One of my questions about an elevated plant bed is wouldn't it dry out faster than soil in the ground. This would be one way to make sure it doesn't! So in a way it does fit here.

Any replies, opinions would help in helping me decide if I should go this way. I am thinking of (2) 4'x 10' planters. Raised about 30". It is shown in the AHS fall journal if you get that!

Thanks, Margie

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

One of the items to concider is UV and the type of plastic container you are going to be using. Next, you can always "wall up" the container in something fancy.

Next, if you are going to be gone for several days after you fill up the reservoir take sheets of plastic and cover the top of the soil. This helps hold in water longer. This should extend the water by 2-4 days. However do it in such a manner that if it rain the water will get to the soil.

I'm going to be soon drawing up some plans for what I call the simple bucket. Anyone can make it in 30 minutes or less. When they are done I will post them here.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Thank you so much...I can already see that you are going to be a big asset to this site.

I'm anxiously waiting for more great ideas. Am going to start a growth container this weekend when I have the help of my nephew. I think I have enough information to understand the basics.

Please jump in any of the other forums and give us a little more of your knowlege. We really need someone over in the Organic forum to take the lead and get things rolling.

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

Please jump in any of the other forums and give us a little more of your knowlege. We really need someone over in the Organic forum to take the lead and get things rolling.

Funny I posted another board here about how little was going on in the OG board LOL!

Stockton, MO(Zone 6b)

Looks a lot like Hydroponics, which I am extremely interested in.
By the way DoW_Oldman, that is a very good looking dog. My Daddy used to raise those. Beautiful, intellegent, and now days, very misunderstood.
Hey if you are into hydroponics, how about starting a site?

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

skyeblue, "Looks a lot like Hydroponics..." Really it is not. What this type of growing does is allow a plant to eat and drink in a natural way. From ground up. I have looked at Hydroponics but I cannot figure out how to organicly give a plant enough food.

Now it will take about a year to move your soilless mixture into what I call a living Micro Society. Up to that point you have to depend a lot on the organic fertilizers. Once you get to the point that earth worms are living in your mixture then the compost and some side dressing is all you will need.

Beside worms, I have had ants and termites living in my containers. The all add to the Micro Society! A Society of success! As I've said before I'm really one very lasy gardener!

Yes red nose pits are IMO about the best dogs to have. Especilly inside the house. The males top out about 70 pounds. Just the right size for inside and yet powerful enough to handle a problem. He is a joy. He is a love. However, even with just two working legs you really don't want to come in uninvited. The first time you see him bouncing across the floor headed to the front door, you'll say that boy can move! LOL! His chest now is 25-35% larger than in that picture I posted of him.

Stockton, MO(Zone 6b)

I had a little StafferdshirePit cross when my children were growing up. 35 lbs of love and energy, she lived in the house as one of the family. We lived in Southern Cal. at the time, and I always felt safe with her as part of the family. (We all cried like babies when she died of old age.) I have never found another dog that measured up to our "Badger".

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.