View Full Version : Selfwatering Tubs
13th April 2010, 21:30
This maybe could have gone in the wicking beds thread but these tubs are smaller and more portable.
Been using them for growing tomatoes for some years now, in my greenhouse/shadehouse and beleive me they are tomatoe growing machines.
I have used cheap tubs from Kmart but i am sure you AP folk can suggest better alternatives that would be longer lasting.
Anyhoo, they are a wicking tub with resevoir of water below and a normal black pot inserted in the top tup for the wicking chamber. Lots of small holes are drilled in the bottom tub for aeration. A drain hole is drilled in the side of the outer tub just below the level of the bottom tub.
I use potting mix in the top tub and a strip of fert along the front edge of the mix just buried.
I have seeds for over 100 varieties so if anyone has found one they would like to try, PM me, I might just have them
The last pic is the greenhouse in sept, when most people around here are starting seedlings :)
13th April 2010, 23:30
I am sure it could be called a type of wicking bed. Obviously a good idea Mantis.
Thanks for the photos.
The central pot, how is that fixed in place ?
14th April 2010, 00:07
Nice pots. Do you put weed mat on the bottom to stop any dirt going into the water.
14th April 2010, 13:56
I originally siliconed the central pot in place but this really isnt neccesary as the pot is full of the potting mix and sitting on the bottom of the system.
One thing I forgot is you can put two short lengths of 150mm pvc pipe(with a few holes drilled in them) in the bottom tub to hold the top tub up
No weed mat is needed as the potting mix is larger than the small aeration holes
14th April 2010, 14:35
It is an excellent idea Mantis,
Just shows that there is no end to the variations possible to save water and be efficient in gardening.
14th April 2010, 15:00
There is a company in the US that sells them called Earthboxes and are very popular over there
Those tubs of mine hold 30L of water in the bottom and two full grown tomato plants can suck that dry in 3 days in the middle of summer :eek:
14th April 2010, 18:21
Thanks very much for the photos and the instructions, Mantis. It looks like a great way to grow tomatoes without the problem of fungus, since you have plastic on the top of the potting mix. They tend to take over in the AP and the bathtub wicking beds, so having their own little wicking arrangement looks like a great idea. What sort of fertiliser works best for your tomatoes? Which tomato do you think is best suited to the subtropics (Noosa area)?
14th April 2010, 18:37
Untill i started aqua i grew tomato this way and only used charley carp every 3 rd watering
14th April 2010, 19:41
If its new potting mix that has the red ticks, ie added fert then you dont need much. I have had the same results using Sudden Impact for
Roses and a normal granulated fert.
Some folk only put organic ferts in and they do great with them.
I might even try FF's method above this year
14th April 2010, 19:51
Since we're on the subject of tomatoes, perhaps someone can tell me what's happening to mine. (I'd include a photo, but I've pulled them all out.) The new leaves curl and get a brown sort of cap over them and the plant grows slowly. No matter where they were growing or what variety, this has been happening for the last three months or so. I think it might be quite widespread, because when I asked the seedling man at the Saturday market what it could be, a bystander said - just give up on tomatoes around here. I couldn't see any kind of insect - could it be a mite?
14th April 2010, 19:55
I recolonise what you are talking about Julia, but canot give any wisdom.
I have had a summer of very poor returns on my tomato's. I have put it down to the extreme heat and rain.
Now that the nights are cooler the bushes are improving, fruit is setting, but still battling grubs of every shape and size.
14th April 2010, 20:01
Nice to know I'm not alone in the tomato troubles - no doubt you're right about the weather conditions lately. Every insect known to man is prospering around here! Will try the new little wicking beds for a couple of plants if you think growing conditions have improved. I love a real tomato!
14th April 2010, 20:15
This link might help with a diagnosis
15th April 2010, 09:01
Thanks for the link, Mantis - it looks like the problem might be bacterial. Perhaps new potting mix in the little wicking beds would be a solution?
15th April 2010, 10:51
Dont be too concerned mine were the same. With the amount of rain lately its hard to prevent diseases (without a greenhouse) mine are starting to power along now and even have fruit.
Thanks for the link, dont think one can have too many of them.
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