Just a quick update after finishing 12 of my planned 25 EarthTainers. Here is a link that might be useful: EarthTainer II WaterMizer Edition. Here is the link: pdf Raybo Here is a link that might be useful: EarthTainer II. Here is a link that might be useful: Rev EarthTainer Construction Guide .. The EarthTainer II improved design now uses a shorter Aeration.

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Welcome to the world’s largest online community of tomato growers!

If this is ki first visit, please take a few moments and register to become a member of our community and have full access to all of our forums. Have eartutainer great invention to help with gardening?

Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members. As many of you have followed the saga of the EarthTainer construction on TomatoFest, as well as the “Myth-Busters Trials”, I have now field-tested an improved version and it is available on the TomatoFest Website here: Thanks for all the great information Ray.

I plan to build an EarthTainer for the sole purpose of growing ginger. I’ve never been able to keep up with ginger’s watering needs in the past. earthtainsr

The New EarthTainer III “Convertible” Guide Now Available – Page 2 – Tomatoville┬« Gardening Forums

THanks for the new info! I have asked for totes for Christmas. People are thinking I am crazy Kat. Ray, so you are relying solely on capillary effect for the water to wick up through the landscaping fabric as the wicking basket is covered when you apply the fabric, correct? Ami, Yep, hard to believe that this new smaller wicking basket keeps 3. I never would have believed it – – but here is proof positive of a Purple Haze planted in early August, and is now doing well into November in its EarthTainer II design: The wicking action permeates through the landscape fabric just fine, and my goal is to contain the root system from growing down into the water reservoir.

Add in any savings you might get with bulk buys and sale items and you could save not only lots of money but also lots of water. Blake and his Company are doing many humanitarian projects around the world, and I support them as a “customer” for their Automated Watering System and I own EarthBoxes purchased from them too. In doing any cost comparison, you also need to count in your time and tools to the final equation.

Having said that, my concern with the EarthBox for me was that it only held about 1.

The 31 gallon Rubbermaid size ‘Tainer fit the bill perfectly. So if you are planting vegetables such a peppers, the EarthBox is an ideal solution. If your goal is really big tomato plants and crops such as sweet corn, then building an EarthTainer may be the way to go. It’s nice to have choices After reading all these posts and going over to TF and reading your updated instructions, AND after Ami’s question, I am not crystal clear on one point.


When you put the landscape fabric into the bottom, do you cover the hole made for the wicking basket so that there is soil to fabric to soil contact, or do you do a cut out of the landscaping fabric over the new 5″ wicking basket???

Ted, I first fill the ‘Tainer with water until it hits the level of the overflow holes. Then I fill the 5″ diameter wicking basket with potting mix and compress it down so it is thoroughly wet. I mound it up like the top of a cupcake about 1″ above the surface of the aeration bench This is to account for any long term compression inside the wicking basket.

You never want an air-pocket to develop in between the landscape fabric and the top of the potting mix in the wicking basket or the system will stop wicking. Next, I place the landscape fabric on top of the aeration bench, wet it over the mound of potting mix, and then pat it with my hand to commence the moisture transmission. No slits at all in the landscape fabric, other than to skirt around the filler tube.

I then add the 3. Do you think I need more clarity in the Guide, and if so, I will add these above details in the next Rev. Ray, I just went back and re-read the instructions. My experience as a tech writer tells me this. If I had never seen the instructions for your first versions, I might assume no cutout over the wicking basket.

The New EarthTainer III “Convertible” Guide Now Available – Tomatoville┬« Gardening Forums

I also might not catch the importance of the mounding and packing of the wicking basket. You had earthtauner lot of emphasis on the contact of the wicking area to the main body in the previous versions. If it were me, I would add something like the paragraph you wrote in your previous post above somewhere near step 3 or step earthtianer on page I think ii very important that you be crystal clear on the packing down and the mounding and its importance.

The folks who have already made some of the original designs need something to catch their eye or they might iii and miss this important change.

This additional paragraph would give you a chance to really emphasize the point. Besides, if two or more people named “Ted” ask the same or a similar question, While explaining the mounding over the wicking basket is a good idea, I think people who miss that will probably get away with it, simply because any esrthtainer fabric that will absorb oi will also stretch when pressure is applied to it while it is sarthtainer.

The same pressure that compresses container mix in the wicking basket would also push the landscape fabric above it down into the top of the wicking basket, so soil to fabric contact will be maintained. There is no way for pressure above the fabric to compress the container mix in the basket without pushing the fabric down into it too.


There may be a different issue that instructions to mound up soil above the wicking basket before adding landscape fabric may help with, which is setting the whole thing up dry before adding any water. One thing to try: After it soaks up the water, check the level of mix in the wicking basket to see if it still comes up to the top. Even if that happens if users set up the whole thing with dry container mix then add water via the fill tubethe weight of mix above the fabric may still deform it down into the gap created as container mix in the wicking basket loses volume when it soaks up water the first time.

Instructions to mound up mix in the basket before adding the landscape fabric should eliminate possible problems with setting the whole thing up dry before adding water via the reservoir which is the way most gardeners transplant and repot: Last edited by dice; November 28, at Hi Dice, My assessment is that the landscape fabric is quite inelastic, and does not stretch under weight. My concern is that with the water reservoir constantly filling and dropping via wicking, I was concerned that the potting mix in the basket would be depleted over time.

As the weight of the 3. So I erred on the conservative side to make the 1″ mound over the wicking basket to compensate for the settling that will naturally occur.

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Also, by making that cupcake mound initially, the landscape fabric is then in a convex form, and will leave flexing of the material to eventually form a concave shape as the mix in the wicking basket settles. I will be building several “tub” types for next year.

I am electing to cover sides of the wicking device with landscape fabric as well. This is solely to minimize the amount of material from being carried off by the water. Ray, have you thought about cutting an “X” of some size in the landscape fabric over the wicking basket, to help minimize the settling of the growing medium???


The root system will clog up the wicking basket if you cut an “X” in the landscape fabric above it. The ui mound is the best way that I have found to assure continuous contact of the potting mix in the wicking basket with the mix above the landscape fabric layer. All times are GMT The time now is Mark All Forums Read. Page 1 of 7. Find More Posts by rnewste. Find More Posts by Woodchuck.

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