Container growing


Plot #103 has been given two agricubes to grow things in! They are easy to assemble and made largely of natural materials apart from the (plastic) base and the cable ties that hold the sides together.

I certainly found it easy to assemble a cube on my own, and as I’m pretty ham fisted, this was quite an unexpectedly pleasurable part of the job.

We’re going to be using the cubes through the year to test their utility for container growing on allotments or in gardens. The Grow and Tell workshop team helped me to plant up the first one.

We found several issues in filling the planter:

1. Watering will not be easy, especially with a hosepipe ban. We opted for a drainpipe filled with stones and with downward facing holes drilled into it, to act as a water feed system.
2. Planting seeds between the slats was hit and miss – next time we will try using a seed planter to get an even row, but even then, getting the right amount of soil coverage over the seeds was tricky.
3. We wondered about the performance of the four sides of the planter: the north side will get very little light, the south side will get a lot of sun and the east side is exposed to prevailing winds.

We planted the same crop in the same slat on each side to compare growth and a short row of the same seeds in open ground as a control. To date we have spring onions, radishes, spicy salad, green salad and carrots, with some leftover broad bean seedlings planted in the top along with limnanthes seeds to encourage ladybirds to visit the planter.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, April 6, 2012

3 Comments:

Blogger Joanna said...

I recommend olla's for watering or something similar. Basically it is an unglazed pot and the water oozes out of it to water the plants. I have had some made by our local potter but any clay pot that will hold water but get wet on the outside will work. Just make sure to put a cover over the top to stop insects laying eggs in it, like midges and the like. I have used them on a sunny balcony for a couple of years now and they have worked well.

April 6, 2012 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger janerowena said...

Try to get hold of some turntables for tvs and monitors on freecycle - I have used them for planters and they will take quite a bit of weight.

April 6, 2012 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Joanna - I've used ollas of various kinds in France and they work well, except in heavy frost where they can shatter.

Janerowena - good idea! I like to be able to reuse things that would otherwise probably go to landfill.

April 10, 2012 at 2:49 AM  

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