Self-Watering Buckets forum: #2, Continuing eBucket construction zone

 
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ImageSugarweed
Jun 4, 2010 9:05 PM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Jax and Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
I don't think spell-check is optional with Mozella Firefox, it's just always there. That makes me appear somewhat educated. I'm sure my DM is tickled with that.
So glad to have you back Jim.
After looking for several different potions I can trust, I went to an Hydroponics shop today. I was fascinated with their set-ups. Most all of which there are directions for here or DG.
I have been eating many of these Steamers that come in 2 pc plastic containers. The bottom piece is a bowl (holds sauce) and the top is a 6 & 5/8" steamer tray (holds veggies and meat).
Any one have a suggestion for an inexpensive pot that I can wedge that strainer down in?
I'll need about 9 to 10 inches deep in all.
Sidney
In life I have found 2 things stand.
Kindness in another's trouble and
Courage in your own.
Imagejimsned2
Jun 5, 2010 7:11 AM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Sidney, this is the second time I've posted this same answer, but the post doesn't seem to get through! I'll try one more time. I'd suggest Big Lots, or Pottery barn or Dollar tree if you have any of those in your area. Also, Home Depot had a sale on containers with lids that were about thee size of a re-cycle box, but I don't know if the sale is still on. I used to live across the street from a farm that grew only corn, wouldn't you think I'd remember how thick a stalk of the corn plant is? Nope; I drilled a 1 inch hole for the corn, now the hole is clogged because the corn stalk is too big! I have to go out with a knife and try to enlarge the hole without damaging the plant Hilarious! This getting old is just sooo much fun Confused
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagecoconut
Jun 5, 2010 7:36 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Jim, if you haven't done it yet, just make slits all around, like sun rays. Corn is a TOUGH plant! Giant grass, it is.
Melissa

Imagejimsned2
Jun 5, 2010 12:58 PM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Ohh great idea, less chance of losing my finger. I'm very curious to see if I actually get corn.
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagegessieviolet
Jun 6, 2010 9:38 PM CST
Name: Lane Cockrell
Zone 8a, NW South Carolina US
eBuckets big results in small space
Jim, never thought it could be done, but I did it!! My 8 corn stalks growing in a HEB produced more corn than I was ever able to produce in my efforts in garden spots. Only 1 ear per stalk, but now I know it can be done.. Ate the first ear raw and it was great!! (from my last years notes)

BTW: instead of using a lid on the container I just used a layer of woodchip mulch. Accomplished the same thing and not nearly the trouble.

Thumbnail by gessieviolet

'Feeding the world, one eBucket at a time'
Imagebeckygardener
Jun 6, 2010 9:47 PM CST
Name: Becky
Florida Zone 9b/10a
Lane - WOWEE!!! That's so cool!!!
Another Day in Paradise!
Imagejimsned2
Jun 7, 2010 7:45 AM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Lane, I thought the whole idea was to water only from the bottom! So, that corn in picture is from last years crop right? Just so I'm clear, in a five gal bucket with one stalk per bucket, how many ears would you expect to get from that one stalk? Also, do you plant according to the season? I'm finding that I can do tomatoes even though in Florida it's the wrong season. I figure why not corn? The bucket can be moved so it gets only partial sun if full hot sun is the reason not to plant in June! Just trying to make sense of why follow the rules for zones if your into bucket gardening.
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagecoconut
Jun 7, 2010 8:30 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Jim, I'd put four, around the edges.
Melissa

Imagejimsned2
Jun 7, 2010 9:03 AM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Honestly Melissa, or are you putting me on? 4 in one 5 gal bucket huh?
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagecoconut
Jun 7, 2010 9:34 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
They'll gobble water, you bet. But corn pollinates by wind. One plant by itself will produce a mostly empty cob, a kernel here and there.

Also, one way to plant corn is in 'hills'. Several, 4 to 6 kernels within a couple of inches of each other, and each hill about six feet apart. And, corn likes to make side sprouts, that's OK, and they'll grow roots up the stalk s few inches, those can be 'hilled up' with dirt.

Any time I grow corn, I keep and eye on it, and when the tassels start letting go pollen, first thing in the morning, I catch it in a piece of 'typewriter' paper and spill it onto where the silk is emerging out of each ear.

I wish I hadn't been so scared of my grandfather. He gardened a lot, hated children, I guess. I always ran away from him. He had a huge garden, 1/4 acre at least. It went all the way from over there to the other side of the driveway, all the way over the other side. I don't remember him ever talking to me even once. Come to think of it, when I was little, I think I was afraid of all adults.

Typewriter paper. They kind of don't make that any more, do they?

Oops, I'm not on the DR cubit, hey?

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

Imagejimsned2
Jun 7, 2010 10:18 AM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Now that you mentioned it, I remember talking to a farmer and him mentioning that you need more then one corn plant in order to get corn. That's OK, I just have to move several buckets closer together. I do have one large buckety kind of thing that I put 4 in. It's all just an interesting experiment for me anyway, just wanna see if I can do it. Spell check won't allow me to use buckety Hilarious! but the heck with them, using it anyway
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

ImageGymgirl
Jun 7, 2010 2:39 PM CST
Name: Linda
Zone 9a, Houston, Tx. (Hobby)
Godspeed & Good Harvest!
Beckygardener et al,
I'll be harvesting the rest of my container grown potate crop probably this week or next. I plan on recycling the potting mix from those containers to grow the next cole crop of cabbages, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cauliflower. It's mostly sifted decomp leaf mold & homemade compost, and is very organic. I'd like to keep it fluffy. I have a bag of perlite that would allow the water to percolate well and keep the medium moist (which the coles like -- they are water HOGS!)

From ya'lls experience, does this sound like a "sound" plan?

P.S. The only way I can remember the difference between the perlite & vermiculite is like this:

Perlite = Percolates (fast draining)
Vermiculite = Very Wet (holds moisture)

How's that? I tip my hat to you.

Here's a modest harvest from one 's my washing machine tubs. Rolling my eyes.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl

Imagejimsned2
Jun 7, 2010 4:21 PM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Dog gone Linda, I finally got perlite straight in my head, then I read your way to remember it and now I'm back to not knowing which is which Sticking tongue out Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagecoconut
Jun 7, 2010 5:34 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Pearls

perlite perlite is little round white thingies, makes for good drainage, if you use a LOT, like more than 50-50%. A pot full of pearls would drain well.

That other stuff holds water.

Is how I remember.
Melissa

ImageGymgirl
Jun 7, 2010 8:10 PM CST
Name: Linda
Zone 9a, Houston, Tx. (Hobby)
Godspeed & Good Harvest!
Good to know I was on the right track!
Imagegessieviolet
Jun 7, 2010 9:44 PM CST
Name: Lane Cockrell
Zone 8a, NW South Carolina US
eBuckets big results in small space
Jim the corn was actually grown in a homemade earth box (HEB) which is where I got the idea from the eBucket from. It is simply a 10 gallon vinyl storage box ( I now know the brand "rubbermaid" is stronger) with a false bottom that allows a reservoir of water. I put 2 6" square pots in to wick water into the mix. It has the pipe to put water in and a tube for drainage just like we use in the eBucket; so even though I used wood chips as a mulch I still watered from the bottom reservoir.

Even with my eBuckets I occasionally put water through the soil from the top. Why? mainly because that's what I feel like doing at the moment. Told you,I am not a fanatic for exact rules.

With the corn last year planted spaced seeds about 3" apart on each side of the box and ended up with a total of 8 plants growing to maturity some of them produced 2 ears each plant. So 8 plants in the box is equivalent to 4 plants for each 5 gallons. As everybody says need several stalks together for pollination. I just shake my stalks when they tassel (you can see the cloud of floating pollen that results

This year I am experimenting with the actual eBucket with 4 or 5 plants (I can't remember which, and it's to dark to check) that is doing great so far.

I agree about not having to worry to much about seasons if the temp is right we can control the other conditions with the containers.

Here is a site that gives a sample of the HEB, I didn't do anything nearly this complicated but you get the idea and I have a box I have use for 4 years. http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg05010442...

(Remember we came up with the eBucket idea less than a year ago!!)

Here is a picture of the container of corn that produced the ears pictured above, this photo was taken 7-2 -09

While I am at it, I invite you to read my thoughts on this year's harvest so far.

http://mckarion.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/frugal-gardner-elim...

Thumbnail by gessieviolet

'Feeding the world, one eBucket at a time'
Imagecoconut
Jun 8, 2010 3:58 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
I bought some corn seed from Stokes, a Canadian company that must have fifty different kinds of corn. I simply got the fastest, there's a huge difference between 72 days and 80 days. You're drooling for a whole week longer! Hurry up, hurry up!

Anyway, the quickest corn they have is 58 days. OK, a few years ago, 3??, I got some. Much to my surprise, I was eating tiny ears in 21 (!!) days, from seed to feed, as they say. I guess the plants simply panicked at the long nights, thinking it must be fall, and they'd better hurry up. Some of the plants only got knee high, but they dried out too much, I watered every morning and sometimes at night, but it wasn't enough.

A lot of veggies don't do well here in the Caribbean because the nights in the summer are eleven hours long, and the temperature only cools by about ten degrees.

Nice looking corn, Lane. 5, with one in the middle, should be good.
Melissa

Imagejimsned2
Jun 8, 2010 4:31 AM CST
Name: Jim
South Florida
Lane, Thanks so much, you are always a wealth of information, I'll check out that link today. Melissa, your corn dried out? Even with the bottom watering?hmmm, maybe I might try a bigger reservoir next time.
"we don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes" Leona Helmsley

Imagecoconut
Jun 8, 2010 4:59 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Jim, my corn was in the ground. This was four years ago
Melissa

Imagebeckygardener
Jun 11, 2010 8:17 PM CST
Name: Becky
Florida Zone 9b/10a
Linda - No potatoes here. I think I over-watered them. Though I do have a whole box full of grocery store potatoes that have sprouted like crazy, so I am going to attempt to plant them out in the garden somewhere. If they make it, it will be a surprise! LOL!

Love all the corn that several of you grew! That is something I want to try next! Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions on just how to do that! Hurray!
Another Day in Paradise!

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