Archive for September, 2010

Water-wicking boxes

September 21, 2010

I now have 25 water-wicking boxes in use. I think that will do for a while!

With all this extra growing space, I’m looking forward to the coming season. The boxes will be used for tomatoes (determinate varieties because of their smaller size), capsicums, french beans, lettuce, beetroot and anything else that comes to mind that will be suitable. Each box has been topped up with fresh compost and a layer of sugar cane mulch, waiting for the first plants to be put in. There are still plenty of worms in each box. I had expected that if they weren’t happy, then on some dark, rainy night they would find their way to a better place, but they’re still in evidence, so must be finding plenty to eat there. Some of the boxes have been in use for 2 years, and  must contain almost pure worm castings by now. As the level of growing medium drops, it is topped up with fresh compost.

I’m also trying some water-wicking tubs for the larger-growing tomatoes. These are large plastic pots, 45 cm in diameter and 40 cm deep. Because they have normal drainage holes in the bottom and I want them to be water-wicking pots, I’ve cut a circle of heavy-duty plastic and pushed it into the bottom of each tub so that it forms a water reservoir in the lower one-third of the tub. Excess water will simply flow over the top of the plastic and out the normal drainage holes. As with the wicking boxes, the tubs are filled with nice, rich compost and a few worms. I’m going to use them for the larger, indeterminate tomatoes—Black Russian, Grosse Lisse and Green Zebra—one plant to each tub. These will be trained onto a wire trellis behind the tub. There will probably be room for a couple of lettuces or maybe even a trailing cucumber in the front of the tub.

The soil in the main vegetable beds is still a bit cold for planting out tomatoes but I have 3 dozen beauties ready to go. Can’t wait!