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Author Topic: Alaska Grow Buckets for Fruit & Veg  (Read 1683 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Alaska Grow Buckets for Fruit & Veg
« on: December 30, 2015, 07:32:02 pm »
Has anybody else tried these or something similar?

I've been looking for a self-watering solution for our polytunnel for a while, but don't want to go to the trouble of installing pumps etc, so Alaska Grow Buckets look like a great idea:



I suppose the name comes from them having been developed in Alaska, where they have long daylight hours, but only for a very short growing season. Full details are on the Alaska Grow Buckets website, but basically inside each ventilated bucket, there is a colander, and inside the colander sits a fabric bag filled with the growing medium. The pipework is then arranged so that only the bottom of the bag is in contact with a constant supply of water, and capillary action takes care of the rest.

The only disadvantage I can think of is that all of the buckets need to be at exactly the same level for it to work properly, but that can be arranged.  What do you think though?

Oh, and does anybody know where I might be able to get a load of 5 gallon buckets from cheaply?  They're a bit bigger than the standard sheep licky buckets etc.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Alaska Grow Buckets for Fruit & Veg
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 09:11:28 pm »
Wouldn't it be rather expensive though womble? I usually find that if i water my plants many times a day using mist watering they do much better than dousing them and I don't mind the extra time, it gives me some time to think.
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Alaska Grow Buckets for Fruit & Veg
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 11:05:32 pm »
That's the problem WBF - we're lucky if we can find half an hour to water every couple of days, so I'm looking for the simplest possible self-managing system.

As for the price, I costed up buying all the bits for a 20 bucket system commercially, and it came to about 300  :o :
  • 20 off 20 litre buckets at 4 each = 80
  • 20 colanders at 2.50 each = 50
  • 400 litres of hydroponic growing medium = 116
  • 1 metre of pipe (30p) per bucket = 6
  • 1 tee per bucket (30p) = 6
  • Landscape fabric to make bags out of = 20
  • ball cock and fittings, 5
  • large butt 25 (even though I've already got one of those  ;D )
In reality I've already got lots of the bits I'd need, and I'd hope to source the rest for free or very cheap one way or another. I'm not sure about the growing medium though. Also, how easily could it be re-used from one year to the next (can anybody advise?).


Still thinking......
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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