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Self wicking pots for trees

    9 responses

Gus starts with ...
Hi everyone.

I have been seen "Self wicking" garden beds in the media a bit recently on Costa's Odessy and on you tube.

Eveything I seen only refers to using them with vegetable. I like the idea in regards to vegetables.

I'd like to use win barrels as pots for fruit trees such as oranges, apples etc.

Building a wicking pot is essentially building a self watering pot such as these http://www.bunnings.com.au/sustainability_save-water_container-gardening.aspx


Bassically I'd like to know if fruit trees could be grown in self watering pots?



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Gus1
Bendigo
19th April 2010 3:49pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Well I am no expert but here is my take, water wicks up 300mm of soil as tested by lots of gardeners, but not much more.
You tree will have two roots, hardy tap roots that can probabley exist in the wet zone for a while, and lots of shallower finer roots that are the main nutrient feeders. Given you are in a pot you raly only have shallow feeders, if these get drownerd they die. Certain plants need better drainage that others i.e. the root die easier.

If water only wicks up 300mm of soil from the reservior you would be looking at maybe 400mm of soil debth, I douth taht is enough for most plants, you could go for wider pots to allow more roots along the surface, but not all plants will grow like that. Maybe look up surface root plants, I think citrus, figs, etc are, but dont quote me.

At the end of the day growing producing plants in pots is very limited, I think you may aswell have you normal full size pot, put it in a dish at the bottem fill the pot via trickle retic so it fill the pot and the dish nad then re water when the surface of the pot gets dry (get a moisture probe that can read to 300mm for $10, not peerfect but good enough).

The best use of wicking beds for trees is to use and open wicking bed and plant your trees in the soil, the plant then sends some of its roots to your lined wet area and doest what it wants with the other roots. You water into the wet area, it doesnt leach down (as its lined) but it slowly leaches sideways towards you plant. Plenty to read about at these sites. http://www.easygrowvegetables.com/ and http://waterright.com.au/

Hope that helps in some way.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
22nd April 2010 2:13pm
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Rocketrod says...
This is air pruning wicking barrels and are performing great
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Rocketrod
Bunbury W.A
20th March 2015 3:28pm
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Linton says...
I have just got some air pruning planter bags and would like to know if anyone has used these or air pruning pots for growing trees over an extended period of time.

Currently there has been some rain so my impervious soil is now damp for the top 2 inches, but below this layer it's still dry dust. So I have now put my Lucuma trees in the big air bags since they were so dry in the soil but I'm not sure if such large trees can be successfully grown in these self pruning bags.

I am a little concerned that the soil in these type of pots may also be quicker to dry out in the warmer weather, but doubt if they could be any more dry than my existing soil in the ground.

Therefore I seek information on the success of growers who have used them for growing fruit trees to maturity. Thank you.
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Linton
NOBLE PARK,3174,VIC
22nd July 2016 6:29pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd July 2016 6:29pm
Bangkok says...
Ross Sapote grows very well in a 100L pot. I put latex/copper paint on the inside of it as rootpruner.
Guess lucuma is the same family of plant.

In Bangkok they sell big tree's with very small rootballs at the treeshops. The rootball is in an open fabric and they water them a few times a day i guess. Also baskets of woven bamboo are used, very open structure and you plant it with the basket.

Those tree's were grown in full soil first i guess and to sell them they pruned the rootsystem and put it in a net.

If the soil stays too wet in a selfwatering pot with wickingsystem the wick is too wide. A smaller wick would feed the plant at a slower rate.

It's not easy to build an automatic wateringsystem, especially if the climate changes a lot like in Melbourne. But an open structure soil (mixed with perlite) would be my choice. It can be watered daily which is what i do. In wetseason i don't have to fear rootrot and still use the sprinklersystems.


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Bangkok
Thailand
4th August 2016 8:22pm
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Figbarron says...
Hie Bangkok could you share a picture of your Ross Sapote in the 100L pot?
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Figbarron
FRANKSTON SOUTH,3199,VIC
5th September 2016 11:38am
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Bangkok says...
Here it is, this is a pic from today.

It's not in full sun but still wants to grow fast. I tipprune it all the time now and feed it potassiumnitrate every few weeks.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Bangkok
Thailand
7th September 2016 5:22pm
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Figbarron says...
Awesome. Here are my Deana Fig tree and Sugar plum in my diy wicking barrels. They have a reservoir at the bottom and it wicks up using coconut coir. They are beginning to wake up from dormancy and producing leaves.

Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Figbarron
FRANKSTON SOUTH,3199,VIC
8th September 2016 9:49pm
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Bangkok says...
Coconut coir is used a lot by Thai fruittree growers in pots. They use the chunks and water them a few times a day depending on the size of the tree.

I just learned that a wick made of microfibre towell just work long, guess it gets full of chalk and stops working after a while. I used that to wick water out of the bowl under a tree.
Can't have standing water here, mosquito's love it and carry mean diseases.

I also learned that small tree's in huge pots grow slower than small tree's in small pots. Yup i have to test that myself.
Maybe in course cocohusk chunks they grow faster though since they get much more air in that. I used loamy soil.

I have 2 litchi's in a similar pot which grew even larger than the Ross sapote.

Oh and my pedalai in a 100L pot is a great umbrella against direct sun on my terrace. That's my largest tree in a pot.




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Bangkok
Thailand
10th September 2016 12:49pm
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Original Post was last edited: 10th September 2016 12:49pm
Figbarron says...
My barrels have the water reservoir at the base. The drainage pipe and fill pipe are covered in shade cloth to allow water and air through but not mosquitoes. And the mosquitoes do not have access to the water reservoir. I learned that the hard way back in january haha.
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Figbarron
FRANKSTON SOUTH,3199,VIC
13th September 2016 9:32am
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