The clay can be filled and slowly saturate all of the plants. In the case of heavy rain, you can recollect the water that flows through so you don't lose nutrients. They are stackable and you can plant a dwarf fruit tree in the top. I got these containers used for around 25 dollars each delivered. New they are 250, used they are usually 50-100.
One is use the clay pipe as the planter rather than water storage. I see advantages such as easier to swap out dirt, or to remove and replace as needed. You would only l disturb that one planting bed instead of 2-4 that may fit in there.
This would allow minnows into the tote to eat mosquito larva.
I find the prices of terra cotta to be prohibitive. I have had good luck with inverted buckets and screened in sections of 3" pvc the bottom third of a 55gal drum.
I slit the sides of the pipe sections and buckets to allow water to flow into the wicking soil I pack in on top,while keeping said soil out of the resoivars.
Slotting with a sawzall Is also easier than drilling holes.
One pipe is left long as a supply tube.
I have been considering scaling up to IBCs by using slitted 55gal drums as the
If you are looking for a very easy and cheap raised bed, people here make them out of old roofing sheets (corrugated iron), you get them
for free. Simply screw them on a piece of timber in each corner. This looks better than the plastic imo and costs next to nothing. You can easily take it apart if you
want to harvest difficult to get roots like burdock.
Okay, so the reason I want to make it portable is for their resale value. Usually you cannot plant a fruit tree in a raised garden bed and if you did you wouldn't be taking it with you when you moved.
Now I know that the containers are ugly but they are also very strong and will last a long time. My goal is to plant perennials around the outside edge pockets and do annuals and a fruit tree on top, in this way you will hopefully not even see the ugly plastic container. Also after say 5 years of perennial growth your container should be able to be sold for much more then you paid for it, plus it fed you for 5 years! This is not Aquaponics so there is no fish. The clay tubes are like 13 dollars each unless you go with bigger sizes and you can probably find them used from some place. They will slowly wick water into the soil.
Also when 2 are stacked onto one another they make a 7 or 8 foot tower which you then could attach a fence too and make it like a corner post. The same idea could be applied to an overhead trellis. Imagine planting on the walls and ceiling instead of the ground like a normal raised bed. This way you can still have a hot tub, bbq, picnic table or whatever you like.
I get it. Looks like You have holes in the side which will be a wall garden.
I think the whole idea has merit. For me, using your idea for my setup, would be the reverse. Put the pipe in my stock tank with minnows and plant in the pot. Just because of what I have to start with.
Heck, your way could have lots of uses. Integrated into a chicken run and one side could provide feed for them and the other three sides for you. Same for sheep.
One problem with the idea that you're going to get fruit for five years and then sell it, is that you're not going to get much fruit for the first five years. Dwarf trees will bear sooner, but probably not for 2 years. Full fruiting won't happen for the first five years, then you'd sell it. For a semi-dwarf, you'd just start to taste a few fruit and then you'd sell it. I love the innovation and recycling aspects of your project. I think there's a lot of potential there. I just wanted to warn about one aspect that might not be as "fruitful" as it might look.
You have a lot of height to deal with for the olla--the bottom may get too wet and the top too dry. Following an herb spiral planting guide may help, but it may need some other tweaking as well.
If you can get the clay flue liners that cheap, great. Otherwise you can do a wicking bed in the same container, using the lid cutout as the bottom divider.
Tree roots will stress your container (part of the reason pots have sloped sides). I have see trees split concrete planters (not ice, the root ball growth itself). You can deal with that if you use the right soil mix that won't compact.
Something like a mel's mix with a lot of vermiculite will help with the compaction and water holding problems, plus weight because you will be pushing the capacity of an IBC.
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I see some potential in the idea. I wonder about the idea of selling such a large "planter". Any research to suggest that there is a market for the product?
In terms of keeping it around for my use, it would depend very much on circumstances. Right now I am getting very much into the idea of using pallets to make planting beds out of compost piles. Part of this is because where I live, our soil is nothing but sand. The single most successful element of my gardens right now is the squash plants that volunteered in my compost pile, which pile is contained in a few pallets.
I could see, were I in a more urban, or just a smaller, setting, some real benefit in using IBC tote planters on dollies to let me move them around if needed.
If that's your concern you should check out my stuff online. Link in my signature. There are a lot of ways. To do it right though you need to understand the theories behind heat transfer. Lots of that on my blog.
I set the first cube up as a demonstration garden in my local community garden. It contains garlic chives, chives, spearmint, peppermint, strawberries, blueberries and some annuals. Compost tea can be collected from the ball valve on the bottom and reintroduce it into the garden.
So I just used silicone on porcine tile. I delicately placed them into the container and so far they are holding. I will stop filling them when winter rolls in to prevent them breaking from ice. They are 2 feet in length so the pipe doesn't reach the bottom but I assume the bottom will be more wet anyways.....
So this is just good top soil and wood chips, no fertiliser or added compost. All organic. I planted it very late in the season and I was impressed with the results. Next year I hope to go into production of these growing a semi dwarf fruit tree and it's "plant family". In this way I can have a transportable food forest for sale.
I also thought stacking them double high and attaching an 8 foot tall trellis/fence. Then the cubes become the fenceposts and their weight secures the trellis/fence for vines to crawl across, expanding the square footage of the cubes even further.
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)