The Groasis Waterboxx is a technology that enables you to use ten times less water to grow trees and reverse desertification. It is an integrated planting technology that allows you to plant trees in very dry areas that have little water. This is not a way of irrigation but simply a way to eliminate the need for water ultimately. In the first year you can cut down about 90% water you would normally use, and then after that you wouldn't need any water! This can happen once the roots are long enough to reach water, which happens after about a year. The reason trees have such a hard time starting off in these desert areas is because the first 3 meters of top soil are completely dry but if you use this waterboxx you can help it to reach water while being protected.
"The Groasis Technology is a biomimicry technology and consists of:
1) improving the soil with compost and mycorrhizae
2) leaving the capillary structure intact and makeing the correct planting hole with the Groasis Capillary drill
3) using plants with the right primary roots which are not twisted, but extend vertically downwards
4) using the Groasis Waterboxx
5) using the Growsafe Telescoprotexx plant protector against heat in the summer, from frost during the winter and from grazing by animals
6) if necessary, when planting on rocks, the use of the capillary drill."
So essentially, the Groasis technology is just mimicking how nature actually works.
Now, onto the actual waterboxx! This video does an absolutely amazing job of clearly explaining how exactly the waterboxx works.
Here is a picture of a vineyard with the waterboxxes in California:
Here is one of 12 pines that grew over 2 meters with no irrigation for 3 years after planting in waterboxx. This was in Spain.
There are TONS more pictures of groasis results here.
The only way I can think to improve it is to make it out of biodegradable material, so that you can leave it and forget it. That would be a plus in trying to reforest really remote locations where you don't want to have to come back in a year or two to remove the box. Maybe some sort of waxed cardboard would last long enough to give the seedling a start and yet fall apart when the trunk starts to outgrow the box.
It does look like this product works well. I understand it's rather expensive at about $300.00 per box. They do say that can use one box over and over again though some of their shots (like the pine tree above) seem to show the tree reaching too large a size for box removal. Makes me wonder if they don't already have a bio-degradable box.
Any ideas on how to make one of these at home. I suppose that you could grab some 5 gallon buckets, duct tape, and a wicking material to make your own.
The Waterboxx, if you buy 1, costs $24,99, you can re-use it up to 10 times, so the costs per planting would be: $2.50.
When you buy lager quantities the Waterboxx cost $21.99 and $2.20 each.
Marketing Manager Groasis,
It's deceptive to say that after a certain amount of time no water will be needed at all. For example, "This can happen once the roots are long enough to reach water, which happens after about a year.". In a true desert, roots won't reach groundwater after a year. The photos are not of deserts -- there is forest in the background of one photo and plenty of surface plants around the small trees in the other photos, so those areas evidently have water available, and in such conditions, trees may only need watering until they get established anyway.
In some deserts, such as where I live, that simply isn't so. There is no groundwater at 3 meters -- if there were, our bore-well drilling would have been a lot cheaper and simpler!
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
The Groasis Waterboxx is a planting techniek and allows the tree to be self sufficient after one year under the most difficult conditions.
The picture with the other trees in the background were from the Life+ project in Spain. The Waterboxx was used in a area that is turning into a dessert because of drought.
The trees planted with the Groasis Waterboxx are doing significantly better that the trees without the Waterboxx.
It is a long running test and you can read al about it here: http://www.groasis.com/en/projects/life-the-green-deserts-reforestation-project-with-over-91-survival-rate-in-spain The University of Valladolid has written a very good repport about it that you can also read on this page.
Together with more pictures and youtube movies.
Marketing Manager Groasis
Thanks for the info Nadine. I'm the Rocky Mtn's of the Western USA (Colorado mostly) and we have a terrible time with water here. From the google searches I did previously I only saw the Groasis for 300 $US. The $25.00 price sounds pretty good.
Has anyone commented on how we can use the Groasis Growboxx with Permaculture principles? I'm new to Permaculture so I'd like to know if the Growboxxes can help the trees to grow on their own after the first 1-2 years and then the trees can grow without the product after these initial year(s), according to Groasis, the trees will then provide shade for smaller plants and life to birds that are also seed carriers, among other things. So would anything else be needed to work on the land if the trees already provide shade and some type of soil around it? Would it be enough to actually create, by means of a domino effect, a full fledged forest? I'm assuming this would be the process (simplified):
1) Growboxx to provide survivability for trees first 1-2 years
2) 2-5 years tree can grow on their own
3) after 5 years tree will be big enough and will have enough of a root system to provide a "home" for other smaller plants and insects and animals around
4) with those small plants and insects, that in turn will produce better and better soil, which then will soak up more of the rainwater and provide a longer survivability if and when there's a drought for 10+ months even
Basically, I wanted to know if the Growboxx will just mimic the work of what we humans would do on the land? I'm sure there's some differences like permaculture is more superior in quality in terms of soil grade it eventually will produce and maybe the time it takes is much quicker, but that said, I wonder if the Growboxx will actually re-forest a barren area by itself and only itself with NO additional human input?
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