Alright DGC. Here is the rough draft for my 5gal organic sub-irrigated wicking container. I had Scotty in mind the whole time I was planning this system. My thoughts were to combine the convenience of a hempy bucket with an organic living soil.
And here it is. I start off with a basic diy 5 gallon bucket wicking container using two 5 gallon buckets, a 4″ net pot & 2″ pvc pipe. The space at the bottom between the two buckets become your water reservoir. The reservoir is filled from above via the 2″ pvc pipe. The reservoir level is maintained with a hole drilled 3 1/2″ from the bottom not unlike a hempy bucket.
Once assembled, coco coir is packed tightly in the net pot then a 2″ layer of coco coir is placed. This is the wicking layer that will draw the water from the reservoir and into the soil layer.
Next the soil mix is added leaving enough room at the top of the container for a one to two inch mulch layer. I use dry alfalfa hay as my mulch layer. Alfalfa is usually cut young before seeds develop as well as being high in nitrogen as it breaks down.
Now for the heart and soul of the system the break down of the soil mix. I mix my soil in roughly 2 cubic foot batches enough for three 5 gal bucket containers as followd:
* 5 gal worm premium worm castings. I actually farm my own castings with red wigglers fed on my own worm feed mix of leaf mold, alfalfa and kelp. Don’t get me started on vermicomposting.
* 5 gal fungally dominated leaf mold. Again I make this myself on the farm. This can be substituted for peat or coco coir. But you won’t get all the benefits from the mycelium network produced within leaf mold.
* 3 gal of garden pumice. Can be substituted with perlite. Perlite just isn’t as sustainable or “green” as pumice.
* 2 gal of rice hulls. Rice hulls will add a source of slow released silica. But again if unavailable can be replaced with perlite.
* 1 gal of Biochar. As I believed I heard it put by Scotty. Biochar os like a coral reef for microbes. Great stuff and worth using at about 5% of any soil mix
* 4 cups of Down to Earths Bio-Fish 7-7-2 fertilizer mix. The Bio-Fish just seems to have everything I want in an organic fertilizer in one box. Fish meal, fish bone meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal and humic acids.
* 8 cups of mineral mix consisting of equal parts glacial rock dust, basalt rock dust, gypsum, oyster flour & soft rock phospate.
Top off the reservoir once a week with fresh water. And drench a little recharge on top once a week carefull not to water from the top to much. You do not want runoff through the rich soil into the reservoir below. But if you do by accident just pull the top bucket, Dump the reservoir, reassemble and refill the reservoir via the fill tube.
I have just put my first autoflower seedlings into this system and so far they are loving life. I will keep you all posted. But would love to hear what the DGC thinks of my system so far.