gidcomb wrote:Thanks a lot for your help. I will check out the sit you suggested. I don't understand how water not in contact with the plants could help. Ist it the evaporation?
I haven't done a ton of research on the earth box, but I think the soil does come in contact with the water.
It is basically like bottom watering pots.
I have my plants growing in plastic cups with holes in the bottom. The cups are in plastic bins that I add about 3/4 to 1" of water to.
I haven't had any issues with too much water in the soil.
The soil wicks the water up, but doesn't saturate it.
My soil mix is 1/3 each of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost.
I think as long as you don't poor the water in through the dirt, provide a hole for the water to leak out of, and water from the bottom until it comes out the drainage hole, it will probably work.
The way I would do it in a 55 gal drum would be to put some gravel in the bottom, put a sheet of weed barrier over the gravel, then fill the rest with soil. Fill the water a little past the gravel level.
Some plants roots will grow soaking wet, some wont. Lettuce will, tomatos wont.
Check this site out too for a cheap way to build a self watering grow box.
A barrel poses other problems such as rolling...
Here is another interesting barrel concept. I plan to try it some day, but have just read about it so far.
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.