About this project
The Benefits of this system are.
- Raise $300 to $500 in organic veggies per summer
- No Weeding
- Portable and transportable
- Uses minimum water
- Grow plants 30% faster
- Use 50% less water
- Pots don't cook your plants in the summer
- Automate it and leave for 2 weeks, no problem!
This product allows YOU gardener to grow a wonderful 3' X 6' garden using a minimal amount of water. This is a completely portable system that waters the plants from the bottom up. To automate this garden you ad an irrigation timer from the local Home Depot and hook it to the pressure reducer that comes with this project, set the timer and forget it. We have included pictures of such a setup on the web site. The system will come with a full set of instructions on how to grow an amazing container garden on your deck or patio!!!! Below you will see the first garden set up this year on a friends organic veggie farm in Oregon.
The amazing recycled polyester fiber pots are really an integral part of this system. These pots have many advantages, In this pot the roots are air pruned so they don't circle the pot. When the roots circle the pot they can be burned when the sun hits the sides of the pot. The result of air pruning is much larger and stronger roots that out all the way back to the plant and make the most use of nutrients in the soil. The soil is automatically aerated and in very hot climates and your plants won't overheat. Anything can be grown in these pots. This system is great for growing herbs, any type of vegetables, flowers or recreational type plants if you live in the right state;-) Between these amazing pots and the bottoms up watering of the plants you should see around 30% faster growth and up to 23% higher yields than in standard pots.
Below is an actual garden grown on the last pre-production prototype!
Long term we hope to supply these systems for urban and roof top gardening in both low income areas in the USA and to underdeveloped countries to enhance nutritional quality for these folks.
The system below was a prototype used in an arid western climate where we recycled the water. This system only used used 17 gallons of water all summer long. It effectively caught what little bit of rain water there was and recycled it. This system used grow bags with Coconut fiber and hydroponically grew this garden! THIS SYSTEM IS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE BUT I CAN PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS IF YOU ARE A DIY HANDY PERSON WHO WANTS TO BUILD ONE.
This campaign is just the beginning to understand the market and to gain some funding to move ahead. For more information on how the system works see the image below:!!!
Risks and challenges
The risks are people will not want to assemble the garden once they get it and they may also not want to source their own soil and irrigation timer. Currently the project does not have enough capital in it to risk purchasing irrigation timers to sell with the product since we do not know the market tolerance for pricing. That is part of what we are trying to assess from the feedback out of this campaign.
Glad you asked that question! As a matter of fact Sustainable Grow Products has designed and developed a small greenhouse that is 3' X 6' that the magic grow carpet will be installed in. This system will then allow you many other options such as our below mat heater, grow lights, misters to mount over plants if you want more humidity and on and on!!!!! Keep in touch and see what's next!!!
This is a really good question. One customer of mine covers the mat after the pots are placed with bark chips, this is perfectly acceptable and will not affect the performance of the mat. Another one uses landscape edging around the mat to beautify it.
A couple of ideas that work really well are either Cedar or bamboo landscape edging. It looks really nice and you only see the pots not the mat. Here are a couple of links for ideas. This stuff is typically sewn together or fastened with wire like hinges.
The magic grow carpet currently comes in 3' X 6' however because of the way it is constructed you could make it into 2ea 3' X 3' areas but you would need to specify that prior to ordering and we would cut it in half for you prior to shipping. The reason we would want to cut if for you is that we use a heat knife to cut the fabric so that it does not unravel on you. So Yes you could have 3' X 3' magic gardens!
This system was actually developed for such areas and is extensively used in the hot areas of Australia! We do recommend that you for sure use the recycled polyester pots in this application however. If you use the plastic pots which will also work on the magic grow carpet the roots will circle around the outside of the pot. When the hot desert sun hits those pots the plastic is very effective at absorbing infrared rays from the sun and will become hot enough to literally bake the roots. This problem does not happen with the magic grow carpet and the fiber pots. As a matter a fact if you run the irrigation water around noon to 1pm the moistening of the fiber pot will act as an evaporative cooling system for your plant!!!!
I'm not quite sure I understand whether the water is a constant in the bottom tray; i.e., is there always standing water? I'm concerned about mosquito breeding and just want to be sure I wouldn't be creating an insect problem using the system
This was a great question!!!! I will try to explain without getting too technical here. The short answer is no, there is never any standing water in this system and once the system is set up you will almost never see any water unless you get a torrential rain storm and then the good news. This system will actively remove excess water from the tray to keep your pots from becoming saturated. As a matter of fact if the soil happens to get over-saturated the system will very quickly remove the excess water even from the soil. From university tests in Australia it has been show that it will remove more water from the pots than allowing to drain in mid air!!! Now the technical part. The fiber under the pots is a capillary fiber but it also acts as a siphon. Thus it is very important for this system to work to have the end of it hanging down 4 to 6 inches below the level of the rest of the system. The mat will actually once wet siphon the excess water up and out of the tray because the capillary action takes it up then gravity takes over and takes it over the edge and thus a siphon tube has started. It is really quite an amazing phenomena. One you first set up the system you basically fill the tray with water until it is all saturated then watch as it does it's thin. The fiber will suck all the water out of the tray. It is important that you put the end of the try somewhere that it can drain either off the deck or patio or into a container so you can reclaim the water and poor it back onto the mat when it is time to water. In the very near future there will be an accessory available with a little pump to recirculate the water back to the mat when it's needed.
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