Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Growing Pumpkins without Watering (and with the Groasis Waterboxx)

Growing pumpkins is a treat for many gardeners, especially those who celebrate Halloween.  Carving pumpkins with children or other loved ones is great fun, made more so by growing the pumpkins yourself. Also, home grown and home made pumpkin pie and baked pumpkin seeds will impress your family and friends throughout the fall and winter holidays.

The biggest problem we have experienced when growing pumpkins is that prime pumpkin growing season - July, August, and September, also tend to be the driest times of the year.  This generally means that pumpkins need to be frequently watered, generally by dragging a hose out to the pumpkin patch.  This is hard work, time consuming, and wasteful of water.  Also, much of this water evaporates due to lack of mulch around the base of the pumpkin plant.

Others around the world have had good success growing pumpkins in very dry areas with the Groasis Waterboxx.  We at Dew Harvest thought we would try our own experiment, and photograph the results for this blog.  We started with pumpkin seeds, planted outdoor in a peat pot for starting.  These were allowed to grow for a few weeks in order to reach proper size.
The pumpkin, grown from seed in a peat pot (6/21/2014)
This small pumpkin plant was then planted in native soil (no potting soil or fertilizer were added) with the evaporation cover around it (to prevent evaporation of soil moisture and surrounding weed growth).  Around 3 gallons of water were poured over the roots of the pumpkin at planting. The Waterboxx was then placed with the figure eight central opening around the plant and filled with water.

The pumpkin, after planting in soil on and after evaporation cover was placed around the stem (6/21/14).
Of note, Waterboxxes come with one hole for wick insertion.  To get more water to the roots of the growing pumpkin, a second 3/16 inch hole was drilled and a second wick inserted on the opposite side of the first wick.  In theory this would lead to depletion of the water in the Waterboxx reservoir, but rainfall and dew have been sufficient to keep the reservoir completely full.

Pumpkin on 6/28/2014 after growth for 7 days with the Waterboxx.  This Waterboxx has 2 wicks rather than the standard one.  
We then documented the growth of the pumpkin vines.  Remember, the Waterboxx is self-refilling with water, and we never added more water to the Waterboxx or soil around the pumpkin after initial planting. Here you see the pumpkin plant in early July.
The Waterboxx planted pumpkin on July 8.  The basin (reservoir) is still completely full even with 2 wicks.

The Waterboxx planted pumpkin on July 16.  As always, no new water was added.  The surrounding grass is drying out, but the pumpkin is still thriving.  
The Waterboxx planted pumpkin on August 2.  Still no water beside that provided by the Waterboxx.  

We will continue to update this blog with pictures of the pumpkin plant throughout the summer and fall.  If you want to grow pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, and of course trees without continued watering, the Waterboxx is ideal for you.  Be the first in your area to begin planting pumpkins and other garden plants with the Groasis Waterboxx.  You can buy the Waterboxx from Dew Harvest® LLC in the United States.

You can see all our blog posts about planting trees with the Waterboxx here. If you would like to learn how to grow plants without watering with the Waterboxx, the best resource is the book The Waterboxx Gardener: How to Mimic Nature, Stop Watering, and Start Enjoying Your Garden available here on Amazon.com. 

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