Monday, September 4, 2017

Growing Cucumbers with No Watering

Cucumbers are a very pleasant fruit (yes, they are a fruit as they grow from a fertilized flower) for home gardeners.  This vining cucurbit (in the family with squash and watermelon) tends to produce earlier than almost any other vine crop.

Cucumbers are great in salad, great in sauces (like tzatziki), flavorful in infused water, and good for slicing or pickling.  Few fruits have so many different uses.

The difficulty with cucumbers has been the large and consistent amount of water these plants need.  For best production, cucumbers need water almost every day in a raised bed garden.  This places a terrible strain on most gardeners, who have better things to do than lug a watering can into the garden.

Two cucumber plants growing in our Central Indiana test garden - by early September these two plants had produced 45 cucumbers!
Several years ago, an invention, the Groasis Waterboxx, was applied to growing cucumbers for the first time.  The Waterboxx was initially developed to grow trees in dry places.  It functions through biomimicry.  The Waterboxx has a lotus leaf inspired lid, which is used to collect dew and condensation.  This water, as well as rainwater, is then funneled into a 15 liter (4 gallon) reservoir.  From this reservoir, water is released (passively without any moving parts or human interaction) by one or more wicks to the soil below.  The Waterboxx itself prevents evaporation of this soil moisture (just like the ground under a stepping stone stays moist even with the exposed soil around it becomes dry).

The Waterboxx works wonderfully to grow trees - allowing native and important non-native trees to be established with no watering after planting.  .

When the Waterboxx is placed around garden plants, it functions the same way as with trees.  The garden plants, like cucumbers, get consistent amounts of moisture all day with their roots never drying out.  The Waterboxxes only need refilling with water if there is no rain for several weeks (the Waterboxx reservoir completely refills with 4 inches of rainfall).

We planted two cucumber plants in our raised bed garden, placed a Waterboxx around them, and then did nothing besides train the vines on a string trellis.  Our results were astounding.  We had over 45 full sized cucumbers be produced in our short, northern summer.  The cucumbers kept producing even in periods without rain due to the ingenious design of the Waterboxx.

Why not try out the Waterboxx in your garden? It can save you time, effort, while ensuring better harvests.  The Waterboxx has been used to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplants, zucchini, squash and pumpkins.  You can learn more about the Waterboxx here or buy 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 

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