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Thread: Bog Gardens out of Balcony baskets?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Chicago Il
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    Bog Gardens out of Balcony baskets?

    I live in a south facing condo in chicago so my only option for growing CPs is to grow them on the balcony- no direct light penetration in summer inside , plenty of direct light on the balcony though.

    I talked my wife into letting my claim two of the balcony baskets. These are extremely common around here- they are basically a basket that hangs over the balcony and holds a rectangular shaped pot - the ones we have are the standard ones sold at home depot. they are about 6-7 inches deep 6 inches across at the top, a little less on the bottom, and about 2 foot long.

    Ive got one already planted with 4 sarrs- 2 good ones from a vendor and 2 little ones i rescued from home depot that may or may not make it. I just left the drain holes plugged and filled to to the first lip (about 1 inch below the top) with the peat/pearlite mix. I soak it every few days, and let it dry a little before soaking it again. It seems to be working pretty well so far. though im wondering how it will hold up come july/aug when the city just cooks.

    I am getting ready to plant the second, but was looking for some advice.

    Is the setup i have an acceptable setup?
    Is the pattern of watering, letting it dry for a day or two and rewatering acceptable?
    are these planters big enought to work well as an outdoor bog?
    I noticed some people sink a pot or funnel in their bog to aid in watering or to keep track of the water level the level. Is this the preferred method, or should i just keep top watering?

    I have a different rectangular planter that is a little deeper and doesnt narrow at the bottom, would it better to use this than the standard home depot one? It looks like it would hold a larger volume of dirt, but would probably need more water too.

    Finally, since the home depot balcony boxes stack, I was wondering if it would make sense to use two of them stacked . There seems to be some space between the bottoms of two of these when stacked. If I pop the drainage holes in the top one, and leave the drainage holes in the bottom one, I could get a setup that is halfway between the tray and the soaking method. there looks like there would be some water at the bottom pot that would not be in contact with the top pot in this setup, so maybe it would just be a waste of water, while not getting much benefit. I was thinking that in this setup, i could at least flush the soil once in a while. Also, the soil level would still be below the top of the bottom pot so i would think i could still soak it like a bog. any thoughts?

    In the second pot i was planning on planting VFTs and Drosera(hopefully northern dewthreads if i can find them)

    Thanks in advance.

    edit by xvart: removed vendor name.
    Last edited by xvart; 07-27-2007 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Olympia, Washington
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    Just a thought, but you should consider punching a hole just below the soil level to allow excess water to drain, or use a second box as a water tray like you were talking about. A high water level is good, but if a sealed container fills with water, all of that perlite you used in your mix will float up to the top and drain out with the excess water. I wouldn't be too concerned about the water not always being in contact with the upper pot if you go with the tray method - just refill it before that happens. You'll need to change the water in the tray every now and then to check the growth of algae and mosquito larvae, so I doubt it will become a major issue.
    Best luck,
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
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  3. #3
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Either setup should make a fine mini-bog. You should keep the water level to within an inch or two of the surface. The stacked pot/tray method would make this easier to judge if not using a 'sump' pot or funnel.

    I'll probably go with a similar setup next year - easier to water than individual pots/saucers and less standing/open water than trays.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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