After completing the build of the Vegepod yesterday I’m ready to pot it up with some plants!
Now there are a number of different recommendations on what to fill the pod with. The main school of thought seems to be a mix of perlite (often used in Hydroponics), quality potting mix and cow manure though Vegepod does offer guides on other configurations. Lurking on the facebook community shows me that others have had a lot of success with other mixes, though to steer clear of chicken manure as it often contains other contaminants including weeds.
So I went with the standard 50L perlite from a hydroponics supplier in Preston I found through eBay for my 1m x 1m pod along with 25L cow manure and 10x25L quality Potting mix for tomatoes/herbs from Bunnings.
While filling up the pod I made sure to use a face mask to minimise the amount of nasties I would have otherwise inhaled - it’s a recommended safety precaution whenever you pour potting mix - safety first guys, no-one wants to cough up potting mix!
First the reservoirs were filled with only perlite to allow for really good drainage.
Next a mix of perlite and soil to create a more gradual change from perlite to soil.
At this stage where the reservoirs aren’t visible I added some fertiliser and mixed that in to give the plants a bit of a starting boost.
Now filling it the rest of the way to the top!
Finally it was down to actually planting up my pod - lots of users grew from seed but given the time of year and I was hankering for some home-grown goodies I went with small punnets of herbs again from my favourite Saturday shopping trip - Bunnings. A big issue many people have with the pod is over-planting. I did some planning using the square-metre gardening method to try to minimise this but I did get too excited and planted too many anyway :P
I ended up with thyme, strawberries, italian parsley, curled parsley, basil, coriander, iceberg lettuce and cos lettuce. I also had some extra lettuce plants that wouldn’t fit in the pod that I just potted up to put in my netted enclosure which will be a great experiment to compare the pod to growing in a pot.
And here it is! All planted up and ready to go, from here Vegepod recommends connecting up the spray nozzle for a good 10 minutes the first time just to fill up the reserviour, then water for about 5minutes per day for the first week (as it’s a hot Australian summer right now!), or until you see the reservoir overflowing. After that it’s just fill up as needed and/or to keep the plants cooled especially until their roots have reached down into the reservoir then it’s time to sit back and enjoy the greenery!
View from the side:
The finished pod - hoping this will quickly double in size!