Ogden, Utah – A team of inventors at Diamond Bar Gro-Systems in Ogden, Utah, has come up with a way to make any planter self-watering and automatic. This is accomplished with a device that waters plants from the bottom up and only when needed. Container gardening has become extremely popular in recent years as urban populations have grown. It's much easier than traditional gardening and fits smaller areas. The new device, which is available to order now, creates ideal growing conditions in containers and overcomes the single biggest challenge facing these gardeners: watering.
Most planters are watered from the top and require a drain hole at the bottom to prevent over-watering. Self-watering pots, on the other hand, are watered from the bottom, fully containing water in a hollow reservoir beneath the potting mix. Normally, water is added through a vertical tube which runs down into the reservoir from above the pot. A wick tube which extends into the reservoir from the potting mix then soaks the water up into the growing area. Studies show that self-watering pots are as much as 70-80 percent more water-efficient and make better use of fertilizer than traditional planters. They create the optimal growing environment, which accelerates plant growth and results in measurably larger, more vigorous plants.
The Gro-System(TM) team has discovered that any pot can become self-watering as long as it fully contains water. Their new device makes this possible with a small micro-reservoir (to measure the pot's saturation level) and an automatic valve controller. When connected to a water line, the device automatically controls water based on reservoir level. It turns the water on when the reservoir is empty, allowing the pot to fill, and then it turns the water off when the reservoir is full. This operation adapts to plant water needs, unlike most drip systems, which supply water at programmed time intervals. In addition, the device can fit a wide variety of containers, from small pots to large raised bed gardens.
Although the concept is simple, the design process has been challenging. “This is the culmination of over twenty-five years of research and experimentation,” said co-founder Alan Harris. He and his father started the company after developing a complete system for growing plants in self-watering pots called the Gro-System(TM). Since that original design, Alan has steadily worked to automate watering completely. “Consistent watering is key to successful gardening,” he explains. There have been at least a dozen failures along the way, including the use of a swamp cooler valve. Working over the last ten months with a few friends, he has finally found the solution. Now planted pots can be left for weeks at a time without worry – the device does all watering automatically.
A short trip to their store on Riverdale Road is enough to convince anyone it works. Described as "the most colorful corner in Ogden," their brilliant display gardens feature a kaleidoscope of cascading blooms. The impressive vegetable garden there includes all kinds of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and much more. They are now scouting out interested investors to complete the final stages of design and begin production. To learn more, please call Alan at (801) 393-9339.