The critical period using the Groasis waterboxx is the first two years. In the first year, the tree is planted, needs to adapt itself to the soil, and grow in search of capillary water. As it is helped by the waterboxx, it will survive and grow. But after the first year, once the tree has found its capillary water, the tree has to survive on its own. This is the dangerous time.
Therefore, after taking the box away, we absolutely need to keep the already established capillary water column intact.
There are several ways to do that, but they all have the same function:
- Keep sun off the surface around the newly planted tree;
- Keep the capillary water column intact and protected from drying forces.
We can reach these two objectives by protecting the soil around the tree; immediately after taking the box away, you can use various solutions:
- Hay or mulch covered with stones;
- Hay or mulch alone;
- A 'cloth' made of natural material (cotton/wool/coco/etc.);
- A carton;
- Loose sand.
We’ve tested these 5 methods. The best of the 5 methods is "Hay or mulch covered with stones" as these materials stimulate the development of natural, biological life, and the increase of oxygen content in the soil. The stones protect the soil from the sun during the day. They also ventilate (aearate) the soil. At night, stones give their heat back to the soil. In this way, they temper the fluctuation of soil temperature, which decreases stress on the roots.
If you follow our suggestion to plant two trees in one box, your chances of getting 100% survival of your trees will double! After the critical period -i.e. the second year, you will find a percentage of boxes with 1 only surviving tree. You will also find a percentage of boxes with 2 surviving trees. In this case, we suggest you cut away the smallest of the two surviving trees. This means that you create a positive mass selection where the strongest individuals survive and grow.
Another method to improve the results of planting trees in desert areas during the critical period is planting with the capillary drill. Using this drill keeps the capillary soil structure intact, and quadruples the water resources available for the young tree as it collects water in the center of the planting hole. Instead of the rain water floating away on the slopes (caused by the hardpan) to the lower areas, the capillary drill changes the surface of eroded areas by creating a sieve for water to potentially enter the soil.