Question for Groasis? Find them in the Frequently Asked Questions

General information

Information about Groasis B.V.

Groasis has been founded by Pieter Hoff, a former lilybreeder, grower and exporter. Through his experience in the flower industry Pieter Hoff learned that worldwide ground water levels decline with high speed. If things don’t change, mankind is out of irrigation water within a few centuries. This thought created the foundation of his company that focuses on the development of producing water from air techniques.

Pieter Hoff plant trees on the most difficult places on earth with his intelligent bucketGroasis BV
Franseweg 9
4651PV Steenbergen
Holland
Tel +31167 547554
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Chamber of Commerce Breda 58403396
V.A.T.: NL85.302.46.25B01
Swiftcode/BIC: TRIONL2U
IBAN: NL34 TRIO 0197 6840 68 in the name of Groasis at Triodos bank

 

What is the Growboxx® plant cocoon?

With the Growboxx® plant cocoon you can plant a tree in combination with 4 bushes, vegetables or wild flowers. You can plant trees in different climates and different types of areas. You can think of planting trees on rocks, mountains, deserts or eroded areas. The box is biodegradable and can be used only one time. 

What is the Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

With the Waterboxx® plant cocoon one, two or three trees (also bushes, vegetables, or corn) can be planted in the centre of the box in eroded areas, on rocks or in deserts. In general users will plant two trees. The Waterboxx® plant cocoon offers the possibility to plant two trees at a time giving the chance to cut the smallest after the first year and taking care that if one of the two planted has died, you still have one left. This way of planting leads to a close to 100% planting result.

What are metric conversions?

To convert units (Celcius to Fahrenheit, meter to inch) try a converter.


About the Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon

How does the Growboxx® plant cocoon works?

You can put 16 liters of water in the Growboxx® plant cocoon. The Growboxx® stimulates capillary and prevents evaporation caused by the sun and prevents competition caused by competitive herbs. During a period of a couple of months till a year the box provides the tree of water. Besides that, the grower can grow 4 seed of vegetables, bushes or flowers in the seed pockets of the lid. The seeds will grow hydroponically. 

After a year, the roots system of the tree is deep enough to survive on its own. After a year the box starts to decompose. The Growboxx® plant cocoon will provide the plant with extra nutrients. 

The Growboxx® plant cocoon has the following characteristics: 

  • With the Growboxx® plant cocoon you can plant a young tree in combination with 4 vegetables, shrubs or flowers; 
  • In the middle of the Growboxx® plant cocoon is space for the young tree. You can put the seeds in the corner of the lid (in the seed pockets);
  • The Growboxx® plant cocoon can collect rain water through the specially designed lid;
  • The Growboxx® plant cocoon gives every day a small amount of water to the plant; 
  • The rise of the capillary water is promoted to the top of the soil under the Growboxx® plant cocoon;
  • Evaporation of capillary water is minimized; 
  • Preventing a monoculture by planting different trees in combination with shrubs or flowers. 

How does the Waterboxx® plant cocoon works?

It collects water through capture of rain and produces water through production of condensation, it stimulates capillary and prevents evaporation caused by the sun and prevents competition caused by competitive herbs. It provides its collected water to the tree over a long period of time. Because of this it can play an important role in CO2 capture, anti-erosion and anti-desertification programs, food- and wood production.

•    With the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon a tree is planted on top of the soil, so that the capillary is not be destroyed when planting the tree.
•    In the middle of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon there is space to put a seed, a plant or a tree.
•    This plant can develop its roots under the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon.
•    The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon produces water via artificial condensation.
•    It collects rainwater.
•    It distributes the collected water to the plant on a daily base.
•    It stimulates the rise of the capillary water to the top of the soil under the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon.
•    It prevents evaporation of the capillary water.
•    It prevents the development of weeds around the plant.
•    It prevents grazing of the plants by a certain variety of animals.
•    It prevents erosion of the soil around the plant.
•    It prevents heating of the soil around the plant.
•    It stimulates a balanced temperature in the root area.
•    The advantage of planting on the soil is that the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can also be used for planting on rocks.

 

When do I use the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon?

The Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon can be used in circumstances where a tree does not get enough water to have the possibility to get started. So the instrument is meant to use in circumstances where there is enough water once the tree has its roots in the soil. On most places on earth, for instance in almost all deserts, there is enough in the soil. The problem is that the seed or the young tree needs a few months or a year help to get deep enough with its roots. You can compare the Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon with a young seed. In nature it is planted on the soil with the manure of the animal that sticks it to the soil and protects it from eating and from drying out. And by sowing it on the soil the capillary is not destroyed and erosion cannot blow away the soil. Once the seed is germinated and its roots are deep enough, it survives and grows.

The Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon copies that natural process: it helps the seed or young tree germinate and develop its roots into the soil until it can survive by its own.

 

How many years do I use the Growboxx® plant cocoon?

The Growboxx® plant cocoon can be used only 1 time. The box and the lid are made from recycled paper and therefore the Growboxx® plant cocoon is biodegradable. The benefit of the Growboxx® plant cocoon, is that you don't have to remove the box after a year from the tree. 

How many years do I use the Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

In principle the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is used until the moment that the tree can survive on its own. Normally that is after 6 months up to one year. We expect that the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be used around 10 years so that you can use it for 10 to 20 trees/bushes.

What are the differences between the Waterboxx® plant cocoon and irrigation?

  • Classic irrigation is not sustainable. It uses groundwater and the levels of groundwater deepen every year. The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is sustainable.

  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is cheap. If you want to start with classic irrigation you need to drill a well, install a pump and a water pipe network and have an electric installation. For the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon this is not necessary: just buy a few or a lot and install them.

  • With the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon you can plant on rocks. Drill a well in rocks and install a network of water pipes is almost impossible on rocks.

  • For classic irrigation in deserts we need to install power installations of electricity. For the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon this is not necessary.

  • For Groasis we need very small trees or even seed. That is cheap too.

Can I only use the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon in deserts?

The Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon are used for replantation of degraded farmland without using irrigation, and thus making it profitable. It saves up to 99% of water while planting. After 4 years of tests we noticed that trees planted with the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon in moderate climates also show an average growth stimulant of around 15% to 30% extra biomass.


The usage of the Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon

How long does the tree needs the Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

As soon as you see that the trees starts to grow faster – just notice the growing speed of the young branches - it has reached the ground water and it is able to survive without the box. You just lift it to take it off, replace the old wick with a new one, and re-use the box for the next tree.

Can I plant seeds in the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon?

We advise not to plant seeds in the Waterboxx® or Growboxx® plant cocoon. Always use saplings instead.

What do you do when the stem starts to crowd the hole?

That is the signal that the tree does not need the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon anymore. So you lift the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon off the tree and use it to plant the next tree.

You don't need to remove the Growboxx® plant cocoon from the tree. The box is biodegradable so nature will break down the box. 

When do I need to lift the Waterboxx® plant cocoon from the tree?

If the growth of the trees goes well, you can sometimes even plant more than one tree per year. You lift the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon off the tree as soon as you see that the branches really start to grow fast. This is the sign the tree gives you that he is not growing anymore from the water in the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon, but that he found water deep in the soil. In most circumstances, we find that the tree is independent from the Waterboxx® plant cocoon after 9 months. You then lift it, replace the wick with a new one, and use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon for the next tree.

What do I have to do after I’ve taken the Waterboxx® plant cocoon away?

You take off the box, put a cloth made of a natural material (cotton, hemp, coco, wool, etc.) on the same place as where the box was in order to keep the capillary column intact, cover the cloth with 10 cm of sand (4 inches) to prevent it from blowing away and use the box for the next tree. You can also put no cloth but only sand if there is no danger of the sand being blown away.

What happens to the tree after 1 year?

The instructions about the Waterboxx® plant cocoon are on this page. As soon as the twigs start to grow rapidly, it is a signal that the tree can survive by itself. You take the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon off and you can re-use it for the next tree.

You don't need to remove the Growboxx® plant cocoon after a year from the tree. The box is biodegradable so nature will break down the box. 

Are the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon re-usable?

Yes, you can use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon approximately 10 times in 10 years. Read about here.

No, the Growboxx® plant cocoon isn't re-usable. 

Can I plant anything everywhere with the technology of Groasis?

Planting can be done seamlessly. But it is important to select the right species. After a year without the Waterboxx® plant cocoon, you want your tree to keep on surviving. Follow the next steps to make sure your tree will survive.

1) When you want to plant a tree it is necessary that you choose one that is able to survive under the circumstances. Your variety has to have the ability to resist the temperature and to live with the available amount of precipitation;

2) If temperatures are above + 40⁰C, you can only plant varieties who can resist this. If you have 200 mm of rainfall, you cannot plant varieties who need more than 200 mm to survive;

With these simple rules, you will always have success!

Do I have to use compost and/or manure?

It is really useful to work with compost if you have it. The trees will grow to 50% faster and will also be healthier. If you have manure, then mix it through your compost. Be careful though: to young manure burns your roots. Manure must be at least one year old before you mix it through your compost.

What if there are no rocks to cover the ground?

When you lift off the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon the tree, cover the ground. The best way to do that is with stones, but any other material will also work. If there are no stones, use straw, weeds, grass or palm leaves. If you do not have this, you can think of mulch, cardboard or clothes. If that is not possible, you can cover the ground with loose soil.

Can I use the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon on rocky terrain?

Yes, the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology mimics the principles of nature. On this page you find an explanation about planting on rocks and here you find information about combating desertification.

What are the minimum humidity requirements for usage in the desert?

We even plant in the north of Chile and high, above 4,000 meters in the Andes, where the relative and absolute humidity is extremely low, so you don't need a minimum humidity.

Can the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon stand against wind?

Yes, winds are not a problem for both boxes. Look at the strong winds in Dubai in this video. We even offer wind protectors to make sure the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon will stay in the right place. You can find them in the Groasis shop.

As you can see in this instruction video of the Growboxx® plant cocoon, due the special lid you can plant even trees along highways or airports. Winds aren't a problem for the Growboxx® plant cocoon. 

We have grazing animals, what do I have to do?

If you look on this page you can see the Growsafe Telescoprotexx plant protector. It protects the plant against grazing animals and it balances the climate.

What is a good and cheap way of fencing an area where you plant trees?

If you want to fence an area, then think of planting 3 rows of bushes, and in between some trees that have dangerous picks, such as the cactus or similar species. Please check our newly developed tree encyclopaedia to find some: www.onetrilliontrees.com/en. This is much cheaper than fencing, and it also creates a better micro climate with less wind.

How many space is required to plant trees?

It is not possible to answer this question. I will give you various details that can help you determine the planting distance between the trees. All this information is based on planting in hot areas:

1. The annual rainfall defines the species that you can use (as each species has a minimum water requirement). The first thing to do is look for traditional plantations. In general, traditional growers know what is the optimum planting distance is for their trees.

2. If the rainfall is just enough for the minimum requirement, you can plant less trees per hectare/acre. The size of the tree also defines spacing, if you prune them smaller they evaporate less, so you can plant more trees per hectare/acre. If the soil is sandy, it is dry and poor in minerals. So you plant less trees per hectare/acre compared to when your soil consists of clay and is rich in minerals.

3. Do temperatures go to extreme heights (up to + 45⁰C) or do they remain moderate (up to + 35⁰C). Extreme heights means less trees per hectare/acre. The reason is that for extreme high temperatures trees need water to evaporate, so you give a tree more surface to grow on, this way they have less competition with the other trees, for water.

4. The same argument is valid for a sunny climate (less trees per hectare/acre) or a cloudy climate (more trees per hectare/acre). Or a southern slope (less trees per hectare/acre) or a northern slope of a mountain or hill (more trees per hectare/acre).

For ecosystem restoration:
I advise to only plant pioneer trees and give Mother Nature time to sow seeds and have other trees colonize the area afterwards. So plant only 200 Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoons with each one tree and one bush. This way you plant 400 pioneer trees per hectare (160 pioneer trees per acre). That is sufficient. The fact that you only use 200 Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoons makes this ecosystem restoration model very cheap to do.

 

What is the right planting distance?

For ecosystem restoration we recommend a planting density of 10x10 meters with in each Waterboxx® plant cocoon a tree and a bush that you also see together in nature. We suggest to start with pioneer trees, because these will create the conditions in which growth and multiplication automatically takes place. And this results in a higher density and a faster recovery process. For fruit trees it depends on the variety, but according to the general rule, you should plant a minimum of 400 trees per hectare, because you do not plant two fruit trees in one Waterboxx® plant cocoon.

How do you need to plant for ecosystem restoration purposes?

If you plant for ecosystem restoration purposes, we advise using two species in each Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon. Plant a tree and a bush. When possible, make a combination of species of which you can see in nature that they have a preference for each other. In this way you create a symbiotic effect of faster growth.

It is also possible to use the Growboxx® plant cocoon for ecosystem restoration purposes. By planting multiple species of native or productive trees in combination with shrubs, you can plant a surface faster and cheaper while planting less trees. 

Can I use the Waterboxx® or Growboxx® plant cocoon for fruit tree farming?

As you have understood, the Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon are a part of a planting technology. Its function is to bring the roots 3 meters deep in the first year. After that it has no function anymore. The box contains only 16 liters of water while a big tree maybe evaporates 10 liters per day. Because its roots are over 3 meters deep, the tree takes the water from there and it survives without the box. For this reason we take off the box after one year and plant the next one.
 
So never mix the idea of planting technology (= GroasisTechnology incl. Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon) or irrigation (= giving water while the tree is big).
 
The advantage of the Growboxx® plant cocoon is that we leave the box and that he creates optimum circumstances even after a year, since the Growboxx® plant cocoon while degrading will keep a bit humidity around the stem and will cool down the soil around the stem

What trees are best suited for the production of fuel wood?

Please check this document to find some suggestions for trees to use. Especially the gmelina is a fantastic tree to produce fuel wood.

What if the capillairy water is too deep into the ground for the tree?

There is always humidity in the soil, everywhere, on 3 meters deep. However, the available quantity of the humidity differs. So when the roots of the trees penetrate, they find a certain quantity of humidity. This quantity depends on 4 things:

  1. Annual precipitation
  2. Annual penetration after precipitation
  3. Annual evaporation
  4. Tree cover

I give eight examples.

   1.Horizontal clay soil with a hard pan (this is a thin crust layer of minerals, difficult to penetrate for water)

  • Annual precipitation 300 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 50 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm

Net input = 10 mm. Each 1 mm ingress = 1 liter of water per m2.

   2. Horizontal sandy soil without a hard pan

  • Annual precipitation 300 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 300 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm

Net input = 260 mm

   3. Horizontal clay soil with a hard pan covered with trees

  • Annual precipitation 400 mm (the annual precipitation rises when you have a tree cover on sufficient scaled surface, so 10 ha doesn’t rise the precipitation, 100.000 ha does)
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 250 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm
  • Use of trees 160 mm

Net input = 50 mm

   4. Horizontal sandy soil covered with trees

  • Annual precipitation 400 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 400 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm
  • Use of trees 160 mm

Net input = 200 mm

    5. 25⁰ Inclined clay soil with a hard pan

  • Annual precipitation 300 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 10 mm
  • Annual evaporation 10 mm

Net input = 0 mm

   6. 25⁰ Inclined sandy soil without a hard pan

  • Annual precipitation 300 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 150 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm

Net input = 110 mm

   7. 25⁰ Inclined clay soil with a hard pan covered with trees

  • Annual precipitation 400 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 200 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm
  • Use of trees 160 mm

Net input = 0 mm

   8. 25⁰ Inclined sandy soil covered with trees

  • Annual precipitation 400 mm
  • Annual penetration after precipitation 400 mm
  • Annual evaporation 40 mm
  • Use of trees 160 mm

Net input = 200 mm

You see that the factors of water penetration are 1) precipitation, 2)soil type, 3) inclination of surface and 4) tree cover.

As you understand now, only in cases of example 5 and 7 you have a situation where the available quantity of water on 3 meters deep will almost be zero. However, there is also water rising up, through the capillary system of soil. So there is always a certain quantity of water, no matter how dry it is. Of course, in such cases where hardly no water is available, you have to plant the tree that is capable to survive such circumstances, e.g. Prosopis. 

Does a taproot stops growing if I cut it off?

During growing in the nursery, the tap root starts to grow twisted round in the pot and many times it will split itself (you do not have to cut the roots at this stage, as it is still growing in a too little pot), caused by being locked up in the pot. This root will keep on growing rounded after planting. The ‘rounded growing’ has been kind of stored in its memory.

How do I need to cut the taproot?

Yes, what happens is that you are actually pruning the root. So what happens on top of the plant above the soil  – when you prune it you get re-sprouting of the dormant buds – does also happen below the soil: the pruned root re-sprouts, and these re-sprouts do not have the problem of the “stored memory that tells him to grow rounded”.  Instead of that, it sprouts and grows again as it does originally = vertically downwards. The new re-sprouts do not have the breaking power that the original primary root has, but they are far better than a superficial rounded growing tap root, that stays in the top soil where there’s none or just a little bit of water available for the plant. This is also the reason why so many trees fall down in cities with strong winds. They are just not anchored.

Will there be any damage on the Waterboxx® plant cocoon if it is freezing and the box is filled with ice?

No, in general it will not be damaged. The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is designed in such a way that the expanding ice is able to find room to expand. This is done by designing the inclination of all the vertical sides in 8°C. So when the water expands to ice between +4°C to -1°C (+39,2°F to +30.2°F), the ice can just go a bit higher - pushes the cover off the box - and find room for expansion. Sometimes there is a heavy layer of snow on top of the cover and it cannot be pushed upwards. If coincidently the water is on its highest level while turning on ice, then in those occasions you may find some broken covers. It is also important to understand that it doesn't matter whether it is -1°C (+30,2°F) of -30°C (-22°F) . Once changed from water into ice – which happens between +4°C and -1°C (+39,2°F to +30.2°F) - the ice doesn't expand any further.

Does the Waterboxx® plant cocoon protect the plant from too much water in the winter?

The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon protects the tree against overwatering. It works as follows:

1) The Waterboxx® plant cocoon has an overflow to prevent too much water going to the tree;

2) The wick works on the capillary principle: when it is sufficiently humid, it almost stops transporting water from the box to the tree. When it is very dry, the soil gets hygroscopic and the wick’s capillary starts to transport more water;

We plant in ski-resort San Isidro Spain above (!) the tree line. There is a heavy layer of snow on the boxes and the trees from October to the end of May. Immediately after the thaw, it starts to be extremely hot and dry. Please check this beautiful video of planting the ski resort San Isidro Spain.

How do I need to start a project?

On our homepage you see a link ‘Start a project’. We have put a few documents there that help you developing your project. In its essence a restoration project is based on planting trees and select the species and planting density.

  • For the species to use we advise to look in your surroundings. Use the species that you see growing there. We have a preference for so-called ‘native species’. They start to multiply themselves after a few years;
  • Since you are going to restore the ecosystem, we suggest to help nature start. However let nature do the big work by multiplying itself. So plant 50 boxes per acre (125 per hectare) with in each box one tree species and one bush species. Use trees and bushes that produce berries. The birds will eat them, they will drop the seeds everywhere and within 10 years your area is replanted. So what you actually do is planting pioneer bushes and trees that colonize the area. They start to multiply themselves and then automatically the process of ecosystem restoration will accelerate;

Can I plant anything with the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon?

For the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology it does not matter which species of tree you plant. For the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon it is just a tree. The technology works with every tree, independent from the species.

The only thing that matters is if the tree fits in the climate. Example: you can plant a date palm with the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon in Kuwait and you can plant a date palm with the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon in Spain. Both will start to grow well. However, the date palm in Spain will die in Winter, because of the frost. So aks yourself the question: will the variety survive in the climate? 


The water in the Groasis Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon

Why do I need 60 liters of water?

There is actually no optimum general quantity. Each species needs, each soils characteristics and each valley’s climate are different. However, it is impossible to communicate a manual for each soil type, each species and each climate. This advise works worldwide on each species, each soil and in each climate. Suppose you have a Tara tree (Ceasalpinia Spinosa), clay soil (that has a better water fixing capacity than sand) and moderate circumstances (temperatures do not rise above +35⁰C). Then you can use less water. Suppose you have a Tara tree (Ceasalpinia Spinosa), sandy soil (that has a little water fixing capacity) and hot circumstances (temperatures above +45⁰C). Then you need more water. Our advise of 60 liters is therefore a safe average advise. So in general people start with the advise and investigate their own local optimum.

What do I need to do if there isn't 60 liters of water available?

I know that solve logistical issues in desert areas is not easy, but the quantity compared to irrigation is really small:
1.    Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology: once in a life time 60 liters
2.    Drip irrigation: eternally each day 15 liters

On this page find an Excel document with a comparison of costs between the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology and the drip irrigation technology.

How many times do I have to refill the Waterboxx® and Growboxx® plant cocoon?

The quantity of water that the wick gives to the tree, depends on the hygroscopic attraction of the soil. This is the capillary principle: if the soil requires little, the wick gives little. If the soil requires more (e.g. when it is super dry sand or when it is salted) the wick gives more.

If the heat period is two to four months, then in general no refill is necessary. If the heat period is longer, we have on average one refill. That is why we have a cap in it. After the heat period a refill is not necessary anymore.

What type of water do I need to use to fill the box?

Yes, all types of water can be used. But with saline water the tree must be able to deal with this kind of water. In this report, about planting in La Chocolatera in Ecuador, which is one of the hardest places on earth to plant a tree, you find more information about planting with saline water.

How many rain does the Waterboxx® plant cocoon need to fill itself?

75 mm (3 inches) of rain is sufficient to fill the box completely.

Can I only plant once a year when there is one rainy season?

You have to distinguish two ways of planting after the first stage: The first stage is the planting of the saplings in pots. This can be done with either seeds, or via cuttings. After that you can work in two ways:
1.    In two phases. First in a small plug (width x height = app. 6x10cm) and then transplant to a big one (width x height = app. 12x15cm).
2.    In one phase: immediately in a big pot or plastic bag.

I suggest to work in two phases. So first the small plug, then the big pot or plastic bag. The reason is that the germination of the seeds, or the rooting of the cuttings is a risky process, and if you have only 50% success ratio, you lose little space and little expensive soil.
Always check what the local experiences are, but in general we can say that in the tropics, where day length is approximately equal, you can sow your seed or make cuttings almost all year round.
Outside the tropics, either in the northern or southern hemisphere, you can plant or sow with the season, once a year. For the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology we need saplings that are at least one year old. So after one year of being in the big plastic bag in the nursery, we bring the saplings to the field.

With the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology you can plant any day of the year in the tropics. Outside the tropics you can also plant any day, if the frost is not colder than -5⁰C (+23⁰F). When you expect a colder frost, we advise to stop planting after October 1 in the northern hemisphere, and start again after the winter.

 

Does the water in the Waterboxx® plant cocoon become dirty after a while?

The water in the box remains clear and has no problems with bacteria, algae or what so ever.

If you plant a tree in the desert, do you need extra water?

You have to use one time 60 litres of water while planting. Afterwards you do not have to refill it anymore. Watch this video for more explanation.

Can a tree survive after a year if the water is too deep into the ground?

Trees do not survive on groundwater, but on capillary hang water. The deepest roots ever found are 84 meters. Many times groundwater in deserts is deeper than 84 meters. The capillary hang water is the water that penetrates in the soil during the annual rain. For example:

Suppose you have 300 mm of rain. Of this 300 mm, 100 mm  does not penetrate, because the soil is very hard or because there is a steep slope. Only 200 mm of the precipitation enters. Then you can plant trees:
 1. That resist the climate (cold, hot, strong winds);
2. That can survive with 200 mm.

So it is important to understand that:  
1.    The annual rainfall says nothing about the quantity that enters the soil
2.    Trees do not survive from groundwater but from capillary hang water caused by the penetrated quantity of rainfall.

If the cover of the Waterboxx® plant cocoon is covered with sand, does the condensation process still work?

When the top of the Waterboxx® plant cocoon is covered with sand, the condensation does not work. The collection of rain is no problem, it will still enter the box. If there is no condensation we have less water available. However, the functionality of condensation is not influencing the box’s planting result. In the whole Middle East, and many other desert areas, it is so warm at night, that no condensation occurs. We however still have excellent planting results.


Costs of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon

Are the costs to plant a tree with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon 20 USD?

If you buy a car that costs 20,000 dollar, you do not say that the first kilometre costs you 20,000 USD. If you drive the car for four years and each year you drive 50,000 kilometres, you drive 200,000 kilometres. This means that the investment is 20,000 USD and the costs of the car are 10 cents per kilometre. We cannot mix the concepts of investment and costs. So the investments of the box is 20 dollars and the annual costs are 2 dollars. So the cost per tree are 2 dollars.

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Costs of the Groasis capillary drill

Is there a cost calculation for the usage of the capillary drills?

Planting projects on a small scale can easily be done by hand. Once projects on a bigger scale are done, this becomes difficult. As an example we take an imaginary project. The client wants to plant 600 weeks x 1 million trees (2 million hectares x 300 trees / 12 years)

That is 1 million planting holes per week.

Suppose each man makes 4 planting holes per hour, working in a high temperature, with rocks in the soil, than you need 250,000 man hours per week. That is 6,000 man to dig planting holes. Plus the transport (120 buses), housing, food, organization and management. This is not easy to organize.

Info: in Morocco the government does some planting projects 500 km south of Oujda, deep in the desert. They calculate 2 planting holes per man per day. Maybe that is very low, but it is their experience. With 6,000 man and +45°C, 4 holes per hour is a definitely a challenge.

The cost price of tree planting holes made by hand
Suppose a man's wage is 3 US$ per hour. The cost of making a planting hole by hand if made 6 per hour - excluding the transport (120 buses), housing, food, organization and management - is 0,50 US$.

What is the cost price of tree planting holes made by hand?

Suppose a man's wage is 3 US$ per hour. The cost of making a planting hole by hand if made 6 per hour - excluding the transport (120 buses), housing, food, organization and management - is 0,50 US$.

What is the cost price of tree planting holes made by the Groasis capillary drill?

The cost price of tree planting holes made by the Groasis capillary drill

One drill with 3 drills (that's what we are developing) makes approximately 90 holes per hour (each 2 minutes 3 holes). That is in 84 hours – 7 days x 12 hours - total 7,500 holes. This means that the client needs 140 drills and tractors. The tractor investment is 60K US$ and the drill 50K US$. Suppose 1 combination makes holes during 6 years, that is 375,000 x 6 = app. 2 million holes. That is 5,5 cents per hole. We estimate 1 cent per hole for the transport (3 buses), housing, food, organization and management costs and 0,5 cents energy. Cost per planting hole 7 cents.

There are 140 tractor drivers, easier to organize than 6,000 people making holes by hand. They cost 250 dollar per week incl. housing etc.. That is 3 cents per hole.

The cost of making a planting hole by machine - including the transport (3 buses), housing, food, organization and management - is 10 cents.

Conclusions making planting holes by hand and by the capillary drills

For bigger projects a capillary drill makes it easier to organize it. Also, the cost price for the making of a planting hole with a capillary drill is considerable lower than making one by hand: 10 cents compared to 50 cents.