Title:
Container for vegetables with a sealed water reserve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This container for vegetables with a water reserve comprises:

a) a container made of plastic,

b) a grid for retaining and moistening the body of earth, said grill bearing on the internal projections of the container and separating this container into an upper part capable of receiving the body of earth, and a lower part forming a water reserve,

c) and a window for viewing the water level in the container.

According to the invention, the bottom and peripheral walls, respectively, of the container are continuous and watertight, therefore without perforations, such that, after putting the body of earth in place on the retaining grid, the water reserve communicates with the outside only through this body of earth, and that the variations in water level generate dynamic and forced aeration of the body of earth in both directions.




Inventors:
Bianchi, Josiane (Bellignat, FR)
Application Number:
10/247610
Publication Date:
04/03/2003
Filing Date:
09/20/2002
Assignee:
Riviera (Oyonnax, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01G9/02; A01G27/02; (IPC1-7): B65D85/50; B65D85/52
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PARSLEY, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A container for vegetables with a water reserve comprising: a) a container made of plastic, b) a grid for retaining and moistening the body of earth, said grill bearing on the internal projections of the container and separating this container into an upper part capable of receiving the body of earth, and a lower part forming a water reserve, c) and a window for viewing the water level in the container, wherein the bottom and peripheral walls, respectively, of the container are continuous and watertight, therefore without perforations, such that, after putting the body of earth in place on the retaining grid, the water reserve communicates with the outside only through this body of earth, and that the variations in water level generate dynamic and forced aeration of the body of earth in both directions.

2. The container with a water reserve as claimed in claim 1, wherein the viewing window consists of a piece made of translucent plastic which is joined in a sealed manner to the material of the wall which surrounds it.

3. The container with a water reserve as claimed in claim 2, wherein the container is overmolded around the translucent plastic piece forming the viewing window.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to containers intended to accommodate various vegetables and floral species and containing a water reserve to moisten the body of earth and the roots.

[0002] In these containers, the water reserve, formed in the lower part, is separated from the body of earth, placed in the upper part of the container, by a retaining grid equipped with a diffusing wall fed by capillary action from the reserve, for example by means of a wick or by wells in the grid containing the earth and penetrating the reserve.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0003] In all the known containers, the water reserve communicates with the outside either by means of a filling column, or by means of an opening or an overflow line, or by means of the well through which the water level indicator passes, or by means of a ventilating funnel.

[0004] This communication between the water reserve and the external environment has been considered from the beginning as a means for aerating the body of earth over time. However, it has been shown that the air contained in the reserve, which is at atmospheric pressure, can penetrate the body of earth placed above it only with great difficulty and, consequently, aeration of the latter cannot be guaranteed, which aeration is necessary for the proper development of the vegetable root system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The subject of the present invention is to supply a container with a water reserve which overcomes this drawback.

[0006] According to the invention, the bottom and peripheral walls, respectively, of the container are continuous and watertight, therefore without perforations, such that, after putting the body of earth in place on the retaining grid, the water reserve communicates with the outside only through this body of earth, and that the variations in water level generate dynamic and forced aeration of the body of earth in both directions.

[0007] With this arrangement, which is counter to current solutions, the body of earth is aerated by an up-and-down movement initiated by the variation of the water level in the reserve. This up-and-down movement comprises:

[0008] when watering the body of earth from the top, and by filling the water reserve, a phase of compressing the air contained in the reserve, forcing the latter to enter the body of earth,

[0009] and, on lowering the water level in the reserve, following transfer by capillary action to the body of earth, an expansion phase promoting the flow of external air through the body of earth to the reserve.

[0010] This up-and-down movement, which generates low value pressures and vacuums, does not exist in the current containers since the water reserve communicates directly with the outside.

[0011] In one embodiment, the viewing window of the container consists of a piece made of translucent plastic which is joined in a sealed manner to the material of the container which surrounds it.

[0012] Advantageously, the container is overmolded around the translucent plastic piece forming the viewing window.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING

[0013] The invention will be better understood by means of the following description with reference to the appended schematic drawing whose single FIGURE shows, in cross section, an embodiment of a container according to the invention.

[0014] In a known manner, this container 2 consists of a bottom 3 and of a peripheral wall 4 and bears, at some distance from its bottom, projections or lugs 5 for positioning a grid 6. This grid 6 is equipped with a diffusing wall and provides the separation between a lower water reserve 7 and a volume 8 for the body of earth 9.

[0015] The diffusing wall of the grid 6 is in contact with the body of earth 9 and is fed with water by capillary action, for example by means of a wick 10 immersed in the water 12 of the reserve 7.

[0016] According to the invention, the bottom 3 and peripheral 4 walls, respectively, of the container have no hole, channel, funnel or column making that part of the container containing the reserve 7 communicate with the outside so that, by virtue of the watertightness of these walls, exchanges with the external air can only be carried out through the body of earth resting on the grid 6.

[0017] Under these conditions, when supplying the reserve 7 with water, supply which is carried out via the top of the body of earth by means, for example, of a watering can 13, the increase of the water level in the reserve 7 creates a slight overpressure above this level, which tends to force the air through the grid 6, the diffusing wall and to enter and flow within the body of earth 9, as shown by the arrows 14 and 15.

[0018] Conversely, as the water level 12 lowers in the reserve 7, following moistening of the body of earth 9, a slight vacuum is created in the chamber 7 which tends to suck in the external air by forcing it through the body of earth 9, as shown by the arrows 16.

[0019] Thus, each time the reserve is filled, and as the water contained in the reserve is used to moisten the body of earth, dynamic and forced aeration is created in this body of earth. This aeration, which passes through the body of earth, improves the quality of the body of earth and, consequently, improves the growth of vegetables and floral species planted in the container.

[0020] To prevent excessive filling of the reservoir 7, the peripheral wall 4 of this container is equipped with a viewing window 17, joined in a sealed manner at 18, to the edge of the opening in which it is placed. In a preferred embodiment, this window consists of a piece made of translucent plastic on which is overmolded the material constituting the pot, and in particular, that of the peripheral wall 4.

[0021] This arrangement removes the need for any seal and guarantees perfect watertightness.

[0022] Of course, the provision of a sealed water reserve is independent of the shapes and dimensions of the containers, of the volume allocated to this reserve and of the thickness of the body of earth resting on the retaining grid 6.