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Here how i made my vertical vegetable garden, starting from used big water bottles as planters. An automatic watering system keep the right moisture, collecting water in excess, using power from pv panels and a little wind turbine (vawt)

Step 1: 3d project

The green wall is composed by 72 water bottles cut and placed upside-down on a wooden shelf. 
Two independent  water reservoir are present: the main is placed on the side of the building and composed by eight 200 liters barrels linked together, for collecting rain water. The second one is composed by three plastic "new jersey" street barriers, that can contain 80 - 100 liters each, placed under the shelf.
The circulating system is composed by two 12v pumps, powered by a hybrid power system, a vawt turbine in conjunction with two 10w pv panels.
Energy is stored in a 12v car battery via charge controller and a timer regulate the watering cycle (at this moment the set up is 1 min at 7 am and 1 minute at 7 pm.
Water is pumped from second reservoir to the top of the shelf, into a PVC pipe ( Dia 4 cm) where i drilled eighteen 3 mm holes (one for each planter of the first row). After moisten the first row, water goes down to the rows below until go back to the starting tank.
With hand activated valve i can refill the second reservoir with rain water from blue barrels.

 
<p>Love the vertical axis turbine design!</p>
<p>You know, I would have assumed that there would be a problem with overwatering the top tier, too...until I talked to a person the other day that sells and installs &quot;green walls&quot; in homes and offices. She informed me it is just the opposite. The action of gravity makes the top tier run dry, and the bottom tier become swampy. Their response was just what you suggest, though - separating the water supply into several levels instead of just pouring in at the top.</p>
<p>great project!</p><p>One of the biggest criticisms I could offer, though, is that (it appears) you are relying on the water trickling down from one row to the next. There would be significantly less water by the time it reaches the bottom row. seems difficult to regulate sufficient water quantities at each row (too much up top in order get sufficient quantity on the bottom. Perhaps a couple intermediate supply lines every few rows might be in order?</p>
This is a great project! Congratulations! Can i ask for the model os the wind generator or where can i fins one similar; model of the solar pannels; some photos or explanation of the circuit? Cheers!
hi, i build this generator by myself, using a laser cut plexyglass sheet and some pvc pipes. I find the alternator on ebay. you need an alternator that reach 12 v with low rpm (about 60-100) and a cheap charge regulator for solar panel. the pv panel are both 10 watt power and the battery is a lead acid one, the same you have in your car. wind gen and pv panels are connected to the charge regulator in parallel, and two timer do the rest. Take a look to my other project &quot;nook garden&quot; here in instructables for more detail. Thank you for the interest.
thank you for looking after my health, I sent the draw to a specialized company and I didn't cut it by myself.<br> The recommendation is still very important for people who want to use the laser cutting at home. <br>Regarding books about sand i recommend this but unfortunately is quite expensive ..<br>Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy by Sam Boggs Jr.
<p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/tiero">tiero</a>, I just noticed your &quot;laser cut plexiglass and PVC&quot; part of your comment.<br><br>Plexiglass, as far as I know, is fine to laser cut, but you're gonna need 5 to 20 watts output. (I've built my own laser CNC cutter, and it was a lot of fun as a project, but it's too weak to cut, it merely engraves &amp; burns wood and such. It's 500 mW, and nice, but I may upgrade the laser module to 5000mw (5 Watts).)<br><br>No problem there.<br><br>But the &quot;C&quot; in PVC in Chloride, and if cut with a laser, some will burn, producing Chlorine gases, which can be deadly to you, no matter the breather type you use. Brief exposure can cause lung scarring, and the onset of COPD, and more than a little will kill you. Equipment can also be destroyed by the corrosive nature of Chlorine gases. Your sentence structure implied you may have cut the PVC with a laser, which I hope you didn't. (Do, or mean to imply.)</p>
<p>FuzzyBearGeek, whoever you are, I'm not grumpy. <br><br>If you want grumpy, take shots at me, and then delete your comment. I get the digest of the comments, and I got that. Be nice or BE GONE.</p>
<p>That one guy, xJaymz, was clearly trying to goad you and he succeeded. Your responses did come across as grumpy and unnecessary. The only unpleasant part of this otherwise very nice Instructable. Suggestion: Next time, just ignore the person or tell him once and then ignore him. Otherwise it detracts from the thread, which ironically, is probably what you wanted to avoid and what annoyed you in the first place.</p>
You have a good point. <br><br>I'm at an age where I do not suffer fools lightly or easily. Every question he had, was already been asked and answered. <br><br>I think, perhaps he is someone who disagreed with me at some other juncture, and created a profile to goad me. I've blocked him and intend to be less reactive. Your feedback is appreciated, so thanks, onesimpleidea.<br><br>If he shows back up under a different moniker, it should not be tough to spot him and block him. He may be a budding lawyer, all those asked and answered questions. I'm a retired electronics guy and before that a police officer for a major portion of my career. I've done electronics on my own time, and as a profession for over 45 years. I'm big on Amateur Radio, callsign AA4PC.<br><br>I noted that in his profile (xJaymz) he had only six comments, and all but one were directed at me.. People who use Pseudonyms to bug others are a kind of a problem, but near impossible for Instructables to 'police'. I'll try and keep it more civil<br><br>Sorry if anyone was irritated by the less than pleasant exchange.
<p>Good response.</p><p>&gt; I do not suffer fools lightly or easily</p><p>We have that in common.</p><p>On the bright side, in addition to learning about a cool vertical garden, I also learned some things about sand that I didn't know before. I thought sand was just sand. Who knew? </p>
<p>Oh there's so many kinds I'm sure there are many books on sand types. I have the worst kind for growing anything.</p>
<p>Thank you for sharing such as intelligent solutions. I will take advantage some of his ideas in my little place in Brazil. &quot;A single drop of water can reverberate across the lake&quot;</p>
obrigado!
<p>Great ideas!<br><br>Perhaps one could go &quot;soil free&quot; and use it with hydroponic solutions to nourish the plants... In my area, I'd go bankrupt trying to buy enough potting soil to do this, the dirt here is pure sand, and NO NUTRIENTS....</p>
<p>just out of curiosity...If what you have is really pure sand, why do you call it dirt?</p>
It isn't paved, it isn't rocks, it's underfoot, it's dirt of extremely poor quality. If I called it sand some jackass would want to take the sand mining rights from me.<br><br>I plan to take some of it and sift it to as fine grade and use it in sandblasting (with heavy breathing protection.<br><br>But it's still sand. Sandy dirt. It tracks into the house just like dirt, destroys the carpeting, so it's sandy dirt.<br><br>Curiosity satisfied?
<p>...so is it pure sand or is it sandy dirt...I am just trying to get it right.</p>
<p>Enough inane questions. I've explained it rather thoroughly. See my answer 2 days ago. <br><br>&quot;This stuff is literally so pure that they can make glass with it, no <br>filtering, sifting out a little of the plant detritus, but 99.99% <br>silica.&quot;<br><br>Stop harassing me.</p>
<p>So it is pure sand and not dirt, thank you for clarifying that for me. Why do you seem so tense?</p>
<p>I'm apparently giving you the wrong impression. I don't like idiotic questions.<br><br>The guy who said,, There are no dumb questrions except those that do not get asked.&quot; never met YOU.</p>
<p>it's all in the details John...all in the details.</p>
<p>BTW, every inane question you've asked had already been answered in the thread before you asked your questions. Read a bit.</p>
<p>Thank you sir.</p><p>It depends on the type of sand, because some types of sand contain many nutrients. </p><p> An example: the thinner portion of the sand of the Sahara desert is lifted by the wind and thanks to the high altitude currents, nutrients reaching the Amazon forest, our oxygen factory .. incredible isn't it?</p>
In the fall line area of SC, it's pure silica - quartz sedimentary sand washed down from the mountains. it's so pure there is a sand mine literally within a mile of my house. They take that sand to GLASS FACTORIES, it's so pure.<br><br>ZERO nutrients. Not like you'll find in the fallout zones downwind of a volcanic explosion, like in parts of Italy where grapes grow in RICH sand. <br><br>This stuff is literally so pure that they can make glass with it, no filtering, sifting out a little of the plant detritus, but 99.99% silica. You can sandblast with it, but it is breather time if you do.
<p>thank for your answer wise man, i'm a geologist and i understood perfectly what you mean. we call it mature sand, because it is the final product of erosion, only qz nothing else.</p>
<p>Thank you, your Instructable was, and is, a fine one. I'm considering building a variant with the use of &quot;mature sand&quot; (qz) and trickling hydroponcs soolutions through it. That wuold give root support, and enable things solutions only would not allow.</p>
<p>Sand is great with a irrigation system. no plant diseases.</p>
And hence the comment about hydroponics and nutrients in the water. Sand has NO NUTRITIVE value to plants.
<p>iam sorry iam a wine producer wich means i have vynes. lots. i have 4 types of soil. sand, clay, booth, and good dirt near the river. <br>the sand gives us the best wine with the best colors and alcohol degree. it takes almost no maintenance because its almost disease free. so dont think just because sand has no nutritive value for plants it sucks to grow vegetables. just put some manure and fertilizer and you wil see how fast and how flavorous your vegetables will be. Sorry for bad english.</p>
<p>I understand, but it all depends on the <u><strong>type</strong></u> of sand you are dealing with. Where you are has a lot to do with what kind of sand you have. <br><br>Sand produced by a volcanic eruption, very good. Sand that is worn from from quartz and granite by water over many millennia has no value. There are MANY types of sand and, you have the good kind, I have the practically sterile kind.<br><br>You may have missed the fact I am disabled (arthritis and many injuries from former career) and don't have any other income than Social Security Disability, which is literally below poverty level. The only reason I have a computer is that I built it myself, and for the money (lots of re-purposed and recycled parts) , it rocks. I worked as a computer technician and supervised an assembly line in a computer factory for over 35 years,so that skill has helped - or I might not be online..<br><br>The only types of vegetable or plant life that will grow in this stuff is that which can manage to extract the nitrogen in the rain water that comes down in a thunderstorm, leaving a little ozone and some nitrogen in the water. Zinnias and crabgrass, and not much more will grow in pure unadulterated sand, so I am hoping to do hydroponics. It seemed to work for those who developed it.<br><br>Your alcohol degree will be based on how much sugar your grapes can produce, but in my area, no wineries or vineyards, except those who truck in fertile soil. I can't afford to truck in fertile soil. My front yard may need mowing twice a year, as the only place anything grows there is over the septic tank. <strong>THAT'S HOW BAD my soil</strong> (<u><strong>SAND, ALL PURE STERILE SAND</strong></u>) is.<br><br>My mower has lasted over 17 years, mostly because there is little to cut down, and I am able to maintain it properly - something the former owner did not do. It runs now , better than when it was bought 17 years ago. <br><br>And Instructables is a good place to learn more about amost any topic.</p>
<p>off course you can do hydroponics. but i've never seen it done outside. only in greenhouses and home. </p>
<p>the sand here is not vulcanic. we dont have vulcanos here. but we have cows. and the poo is almost free as they want to get rid of it. if you can get some you can make you sand good for plants. i have no ideia of what's your situation but all i've learned about agriculture is that you can grow plants almost everywhere.</p>
<p>You can do what's called &quot;cold composting&quot; to get compostable items back into the soil asap. I use what is called the &quot;garbage smoothie&quot; for my seedlings lol It doesn't work right away but pre-pulverizing the items (egg shells, banana peels, used coffee grinds) helps them to compost over tie, in the soil, significantly faster and with no effort.</p>
<p>If you do go &quot;cold&quot; composting, check the PH of what you work with and get some soda lime and a PH test kit. If you don't let the bacteria break down the compost you may burn your plants with to low or too high a PH. Acid / Alkaline balance is important, many states have an extension service that can test stuff for you. My sand comes out with no PH no nutrients.</p>
<p>over time* lol</p>
<p>you can make soil by composting!</p>
I kind of KNEW that. I was weeding and planting at the age of 5, and onward and upward from there.<br><br>Sure I COULD make soil richer by composting, but I'm OLD and disabled, and lugging water and nutrients is a little easier (hydroponics) than lugging around (figuratively) tons of compostables and soil to enrich. <br><br>At age 60, I think you could have assumed from my photo, I'm no spring chicken. Gardening for 55 years teaches you a few things.
I like this...<br><br>What I'm not following is how the 'excess water' finds its way back to the storage tank - could you explain the method used please...
<p>Thank you so much!Take a look of my &quot;nook garden&quot; here on instructables, it's the evolution of this project, you'll find the answer. </p>
<p>Thank you so much!Take a look of my &quot;nook garden&quot; here on instructables, it's the evolution of this project, you'll find the answer. </p>
<p>Amazing!</p><p>Very clever and complete system.</p><p>Big thumbs up!</p>
<p>Thank you sir!</p>
<p>I really like this idea! It's favorited and I'll look into it in more detail soon</p>
<p>Well good show.Sad to say I'm 64 going on 65 and got alot &quot;SNAP&quot;,&quot;CRACKLE&quot;,&quot;POP&quot;,without RICE kris pies lol,But I do sound like that in the morning and all day also.But that don't stop me,Cause I still 2 arms &amp; 2 legs and a HEARTBEAT,No income what so ever but I work at (HORSE TRADING) so to speak and going to lay down for nothing till they plant me.So I'm going to look into your idea even though I live in the cold country Alberta Canada.Well I live close to Walmart,No-frills,them places have soil in bags.Guess what I'm going to do.lol you know the rest of story. ;-) .o-o-o-ps forgot to say my little woman she 74 years young and does circles around me.So I guess age is only WHAT you make it be.I'm NOT condeming no one </p><p>but, Don't put yourself down when there is someone hurting WORST than yourself.I got cousin that has a husband in the wheelchair and still drive a lawn tractor and does alot things with his meeger pension.I seen a guy PUSH his girlfriend in a wheelchair through the snow,mud, rain, NOW that must REALLY HURT TO DO SOMETHING OF THAT EFFECT.LIVES ON A PENSION AND TRIES TO DO THINGS THAT WOULD TEAR MOST PEOPLE APART.So if your feeling &quot;low&quot;.STAND UP and fight to do things and look around,ASK,PLED,But don't give up.Life must go on.My moto is </p><p>&quot; DON'T EVER LOOK INTO GIFED HORSE'S MOUTH.SHUT UP AND GET ON AND RIDE TILL IT'S OVER&quot;.</p><p> I never take anything for GRANTED,I just get up and start over everyday,And thank GOD I 'm still here.Sorry but I like this IDEA and I'm gonna try it out.I'm NICE about it.,Don't like it,DON'T READ IT. ;-)</p>
<p>Hi, Tiero!<br>I really wanna make your incredible project, but here in Brazil we have to be careful about still water. Because of the hot weather, some mosquitoes develop in puddles of still water, specially the dengue fever mosquito. So I can't just leave the barrels open to get rain water. Do you have an idea and/or know of some technique to do so?<br>Thank you!</p>
<p>Use neem soap for hand washing outside, with grey water going to the blue buckets,or handbasin over the barrel. Larvicidal at 18 parts per million. Mosquito lay eggs which become larvae but cannot hatch. Not toxic to fish or animals. Neem tree are legumes, fix nitrogen, village trees by wells ponds all over India Pakistan across African. Just throw a few leaves in the barrel. Neem is also a natural insecticide on plants, spray on leaves with hand pump. Stops ALL insects from eating every single part of the plant. </p>
<p>stretch old panty hose over the barrel top, three or four layers if you really get a bad infestation. Water goes straight through and even if few larvae make it in somehow they can't get out. A little bleach in the water will also work as long as the water he'as time to offgas the bleach a little before you use the water.</p>

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More by tiero: 5l beer keg planter -VERTICAL GARDEN UPGRADE- Nook garden - Self watering system (+ april update) Self watering vertical garden with recycled water bottles
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