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Solar Capillary Irrigation

I was thinking: If you used a post hole digger and made 2' or 3' holes throughout the garden, then dropped an old pant leg or other scrap fabric down the hole, filled it up with soil while leaving some fabric exposed above the soil, covered the fabric with an inverted clear plastic or glass bowl, would this draw enough moisture through the fabric to irrigate the plants near the bowl? I'm thinking the sun would heat things up for condensation on the glass which would drip down the sides to the soil while capillary action would draw deep soil moisture through the fabric to the surface where garden plant root zones are. Anybody try this before?

Topic by robbtoberfest    |  last reply


Solar Powered Drip Irrigation

Hi. I am in the process of designing and building a balcony garden with drip irrigation for multiple 3' x 1' planter boxes. The idea is to automatically water with a reservoir pump attached to drip line. There is no water or electrical outlet, so it has to be off grid. This being my first solar project, advice and assurance would be much appreciated. The pump would be turned on for about 1 hour every other day or so, this being hot Miami.  Diapragm Pump (12 Volts, 3 Amp draw): should generate enough PSI for the drip line http://www.ebay.com/itm/100PSI-DC12V-4L-Min-Solid-Electric-Diaphragm-Water-Pump-Self-Priming-for-RV-Boat-/281366070408? UPG UB1250 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (12 Volts, 5 Amps): http://www.amazon.com/UB1250-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Batteries/dp/B001DL9IBC/ref=zg_bs_389574011_9 ALEKO® Solar Panel (5 Watt, 17.5 Volt VMP): http://www.amazon.com/ALEKO%C2%AE-5W-5-Watt-Monocrystalline-Solar/dp/B0046HE62G/ref=sr_1_7?s=lawn-garden&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1450573836&sr;=1-7&keywords;=5+watts Docooler Solar Charge Controller (20 Amps, 12 Volts): http://www.amazon.com/Docooler-Controller-Battery-Regulator-Protection/dp/B00L37KZI6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid;=1450580867&sr;=8-3&keywords;=charge+controller Main concerns: Will the battery and other electronics be able to function through the 100+ degree days of Miami? Does the system have a good power supply? Is the equipment good quality to last 3+ years? Thanks for all the input and insight!

Topic by bzand  



Low pressure pneumatic grid (1 to 4 psi) to use small wind, small hydro and small solar power?

I have used low pressure air and a simple "airlift pump"  to cycle water around a "pallet  Garden" since August.  This meant that very little water was being used but the plants were growing really well.   the air comes from an aquarium bubble pump and it is about 1 psi.  The pallet garden is almost 20 ft from the little bubble pump.   Recently I decided to do something similar in my greenhouse, but it is 120 ft from the little pump and there is no electrical socket close.  So reluctantly I bought another 120 ft of 1/4 inch tubing to send the air to the greenhouse.  I didn't expect it to work at that distance.  But it is working great. Why not use air instead of electricity to move the energy from "toy" windmills in gardens? Or from low head small water power?  I bet anyone could make a compressor to make 1 PSI.  It is orders of magnitude easier than making a direct water pump or converting the energy to electrical and then back again in a pump.  An airlift pump is just a vertical tube in the water.    How simple is that!   and it is darn cheap too.  You can use this for pumping water (Highest I ever got was 18 ft with 1 psi) or just bubbling air into a fishpond or to actually move the water in small water features.   Or of course in the pallet garden or in aquaponics.  And even thought this energy is useful at that scale it can never ever be made worthwhile to share it electrically.  But maybe your grid could extend to your neighbours garden too?  You could have an interconnector if you or they have a bit of excess pneumatic power!

Topic by gaiatechnician    |  last reply


Version control in open source or free hardware projects. Standard methodology?

I have a pallet garden project that has morphed from 1 type of pallet garden into 3 types and with several methods of irrigation and water cycling.  Is there a standard method of versioning it?   I have it on youtube on a playlist.  Someone suggested  using Semantic Versioning http://semver.org/  on the videos in my playlist to help me and others keep track.   I do video's a lot because talking to the camera helps define problems for me and sometimes other people do suggest solutions.   http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL00C41C26C91A76BB&feature;=view_all  The project continues to grow. I expect someone to come up with a Stirling or fluidyne method of using solar heat to compress the air in the next couple of months and if they don't I will do it myself.  (It is only 1 psi and 5 watts).   60 litres per hour works 3 pallet gardens together pretty easily.  I have 6 working at the same time right now.  2 vertical. 1 flat and 3 leaning pallet gardens.  I can double that as soon as I build some more.  Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician  


Help to make a self watering drip irrigation system (using an air well+gravity pressure drip irrigation)

Hello, lately I have become interested in DIY drip irrigation systems and have begun building one myself. The I started thinking:" wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to manually fill up the tank?" and remembered that there was already a very low tech way to get water: the air well!! Well, why not put the two things together? The air well collects the water and then this is distributed to the plants through the drip irrigation system. Obviously people have already thought about this (here's a link to a great project http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/airdrop_irrigation_wins_first_prize_at_2011_james_dyson_awards/), but I was thinking if there was a way to build something even less technological, i.e. with no pump (I would rather use gravity instead) and no special condenser, but rather something made from recycled/easy to get parts. After all I don't live in a desert, so a less efficient system would do just fine. It's just so that I don't have to carry heavy buckets of water to quench the thirst of my synergic garden. Cheers

Topic by wilson14  


Help to make a self watering drip irrigation system (using an air well+gravity pressure drip irrigation)

Hello, lately I have become interested in DIY drip irrigation systems and have begun building one myself. The I started thinking:" wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to manually fill up the tank?" and remembered that there was already a very low tech way to get water: the air well!! Well, why not put the two things together? The air well collects the water and then this is distributed to the plants through the drip irrigation system. Obviously people have already thought about this (here's a link to a great project http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/airdrop_irrigation_wins_first_prize_at_2011_james_dyson_awards/), but I was thinking if there was a way to build something even less technological, i.e. with no pump (I would rather use gravity instead) and no special condenser, but rather something made from recycled/easy to get parts. After all I don't live in a desert, so a less efficient system would do just fine. It's just so that I don't have to carry heavy buckets of water to quench the thirst of my synergic garden. Cheers Another cool thing to make would be a poor man's version of this http://www.groasis.com/en

Topic by wilson14    |  last reply


The wimpy power grid! Low pressure air for little jobs. I pumped water 6 ft high with 0.2psi!

So I am not talking a 0.2 psi grid.  Anywhere from 1 to 4 psi should work for the little jobs.  All  you have to do is make feeble wind or water or solar panel or Stirling engines to power the  pumps and the pumps are just a couple of ft of tubing!  So, 1 psi is nothing! We should be able to make it in all sorts of ways.  My air comes from a 3.5 Watt bubble pump until I (or you) figure out how to run a tiny compressor off my 15 Watt solar panel.    I have a few demo videos including the one here  

Topic by gaiatechnician  


Pulser pump research from Loughborough University

The pulser pump is the world's simplest water powered device. But the way it pumps water is pretty much unknown to the general public and research is lacking. Here is a paper from an engineering student in a university about it. (It is attached as a pdf file to this post).   Hopefully it fleshes out some of the science.  Regardless of who "invented" it,  it has been my "baby" for over 2 decades so it is nice to see it get some attention!     I was also told that the experiments may continue next year.  (With a different student)   Please check out the attached pdf,  I think mini pulser pumps can power "pallet gardens" but I do not have a stream here to try one.  (Going 3 ft deep under the water exit level is enough so really easy).   Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician    |  last reply


Q: flower-pot mounted in plastic bottle partially filled with water

Hi, i have major water-issues here in the garden (steep southern slope in the mountains; little earth:; hot in the summer). so i always play around and look for solutions. latest play: i cut off a bottle, filled it with an inch of water, and then, a couple inches above inserted a flower-pot that tightly fits. q: is there a chance that the roots will eventually feed of the ´tank´ at the bottom of the bottle so that no waterinbg of the flower(pot) is needed (sort of a self-contained system)?bowing (flower, too)

Question by la xerra    |  last reply


PDF won't download

PDF won't download: No irrigation raised bed gardening system (Hugelkultur) (It goes through all the steps and the tab in Safari (iPad) says that  a PDF downloaded, but there's no file there.

Topic by hartpete    |  last reply


Self sufficient garden idea? possibly off-grid? Answered

I had this idea for a rain barrel + solar timed pump+ drip irrigation system, but was having trouble about the pump itself. I would like the pump to let water drip every couple of hours, for about a week. I have had no such luck finding this item online or otherwise. Any information on such a product, like how to build or where to buy would be enormously helpful!

Question by Nekkyo    |  last reply


Tree moat digging machine need help

I am needing to dig tree moats around 150 trees in an orchard. We use flood irrigation to water them. Each tree has a sprinkler head. I am needing to build a moat around each tree to keep the water near the roots. As of right now we are forced to use a hand hoe to make them. On some spots i have to use a shovel to break the soil up before I can use the hoe to make the moat. Does anyone have any ideas on a machine or better process to make them? What came to mind was a trench machine or some kind of disc harrow. The problem with the trencher i see is they are made to go forward and not side to side. The moat are not that deep maybe 5-7 in deep. A photo of one i dug by hand as an example.

Topic by AlexT352    |  last reply


Water Recycling with a Hydroponic Bog Garden

Clean water - we all need it.  Treating and reusing sewage and other waste water means reducing the burden on the already limited supply of water from our lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers. Instructables user Biotank posted this excellent Hydroponic bog garden. It's the final step in a series of sewage water treatments, and uses bacteria to clean the water even further so it can be used for irrigation.  This system can be combined with a garden for water-loving plants as shown here, or with a fish pond.  While this bog garden isn't likely to fit in your backyard, it's a great example of thinking outside the box to solve the problem of water reuse!  Check it out, and get inspired. What are you doing to conserve or reuse water?  What would you like to do? This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


Published instructable is not viewable

Hello, I published my instructable, however i can only view it when logged in.  https://www.instructables.com/id/No-irrigation-raised-bed-gardening-system-Hugelku/ Please let me know what the problem is. There is no indication in the interface that it required approval. it said "published successfully" -Nick

Topic by SaveOurSkills    |  last reply


How to remodel my front yard garden?

Hi, i have my front yard that I want to renovate so that it is both appealing day and night to anybody who walks in and memorises that moment.  This is the area that has the most traffic everyday at about any time so it needs to be practical, safe and appealing.  I want to design and use any materials but needs to be in the green way as there are much focus on these nowadays and prevent wastage. This is what I have in mind: 12 volt system: A/or many power packs that will provide power to all the electrical stuffs, charged using solar panels and since these will be low voltage it should be safe. Items that would be using 12v would be outdoor lighthing, the power cables, water pump submersible, submersible light.  It would be great to have an electrical plan that would aid however I don't know how to do that. Water feature: Add a biological filter made of concrete for the pond with all its plumbing and also add overflow drain in pond and a small canal to evacuate the excess of water.  Plants:  Concerning the plants some will be moved, cut down or removed completely.  I want a complete mixture of different kinds of plants such As bushes creeping plants etc.  It would be nice to create a plant plan both written and visual as it would aid greatly however I don't really have that knowledge. Other things: I would like to include pergolas and arbours and also allow plants to grow on them such as creeping plants. I want the area to have complete or as much privacy as possible but don't really know specially by hiding the view from above.  As A boundary I want to include fencing and then let creeping plants to grow on them just to get that privacy.  An automatic watering system would be very good such as popup sprinkler, or drip irrigation but an irrigation plan would best be suited but still I don't know how to make that. There should be provision for spaces in adding security cameras that would remain hidden for a certain time period. Finally there should be an Area to store dustbin and also to let clothes dry.

Question by Chamburn    |  last reply


Flipping bucket help

Hi all , I need some help with an Instructable . I have a very slow stream of water near my house I want to use for irrigating my garden (~10liters / hour) and I want it to fill a container (bucket) and flip over to another container when it gets filled . The bottom bucket will connect to my droping irrigation hose. If I connect it directly only some plants get water all the time . I need it to build up and then water them all periodically . I hope I explained myself well . they have this kind of mechanism in water parks .. How do I design the flipping bucket ? where do i put the hinges ? Thanks.

Topic by moris_zen    |  last reply


Rainbarrels- New or Reconditioned? Answered

Greetings! I want to install rain barrels beneath four downspouts. I would also like to be able to use the water for consumption if the need should arise, so I wonder if the "reconditioned" 55 gallon barrels can be cleaned enough for such use, or should I just purchase brand new ones? I can save a lot of money on the reconditioned ones, but if they are going to contaminate the water, I will gladly pay the price for new. Any advice is most appreciated!  -Bradley

Question by RedMayor    |  last reply


Connect timer w Rechargeable 9v to Solar panel?

I am using a rechargeable 9v battery in my irrigation timers.  I would think it would be easy to hook up a small solar panel to charge the batteries during the day and then I don't have to worry about them failing and me not noticing until my garden goes brown.  Two wires join in a pastic coated cap that hooks to the 9volts.  Can't I just take the cap apart and connect the leads from the little solar panel?

Question by solartimer    |  last reply


Oops!

Over the years I've done a lot of things that didn't work out well, and I try learn something from them  hoping to avoid similar problems in the future. I think ibles  needs a place to share these 'educational moments'  to help others avoid pitfalls and to console with laughter anyone who is sitting amidst the ruins of their own project.   So here's the  place to share.    I'll go first........... My first dramatic failure at about age 8 - Gluing glitter onto balloons. Not a good idea. The glue popped the balloon (I think it was 'airplane glue' ) The result was glue and glitter everywhere (including in my eyes) and a lot of unhappiness. Then there was the hot glue surprise -  Using a glue gun to close drip irrigation holes in a garden hose.  It plugged the holes and worked just fine in the overcast cool spring weather. Then a rare sunny day  heated the hose, and all those plugs melted and the holes started jetting water.  I hadn't realized how hot a green hose in the sun could get. And I have made some just plain stupid moves - like spending hours pulling all the shreds of paper out of the toothed wheels on the paper shredder.... you know how they get sucked inside.  After getting it all clear I thought I might as well lubricate the thing with spray silicon stuff.  So far so good. And then I was so excited to see how it much better it would work, I turned it on.  Flash of flame, slightly singed eyebrows, and a TOTALLY dead smoking shredder.  Ummm.... it's really worthwhile to let solvents totally evaporate before turning on electrical things.

Topic by mole1    |  last reply