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More efficient large scale watering system?

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More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Jersm » Aug 13, 2012 10:28 pm

so this year i made a bunch of successfull self watering wicking pots from 2L bottles to large containers. the downfall i noticed to self watering or hydroponics is the lack of nutrients.

so then it occured to me you could use wicking system underground under large scale farms. laying PBC pipes with wicks that dont allow dirt and roots to get in the pipes but allows water to be wicked out from the pipes to the soil as it dries.

this would also greatly conserve water since the water in the pipes do not evaporate on the surface and rain water would seap inside the pipes too lowering watering even more.

so this system would combine the water efficientcy of a wicking system, the sun and natural nurtrients from the earth. you could also consider catching rain water to feed crops their water.
how is this more efficient?
1. eliminate water evaporating before it reaches the roots, saves on water tax.
2. eliminate labour workers watering every plant and large machinery/pumps watering 24/7.
3. the soil and plant draws water trough the wicks by capilary action as it dries or drinks.
4. 100% green watering method.
5. would be great for very dry areas.
6. all the plants can be watered by one person filling up the pipes from a single area.
7. could be used at any scale.
8. great for poor areas, there is more then enough plastic on this planet.
watering system.png

any thoughts opinions on improvements? i might try this next year small scale in my back yard as a concept. (NOTE: its PVC pipes not PBC)
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Dumbo » Aug 14, 2012 6:44 pm

How are you "wicking" it?
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Jersm » Aug 14, 2012 6:58 pm

for most of my self watering pots i used just any old rags i found. as long as it can absorbe water when its dry and not fall appart when wet, then its good enough to use as a wick.

I will drill a hole in the PVC pipe then take a medium sized hand towel and tie a large knot on one side of the towel. the other side you let it dangle in a hole I will drill in the PVC pipe. the roots shouldn't be able to go trough a towel. i have a proof on concept I grew letus and a bean bush in 2L bottles with a wick. not once did i water them i just fill their resevoir.

as long as the cloth touches the water on one side and the soil on the other it will act as a wick. if it was a comercial product i imagine you could easly create a plug maybe out of a sponge even.
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Jersm » Aug 23, 2012 12:53 pm

this is a small scale proof of concept proving wicks work great.note: i just trimmed all my letus for a big salad yesturday.
photo14.JPG
100% grown in the ground you can see they are quite smaller and grow slower.

photo10.JPG
grown 3 seeds in a self watering pot they already passed the max height estimation on the seed pack.

photo18.JPG
yousee the letus roots managed to get past the wick.

photo15.JPG
4 letus grown in self watering pots, I love this beacause i only water them every week. the bean plant didnt fair so well since it ended up getting pot bound in a 2L bottle limiting its growth but its still making beans.
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Jersm » Aug 26, 2012 12:17 pm

For fun i tried a inexpensive prototype with 2L bottles. I took a sodering gun and used the hot tip to melt and combine 2L soda bottles together.

in each bottle i melted two holes and placed peices of cloth with a knot on one end so it covers the hole while the other end dangles in the water. Sofar its been working great im growing letus over the 2L bottles. I fill up the bottles via the bottle sticking out of the dirt.

the ground stays nice and moist while thesurounding ground dries up. :mrgreen:
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby hotsummerone » Aug 26, 2012 10:01 pm

This can protect wet, but the underground water long time no replacement as if is not very good.
Image
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Re: More efficient large scale watering system?

Postby Jersm » Aug 27, 2012 11:43 am

the water is away from the sun and sealed from bugs and such so nothing acutally get into the bottles so no algae or anything.

the water inside the bottles are wicked out trough the peices of cloth as the dirt dries and the plants absorbe water. plus the water has to seap trough the wick and trough the earth so it picks up minerals too.

You are always adding new water as it gets wicked out so i dont really see how it could be bad. its been working with all my other wicking projects, they are all thriving. i replace the water every1-3 weeks depending on the plant and pot size. :mrgreen:
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