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Time sequence veggie growth of around 4 square metres of garden. Two & 1/2 square metres of the garden is open wicking bed. Enhancements to reservoir pipe co...
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Fantastic job Mr Collings. PS - check your answering machine.
No Elaine, I have very hard clay/phyllite rock under the array. I am assuming that there would be very little water loss and believe that there are advantages in connecting the plant and soil to true earth. Once this type of rock gets wet, it absorbs a small amount of water, and then pools for days.
You would most likely want the plastic sheet for other soil types. With or without a plastic sheet, when balanced, the wicking logic coupled with pipe containment prevents most of the sideways water loss. When using the word balanced, I'm referring to the amount of cloth wick exposed to the soil in tandem with the max an min pipe level.... the adjustable parameters will include ...
Number of holes in pipe array. (not flexible - almost a one off on initial)
Adjusting the float valve to a minimum water level in the pipe array. (flexible, adjustable at any time)
Cloth wick-soil coupling. (semi-flexable, dig-down-push-pull adjustable, maybe between crops if necessary).
Well done Rob - a photo diary with a twist. Great results. I'll be interested in your wrap up of your blog on this now that you have the final piece of the puzzle. That solution reminds me of a toilet though!
Thanks heaps guys for your kind feedback!
Sophie, yes, the sequence only shows the section of the garden which has the 2nd pipe array installed (Late July 2016) Blog. It is still there, however there are some buts ...
Up until a few weeks ago, I was going to wrap up the WRP blog with a 'not good enough' verdict for the following reasons...
The array simply does not hold enough water for my liking. Supplemental hand watering was necessary at times, plus the frequency of pipe filling was too high.
The solution using a reservoir to hold and feed the water externally resulted (my thoughts) in cancelling the advantage of wicking as it seemed that a blind feed was the only practical solution.... at that stage, due to the large reservoir feed (Blue barrel or IBC) being blind (no feedback from pipe's level), I might as well have large reservoir feeding drip irrigation instead, and that is what was being planned for the rest of the garden strip.
That was going to be the end of this permutation of wicking bed.... however....
I had been seeing the obvious solution intermittently for years (on many Aquaponics, wicking, poultry and livestock water management solutions) and needed a spark at the right time.
Thanks to an old prospector from Texas joining (re-joining?) BLF recently and my curiosity (who really is this person?, I've seen you before), I stumbled across a picture of his on AP Nation and the hidden obvious became the obvious. Float Valve!
With this cheep device, the pipe array has a true feedback mechanism with the external reservoir, taking away the blindness of a gravity wick feed or gravity drip feed.
The external reservoir's feed to the pipe is governed by the pipe's level and therefore (via the cloth wicks), governed by the soil's requirement for water. End to end wicking is back. This is very important for true water saving via wicking, as the external reservoir would just keep on sending water regardless of soil moisture (i.e. - too dry, too wet, or just right) if allowed to just feed the pipe array without any feedback.
I will update the WRP blog with better wording than above (articulation required).
Over the next few days/weeks, I will acquire the appropriate float valve, and the external reservoir will be installed, and system trailed.
Love it. Always wanted to do something like this. Wish I had taken a yearly photo of the back yard.
Thanks Rob. Is there a waterproof membrane under the reservoir pipes?
Duplicate from Description (due to partial visibility of full text above - thanks Elaine for raising) ... Time sequence veggie growth of around 4 square metres of garden. Two & 1/2 square metres of the garden is open wicking bed. Enhancements to reservoir pipe configuration for the purpose of water capacity and distribution under way, post initial trial.
I mean WOW!
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