Sunday, April 19, 2015

How I built my hops trellis

PThere has been some interest in my design for easy harvest.

After building the frame and sinking it in the ground with some concrete and cable anchors, I strung a stainless steel cable up and across the top.  This line is what I tie the vertical lines to. The top horizontal cable can be lowered to pull down the vines for harvest.

The cable is fished through an eye hook in each corner.

Then down the posts and attached with some creative hardware

Disposable poly lines run every 18 inches or so.  These get cut down every fall and cost about $3.00 total.

An eye loop in the cable to hold the poly lines, and stakes hold the lines in the ground.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A new automatic solar drip irrigation system from rainwater

A 100% solar-powered irrigation system that pumps from my rainwater reservoir.  Backup battery power and timed irrigation for hassle-free, automated, no-maintenance watering of plants!

For more on my off-grid solar power system with battery backup click here.

This is the pump. $25 on Amazon.  Look for one that says 1A 15W 12V 500L/H or thereabouts.  It should last a long time and not drain your battery, or only require a 15W solar panel.

I wanted to try using materials found at a home center, but I effectively went the long way to spend the same amount money as a traditional drip line, and I still needed to order specialized drip parts online! Oh well, I'll show it to you and you can just use a basic drip kit!
My hybrid pvc/poly system.

These are some nice connectors for 1/4" tubing.

Pvc tee with connector and tubing installed.

The green hose runs to the pond pump and the white line runs around the perimeter.

Tees and micro valves to help direct the flow
Some homemade stakes to keep the hoses in place.

A video of the hoses and valves only.

  Here are the three drippers I will try first:
Here are the three drippers I will try first:
Left- inline pressure compensating 1gph on stake
Center-360 degree sprayer (pressure compensating) on stake
Right- simple pressure compensating dripper 1 gph

Here is a shutoff valve (right) with a tee and an inline dripper in the tomatoes.

An inline dripper feeding a potted plant,

I cut some wooden stakes and drilled a 1/4" hole down at an angle to hold the dripper line. This one is fitted with a 1GPH pressure compensating dripper that you can take apart and clean

Here is one of the 360-degree sprayers.  They require a LOT of water pressure to actually spray the water outward.  On this system the water mostly just gurgles out from all sides.  Good for very thirsty plants, but my little pump won't be trowing the water the way I had wanted to.

And again here is the programmable on/off timer for the pump.  12V DC, this little timer has been great, with eighteen time slots available over a 24-hour period.  It can also be set to turn on certain days, for those who subscribe to infrequent deep soakings.

Update 5/19:  I need more drippers!  Working great so far.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pak choi growing fast!

In a side by side with the lettuces, the pak choi (Rohrer seeds) seems to double every day!

Finished a new raised bed

My goal is to do this around the entire south side of the greenhouse. I had some scavenged stones and after letting it settle over winter I filled it with mushroom soil. Onions and garlic are the first to go in, and I will probably finish with sweet potatoes.
That is a tree stump in the center. I didn't think to chop it out before filling. Oh well!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tomatoes are in

Two beefsteaks and some parsley that I found had sprouted on the floor.
And some in pots for later