Granny, here's how you connect the siphon system. Now, I know you said you wouldn't build any more swc's, but this might change your mind. You know you want to......heh.
Here is a link that might be useful:
hey friend i guess u suck it like stealing gas?does it keep a siphon or have you got a float valve and a pump in that bucket?
Cute, EG...but I'm going to line mine up in a row and install a 5 port manifold (connected to a sprinkler riser) for a 1/4" drip line into each fill tube. They will go on every time the sprinklers do, but no problem with overwatering because of the overflow holes. In fact, I'm thinking I might plant my leftover brassicas and some basil and marigolds in front of the buckets, so hopefully there will be overflow to water those plants at the same time. If that fails, there is a hose and faucet right next to the (future) bucket patch ;-)
Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden
farmboy - No, you use the flow from a hose pipe to achieve the siphon. It works really well, and I only have to keep the red bucket filled to a certain level. As one container becomes low, it takes however much water it needs from the others, until it's filled.
Granny - no.no.no....You're not supposed to say that! You're supposed to let me talk you into building some more swc's out of those buckets. Hee Hee
EG, I am going to build more SWCs from the buckets. Four more. The 1/4" drip tubing will go to each fill tube, that's why I'm using a 5 port manifold.
I have two tomato plants that are so big I have to move them into my kitchen sinks at night now, they will no longer sit in the plant window, but have to sit next to the window on the freezer :-( I'm going to take them outside and begin hardening them off today, they can't go into the SWCs until May 1.
Wow, that was entirely too easy EG... Cool set up!
Thanks, Carolyn! It works really well...
Granny - Whew....you had me worried for a minute there.
I'm not sure I follow how the siphon works. Do you mean that initially, after filling up the red bucket, you squirt the water directly into the clear tubes to get it started & then dunk the end of the tube into the red bucket to keep the siphon going? So it replaces the act of sucking on the tube to get it started, as farmboy suggested?
I really like the idea of only having to fill one bucket quickly instead of standing there while I fill several buckets & swat mosquitoes! :-)
You come up with some really cool ideas!
Diane - Thanks! But I can't take credit for this one....I found it on the net. Here's how it's done....
With all of the swc's filled to their correct height, simply fill the red bucket half way. Then, while the main supply tube is submerged in the red bucket - take an open-ended garden hose turned on all the way, and place the end over the supply tube. This is done underwater, and you'll see the water flowing through the various tubes. As one becomes full, pinch it with your fingers to force the flow to other tubes. Once all tubes are full/clear, you're done!
How often do you reckon you will need to fill the red bucket during the peak season? Every day, three times a week, once a week? It looks like 6 plants are going to be drawing on it continuously.
BTW, I think I need a little more information on the initial siphon set-up. I'm a visual learner, so if you have a pic or two handy.... :-) Thanks!
Eaglesgarden - I imagine the bucket will need to be filled everyday. If an automatic float valve was installed with Municipal water, one float valve could control everything.
I don't have any more photos. :( I should have took some during assembly....
EG, great setup. I can envision that setup tied to a rain barell. Unfortunately, my SWCs will be too far away to effectively use this.
Granny, I too have monster tomato plants ready to go out. Despite our historical average LFD of April 15, I am still a bit nervous about planting them out until the nighttime temps rise a bit more. Maybe if I use the tomato cages as supports for trash bags at night and removed in the day. That would sure be easier than carting those heavy and delicate trays back inside and upstairs each evening. Hehe.
Sinfonian, I think I'll wait a week, even though it was 85F here today. Thursday it's supposed to drop down to 37, Friday to 34, but the following week looks like a go, as low temps will be in the 40s. My raised beds are HOT! Very warm soil when I shove my hand way down into it, and the veggies are popping up like crazy. I put a milk jug over my lone (planted) tomato plant at night. I sure hope we don't get another freeze.
I've found putting the tomatoes out very early in development makes them extremely hardy! How hardy? We have a light frost (32 degrees) one night last week and my tomato plants didn't even notice it! It was an accident on my part, I knew the temp was going to fall, but didn't think it would get that low.
Here's what I did to get super-hardy tomatoes:
1) sow inside and keep under lights until the first set of true leaves appeared.
2) potted up at first sign of true leaves, and immediately put them into a cold frame (made out of repurposed wood pallets and recycled windows) and brought them in at night (around 7pm when the temp fell down to about 45-50 degrees) kept them in my laundry room, with ambient temp around 60-65 degrees.
3) kept sheltered from direct sunlight (windows) and wind (cold frame) for about a week, cold frame was designed to be fairly well ventilated, even when the windows were in place.
4) removed windows after about a week or so outside (started with no window protection on two consecutive cloudy days).
5) left out over night anytime the low temp was scheduled to be over 45 after about two weeks.
6) left outside continually for about a week - highs in the high 60s to low 70s, and lows in the 40s, after about 3 or 4 weeks (I should have journaled it better)
7) had to bring them in briefly for a span of a few days - lower temps at night.
8) then accidently left them outside during a frost and was so worried all day about them. They look GREAT!
They are stocky and very short, but have a good spread to them. They have 3 sets of leaves now, and with the sun and temps (80's) they are scheduled to get over the next 5 days (after today), I can't wait to see how well they grow! They should be over the transplant shock at this point, and really be ready to "explode" in growth. I'm going to have to be vigilant for "suckers".