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Automatic Watering From Rain Barrels

Posted by Rollie4620 Ontario, Canada (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 16, 05 at 23:01

I started experimenting with automatic watering last summer. I have my downspouts connected to 55 gallon drums. I placed a tap as close to the bottom as possible and installed a filter on the inside to keep dirt particles from going through the tap. I have an electric solenoid switch (the 110V valve from a washing machine) that controls the water flow from the tap in the rain barrel to perforated plastic tubing that trickles water to my garden.

The solenoid switch is controlled by a timer and I can control the amount of water this way. As long as there is some rain every couple of weeks, the barrel is never empty. I can fertalize the garden by simply adding soluable fertalizer to the barrel.

I'm still trying to come up with a humidity/moisture sensor that will prevent the solenoid switch from coming on if the soil is already wet enough. Does anyone have any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Automatic Watering From Rain Barrels

Wow you sound pretty far along already. I know there are humidity monitors which will send an electric signal because I have seen them . . . but where ??? I would try a landscaping business maybe on the web that specialized in drip irrigation. Our drip system has an automatic freeze or rain sensor so our system won't go on in those cases. It can't be that hard to have a soil moisture device inserted for feedback.

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