Growing Paynes - The Quest for Efficient Plants

Posted on July 16, 2014 by David Payne | 0 Comments

I got my plants into the greenhouse. Straight away the technical part of my brain realised that I have all of this information, a massive resource bank online for how I could make my green house more efficient, more so what was key was doing it on a constrained budget. This completely suited me though, I have always enjoyed hacking things together and using things I have laying around to fit a purpose that would be more effective in something else. It's something I must have gotten from my Grandfather and Dad, they were both mechanics and were perpetually creating all sorts of things to fit purposes they were most definitely never intended for.

Water charges are coming into Ireland over the next year or two. There has been a lot of talk over water conservancy because of it, as well as the fact that in Ireland it is a commodity that is undervalued and under utilised because of it's abundance, it rains a lot here. With all of the buzz around the topic I think it is an area that is very interesting and something I would love to sort out for our old Georgian Era house. With that in mind a testing ground to nail down some of the finer points for water harvesting would be apt. Enter stage right my newly renovated green house. A neat little water harvesting system off of the roof and into the water butt would be perfect, then I could set up an irrigation system off of the tap and have to worry less about making sure my plants were ok if I was away for a couple of days.

I looked it all up and with the shear excitement of how achievable it all seemed, I mentioned it to Noel, who immediately started making fun of me for being a lazy gardener and missing the some of the best parts of gardening. If I didn't know him like I do I suppose it could have taken the wind out of my sails, plus I'm stubborn enough to do it and want to flaunt the results when it works out. Anyway if just as much enjoyment can be attained through the construction of the system and knowing the system is ensuring that my gardening experience is more secure, then where's the harm.

There were some things that I definitely needed get, so I ordered some small taps and hose connectors online. I started with a 15m hose I found at home, I pin pricked holes at set distances along the hose. I heated up a thick denim needle and pierced the hose, unbeknownst to me I was creating a soaker hose, that just goes to show how little I know about it all. It worked for a time but I ran into problems with it becoming blocked so I went back online and bought a 4mm drip irrigation hose instead, with hooks included to keep it away from the soil.

When the parts arrived I was like a kid at Christmas. I ripped the packaging apart and laid all of the parts out on our brushed steel table. First thing first, holes needed to be put into the green house. I drilled holes in the gutters for the taps I was fitting. I cut the glass, admittedly very dodgely in a water bath we had and some of it cracked rather than cutting, but hey that's something else to add the the experience belt. I got some U clamps and held some of the small Water butt taps I had fashioned into a drain for the gutters, I used sugru, which is like play doh that hardens into a silicon rubber to water seal it and then I attached a hose to the tap inside the green house and ran into the water butt. It works brilliantly. Next on the agenda is just to sure it up and make sure everything works as it should.

So until next time, bye for now.

Dave

 

Posted in Beginner Gardener, Breezy Gardening, Greenhouse, vegetable


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