The Vacation Pack
From the Archives. Originally posted January 22, 2013.
Recently I had an chance to vacation to the Bahamas. It was an eight day cruse to celebrate our friend’s wedding in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The price was very reasonable and I was able to clear my schedule for that week. Only one problem, who was going to take care of my windowfarm while I was gone for eight whole days?
With a .5L capacity, my windowfarm could last a maximum of three days without water. The last time I went out of town, I had a friend add water but the pH began to climb and I lost half of my plants. I didn’t want that to happen again so I asked myself “What would McGyver do?”
I could’t find a design for this so I began working on a self-watering system of my own that could
A) have enough water to last for a week,
B) be added on to my existing system with ease and
C) have a drain for any excess water.
First I had to find a plastic bin that would be the resivour for the system. I wanted it to be about as wide as the windowfarm, and short enough to fit underneath everything . As luck would have it I found one sitting on top of a recycling bin that was exactly the dimensions I needed. With a ten gallon capacity, it was more than enough. Score! It didn’t have a lid but I can make one out of plywood.
Next, I needed to find the rest of the hardware. I needed a submersible pump, a switch, and some tubing. All of which I found on ebay. After cleaning the bin and making a lid for it I assembled all the parts and rigged the tubing. Once everything is where I wanted, I wired the switch into the pump and mounted it.
After a few tests I decided it would be a great idea to add a drainage system to the bottom bottles. Ten gallons can do some damage. I did this by flipping the rings over, gutting them and drilling a hole big enough to snugly fit the tubing. I ran the tubing down back into the drainage tank and voila!
I ran this system for the whole week I was gone and it performed perfectly! I came back to happy and healthy plants. I ran this system for another three weeks before I even had to clean it. My little creation has made my life a bit easier. On to the next project!
Be on the lookout for next week’s post on my vertical soil garden I build out of recycled shipping pallets!