Final Design of Mega SIP - help with Aeration - see Pics

cbird02October 24, 2012

I am nearing completion of my Mega SIP that has been in the works for weeks in time for fall planting here in sunny Tucson, AZ. My final design consideration is how to aerate the bed. I decided against using the drain holes as dual function aeration holes due to the fact that I didn't want to cut my Stock Tank (around 300 gal galvanized steel.

Since we have hot weather, I wanted to remove some of the heat from the galvanized sides. I had free recycled flashing from my shop. There will be 26 of these at 8" intervals around the whole container - held in by soil.

My options are:

1) Allow air to pass from these channels into the reservoir and drill holes throughout the platform to deliver the air.

2) Drill many holes in the supports that will house the wicks to deliver air to each wick and on to the soil.

2A) Have a central air pipe in the center of the soil down to an open support(not one of the wicks). This is mainly for hot weather, since this pipe will be cooler air since it is in the center of the bed and provide an inlet to replace the air rising in the hot channels.

3) Your suggestion!

I don't think I will have all 26 channels open to the reservoir, only a few for air circulation. The rest will be blocked at the soil platform and just function to remove heat from the steel container. Otherwise I feel like there will be to much evaporation.

Thanks for any input - pictures follow:

View of whole SIP with platform installed

1/2 of the platform showing the supporting PP pipe pieces

Closeup of 5" PP Pipe and Coroplast platform - a number of these will have the Coroplast cut out above them to receive a soil wick lined with weed mesh

Drainage channel for water to fill support

Planned aeration channel / heat vent

Top view of aeration channel/heat vent

Closeup of PP Coroplast

3/4 NPT Drain Hole - Infinity adjustable to around 8" - not used for aeration

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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I wouldn't worry about drilling new air passages. This should occur naturally for the most part, if you are using a loamy, porous Mix with lots of Perlite.

On the construction, you are in totally new territory as I am not aware of others who have tried to design a SWC on such a large scale. Hope it all functions (wicking, etc.) to your expectations.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:54PM
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Thanks Ray! I think I will only have one of my heat vents open to the reservoir then to minimize evaporation - I will be filling through that vent into the reservoir.

The project isn't without precedence. terrybull on this forum has 100gal SIP's as seen in this thread:

There is a tutorial I see referenced often for a woman who used galv horse troughs. Her example is oval and about 170gal. She references that she made a 6ft round also, but it was for an herb garden, so I may be the first for this size. Here is her tutorial

terrybull has a large amount of wicks and the horse trough woman only used five 4" diameter wicks and her soil was 1/3 #2 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost/soil. Both had excellent results, so I am pretty confident. I am going with a high number of wicks since I am in very hot Tucson, AZ.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:57PM
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Hi cbird,

Wondering if you had good success with your Mega SIP this growing season? Any pics?

I'm looking at doing 100 - 200 gal SIP's right now and would love any input you've found, success, pitfalls, design flaws or changes you'd make.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 2:50PM
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