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would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

Posted by nanzey z10/So.Cal. (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 24, 08 at 20:00

I'm finally going to do this!

I have a balcony that's on the second floor - with nothing below it.
It gets a lot of sun and very good air circulation so keeping anything moist is a nightmare!
I have no water hookup, but I do have a power outlet!
I have 2 coco-fiber baskets on the railing (assorted flowers), and 2 other plastic boxes that i am going to place at the base of the railing (hoping to plant herbs in these), and one outdoor Chinese Elm bonsai tree.
I have one of those storage containers that have the bench top.
I bought a fountain pump that has an 8 ft shutoff.
I am going to buy a 5 gal bucket to place inside the storage container (and fill with water).
I plan to drill a hole in the back of the container where I will run the power cable for the pump and the 1/2" tubing from the fountain pump to the outside.
I'm going run the 1/2" tubing down the length of the balcony and then pipe off of it to the individual containers using the drip system components you see in home depot.
The pump has a 16 foot power cord which will be more than long enough to snake the opposite way of the water tube and plug into the outlet.
I'm going to get a timer to control when it goes on.

Comments? advice?
I think it all sounds good in theory, but I'm sure someone out there has experience with this!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

Sounds really cool. I have a drip system running on our hose which is on city water. I know there are special drippers you need to buy for lower water pressure. I'm not sure how much pressure your pump will make, just thought I'd mention it. We love our drip system, our deck gets really really hot in the summer.

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

You should get a timer as well. I tried a gravity fed system and failed miserably. To get enough water to flow through the drip system, you have far more water than the plants can handle being turned on all the time.

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

Hi Nanzey,

The system sounds great. There are dripper emitters that vary in amounts and even adjustable ones to match the amount of water to each plant. You can check how much water you are supplying to all the plants by measuring the water level drop in the 5-gal bucket and calculate the volume then convert it to gallons. You can measure the flow of the pump by volume divide by time the timer was on. Your emitter flow is measured in (Gal per hour). Your total emitter flow needs to be less than the total flow from your pump minus 10%. Aloha.

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

Got that formula nanzy? (Jeez, math, takes the fun right out of it.) But I'd say you're gonna need a bigger bucket!

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

  • Posted by nanzey z10/So.Cal. (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 18, 08 at 19:28

Sadly - life got in the way and I never did get this all set up! I guess I'll be waiting for spring to get around to it - although it was in the 80's and 90's this week - if this continues - maybe i'll get it done over the holidays!

RE: would love advice on a drip system plan - watering

There is a website that sells drip stuff, rain something, I think. Maybe you can ask them about the pump. You might want to be sure you have the right size pump before you do anything else! Let us know how it goes. I have an old well pump and tank I've thought about using with rain barrels, so I'll be real interested.

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