Return to the Container Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

Posted by liz_h 7/8 DFW Texas (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 25, 11 at 20:01

Has anyone used these? After giving up on gardening, I'm considering one of these. The two foot height would be a lot easier, and the large capacity would help a lot. I am in hot Central Texas. The deck where I would place these is on the 2nd story, south and west exposure, so the area gets a LOT of hot sun. (The deck is sufficiently reinforced to take the weight.)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

The only thing I would really be concerned with is the galvanized coating. Not sure if that could potentially leach any harmful chemicals in to the soil, but probably worth finding out first.

Also the metal could heat up quite a bit in that hot Texas sun, but you could probably find a solution to keep them cool.


 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

Here is one site .
This should work great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horse trough Self watering


 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

  • Posted by liz_h 7/8 DFW Texas (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 11 at 1:46

Thanks!

Dickie, that looks like a great setup.

Howelbama, that's a good point. Apparently, nothing harmful does leech, though I did find references to a small amount of zinc, in a helpful amount.


 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

Yesterday, I put together a horse trough wick watering setup. I'll describe it here now and will post a link to my blog with photos when I have enough results to evaluate and publish. Mine differs from those described in the article, because I use synthetic wicks instead of extending soil columns down to the water.

Metal round trough, about three feet across. I have a big stack of fairly tough 9-inch tall plastic pots. I set five around the inside and one in the center, upside down. I cut a wedge out of the side of each so that water would flow unobstructed and the pots wouldn't displace much. I have some expanded aluminum from the recycler and cut a disc of that to set on top of the pots. I have some heavy synthetic burlap-like cloth from the dump rescue and cut a larger disc from that. That will be the barrier between the soil and water.

I cut four lengths of 1-1/2 pvc pipe to run from the bottom, through the metal and burlap, to about half way up the soil area. Each of those has three lengths of 1/2-inch nylon rope running through it, with a few inches out the bottom and ten inches out the top. There's a bevel cut at the bottom of those tubes to allow the rope to not be pinched. And there's another pipe from the bottom to the top rim as a filler, drilled multiple times at its bottom end.

I filled the soil area up to the top of the wick rope pipes and spread the wicks, then filled the rest of the way. I also drilled a hole nine inches from the bottom. That's an overflow in case of rain or over filling. I'm watching it now, testing moisture to see how it does. It takes a while for a new installation to stabilize, for the soil equilibrium to set up between the water, wicks and soil.

If this works, I'll have a 40 gallon reservoir, actually a bit less because the plastic in the pots and the various pipes displace some. But it's still enough to self-water for a long time. I will use a dip stick or a float and indicator rod to see when it needs water.

I don't have a good feel for the interaction between the rope wicks and soil wicking that could disperse water from there. Probing different places with the moisture meter should be revealing. But my guess is that it's all just a matter of scale and that any given type and size of wick has a maximum capacity to move water, and I took a shot at a total of 12 1/2-inch nylon rope wicks for this one.


 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

i have made 5 of these. 30 gal resevoir.
Photobucket
Photobucket


 o
update

this is three weeks later.
Photobucket


 o
RE: self-watering galvanized horse troughs as containers

* Posted by howelbama none (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 25, 11 at 20:47

The only thing I would really be concerned with is the galvanized coating. Not sure if that could potentially leach any harmful chemicals in to the soil, but probably worth finding out first.

Also the metal could heat up quite a bit in that hot Texas sun, but you could probably find a solution to keep them cool.

Definitely things to consider as you do know that horses have a lifespan of only 25-30 years.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Container Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here