We have an allotment which has a small greenhouse on it. We have just
a few tomato plants in it. When they get going we have to go there
every day to water them (and it's not nextdoor to us). So I just
wonder if anyone here has a self-watering settup that works well? I
see a few things on ebay but be interested if anyone here has made
their own? Water supply, tubing, solar power, valve & electronic
switch... kind of thing!
I have mains power and mains pressure water available for
mine, so I use a solenoid and have it on the house X10 system.
There are plenty of mechanical timers that go on a mains
pressure tap and there are also battery powered times that
go on a mains pressure tap too. They don't cost much.
You don't say what water source you have available. You can buy off the
shelf devices to open a valve with a timer from mains water supply and
control a drip feed Hoselock irrigation system.
I built a DIY drip feed irrigation supply that used an immersible solar
powered pump in a bulk water greenhouse sump and a simple PIC based
timer to give 1-30 minutes of watering morning and evening.
You could also do it more simply with a solar panel and pump probably
arrange with mirrors so that it does pump a bit even on dull days. ie
\_/ and pointed to catch the midday sun (not the ideal time to water
but it is when most solar power is available).
Only real trick was it needed a stocking over the water inlet to stop
mozzie larvae jamming the drip jets.
(at the bottom of page)
I thought about making mine solar powered, but it was much cheaper to
use an 18Ah lead acid battery an recharge it every couple of weeks.
Ahhh - knew I'd missed something. Last year the council turned off our
mains water supply and installed hand pumps to the underground
borehole for the entire site. (Well , ok they installed the handpumps
first :-)) Carrying buckets of water (after hand-pumping it) is damn
hard work when one is > a certain age with shoulder injury. It's all
looking good crop-wise but would like to keep the Toms going while
still having a day off now and then.
"dave" wrote in message
/We have an allotment which has a small greenhouse on it. We have just
/a few tomato plants in it. When they get going we have to go there
/every day to water them (and it's not nextdoor to us). So I just
/wonder if anyone here has a self-watering settup that works well? I
/see a few things on ebay but be interested if anyone here has made
/their own? Water supply, tubing, solar power, valve & electronic
/switch... kind of thing!
This one works well, although it's obviously not home made, but it may give
you some ideas for a DIY project. 2 bags to feed 4 plants. Capacity of each
bag (I'm guessing) about 3 litres. It belongs to my neighbour and it lasts 1
These are in 25L pots, so if yours are planted directly into soil, you would
need to increase the flow-rate. But 3 days may be ample for you?? Here's
some pics taken this morning, use mouse to freeze:-
p.s. I've no idea as to manufacturer's name but you may be able to assemble
the bits from online suppliers.
Hozelock timer works from batteries - so all you need is sufficient head of
water to give a flow.
Most modern water butt taps have hose connectors moulded onto the output.
So provisionally get yourself a water butt, raise it up as high as possible,
then fit your battery powered timer.
Test how much flow you get to decide how long to have the timer come on
(bearing in mind the flow will reduce as the water level reduces).
Then all you should have to do is top the water butt up at regular
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
[Not even bunny]
I've got some of these:
A water-filled clay cone "senses" soil moisture, and opens and closes a thin
silicone tubing accordingly, screw knob adjusts moisture level.
Works off a water butt with as little as 50 cm head, though it will only work
for one dripper. (Mains pressure and one cone can have multiple drippers on one
bit of pinchable silicone tubing.) 'bout 4-5 Euros for one.
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