Tomatoes - need watering - automagically in green house

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!
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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.
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Erm, what is wrong with the old capillary matting uptrurned pop bottles full of water with wire feet to allow water to run out as level drops?
Brian
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On 25/05/2012 00:35, dave wrote:

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.
http://www.nezumi.demon.co.uk/garden/water/fountain.htm (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.
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On Fri, 25 May 2012 08:38:58 +0100, Martin Brown

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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.
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I'd personally make up a system with a decent sized barrel for the water and use one of those wheeled trolley things for it in that situation.

One of the battery operated timer things fed by the water container on the trolley should work fine and would be the way I'd do it myself.
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On Sat, 26 May 2012 02:03:31 +0100, dave wrote:

Could always get an Aquaroll (I think they're called).
Oh yes: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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"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 week. 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:- http://s222.photobucket.com/albums/dd220/BertieDoe/?action=view&current ;fded77.pbw
p.s. I've no idea as to manufacturer's name but you may be able to assemble the bits from online suppliers.
BD
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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 intervals.
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I've got some of these:
http://www.blumat.de /
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.
Thomas Prufer
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On Fri, 25 May 2012 19:48:11 +0200, Thomas Prufer

One dripper per cone, that is.
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On Sat, 26 May 2012 07:01:22 +0200, Thomas Prufer

Thanks all for the help.
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