charliejuggler (charliejuggler) wrote,


The plot  where we grow fruit and vegetables is quite far from our house and therefore we can't run a hose or use mains electricity, so I've had to work out a solution for storing and pumping water. Luckily there's a stream running down one edge of the plot, but unfortunately this dries up in summer (at least most of the time) so it can't be relied on, and it's a bit awkward climbing down into it to fill watering cans. When we arrived there was a collection of old plastic drums which had been used to collect water from various shed roofs, so I started by using these as waterbutts, having fitted guttering to the shed in the plot. However last spring we'd had a drought for several months (yes, I know that didn't last for long!) so I bought an IBC to hold 1000L of water and raised it on a collection of scrap wood:
TankYou can also see the guttering from the shed (I'm just about to cut this down to feed the tank directly) and some of the older waterbutts. Note it's a black tank which apparently helps to reduce algae growth.

To use water from this tank or the waterbutts (which I'm still using - with our current weather forecast for a long hot summer I want as much water available as possible) there's a choice of filling watering cans, which takes ages, or a hose - pumped by a 12 volt bilge pump powered by a portable 12 volt battery pack (a bit like this one). I can also use the pump to fill the tanks from the stream when it's running.

Future plans include a solar-powered charger for the battery, an automatic level switch to trigger the pump and keep the tanks filled (although to be honest I only need to do this occasionally) and some automatic drip-fed watering for the patch while we're away. The more beds I cut the more watering is required so anything that cuts down the labour is good for me and the plants!

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