Watering solution for greenhouses

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Allotment_Life

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Watering solution for greenhouses
« on: August 08, 2022, 10:44 »
Hi, not sure if anyone can help or point in the right direction.

We have 3 greenhouses of various sizes in our 2 allotments. We have IBC tanks / water butts next to these so source of water is not an issue. Trying to figure out a solution to get a solar power pump to pump water from these to some hosepipe lengths in the greenhouses to keep things hydrated for up to 2 weeks at a time in a reliable way without someone being there all the time to check that it is working properly.  Flow rate does not need to be massive, I am mainly thinking about drip irrigation. I tried the gravity principle and tried messing around with different configurations of this but couldn't really get anything to work reliably and consistently for more than a couple of days probably mainly because there isn't really much of a height decrease between water source and where the water needed to go.

So really I am looking for some kind of solar power water pump that I can connect a hosepipe to, then make holes in the hopsepipe, stick the hosepipe on a frame in the greenhouse, and let it do it's thing. Seems very simple but any ready made products seem to cost a fortune or need mains power or some other reason / issue.
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Mr Dog

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Re: Watering solution for greenhouses
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2022, 21:01 »
I have a set up covering 3 (2 8x6 and 1 6x6) greenhouses - 30W solar panel, charge regulator, 12v car battery, 12v timer switch# and a caravan/motorhome whale pump* in a water butt that pumps water through drip line irrigation hose. It works well for me with the only time limitation being the available water volume (you'll need to experiment with pump timings etc but I've found I can leave things unattended for 5 days or so with ca350L capacity).

You need to install a syphon breaker too otherwise the water will simply syphon out after the 1st pump. I have a simple 'T' line back to the butt from the outlet side of the pump.

# and *around 10 each on the well known auction site
« Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 21:02 by Mr Dog »

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Allotment_Life

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Re: Watering solution for greenhouses
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2023, 21:08 »
Hi

I finally ordered some parts and got round to trying to get this set up in the first of the greenhouses, to be replicated in the others all being well.

So after a lot of trial and error and faffing around I set up a system of hosepipe attached to a long bamboo pole along the apex of the greenhouse. In this hosepipe I drilled small holes and attached "sprinkler" nozzles to create a spray kind of effect. The water is pumped out of the 180l rainwater butt to the hosepipe along the apex which is a height of around 2 metres. It is just an inexpensive 12v battery pump so the pressure is not great but it is ok and I will try and refine things a bit in the other greenhouses.

There is an electrical timer and 12v battery, the timer works ok, just need to wire it up properly so it will switch the pump on and off at the set times. The solar part I did not include to try and keep costs down.

I wanted to go with the spray effect instead of drip feeding since we have some pots in the greenhouses and felt that spraying gave a more thorough soaking all round the greenhouse although the reality is the water pressure means there are still dry spots, although the set up is a work in progress and will hopefully benefit from tweaking some more.

The timer is set up for 10 mins in the morning, this doesn't have to be up and working until May which is the target date when we all go away!

So in total for each "system" I use the following items:  ~3 m hosepipe. Adaptor hosepipe to the pipe the pump comes with. 12v rechargeable battery. Electric timer. Battery charge indicator. Wire. Various electrical connectors, bulldog clips etc. Weatherproof box so that I can put all the electrical parts intio so the contents are not affected by the weather. 1 x 8 foot bamboo pole. Wire to attach hopepipe to pole. 12v water pump. Filtration bag to put pump in so it doesn't clog up with the rainwater from the barrel. PVC tape and wire to attach pipe to greenhouse on the way up.  Misting fittings to attach onto hosepipe.

The only real complaint is the cost. I hope things like the pump are not going to break after only a few weeks etc. It is an interesting exercise and learning experience but not convinced it is really value for money...  however it seems to be the cheapest way I can do it bearing in mind the limitations of the site I am doing it on.

I will keep posted after the end of the summer and report back whether it worked ok or not!



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