Growing tomatoes and chilies in greenhouse - Automatic watering options

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floydmeddler

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Hi all,

I've just moved into a new house and have acquired a greenhouse. The whole ground in there (apart from a small concrete walkway up the middle) is covered in deep homemade compost. Now... I want to grow tomatoes and chilies in there BUT with an automatic watering system. I have a 200L water butt next to the greenhouse.

Ideally, I'd plant the chilies and tomato plants straight into the ground when they're strong enough. This is because the soil in there is too deep to lay a table on. So, how can I keep them automatically watered? Could I lay a capillary mat along the surface of the soil and make holes for the plants to poke through? OR, could I lay a capillary mat deep under the soil? Or, is a capillary mat simply a stupid idea?!? Probably! :-)

I'd appreciate any advice whatsoever.   

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Steveharford

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Hi. I wouldn't think a capillary mat would give an adequate supply to them and in any case would be very difficult to regulate. Is there any way you could hook up a drip feed or sprinkler type system? Better still mains fed?                                              Edit: Hi flloyd by the way. Just read your first post and see that your greenhouse is near your house. In which case I would definitely recommend an automated system from the mains with a timer. I fitted one last year and it was fantastic. No blossom end rot, no stressed plants even after being away for two weeks. Easy to fit too. Steve
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 07:03 by Steveharford »

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floydmeddler

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Hi there Steve. Many thanks for your speedy reply.

Sadly my greenhouse is away up at the back of my garden - nowhere near the outdoor water tap.

Could I hook a drip feed system to the the 200L waterbutt that is situated right outside the greenhouse? Or could even keep a 25L jerrycan inside the greenhouse and fill it up every few days via the water butt. I have 4 200L water butts situated around the garden so have a healthy supply of free water! :-)


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Gryphon

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Hi Floyd,

I found this solar powered watering system while surfing the other day. www.irrigatia.com 

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mumofstig

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I haven't got mine yet, but I'm going to try one of these

soaker hose from water butt kit

Seems a reasonable price - you'd just have to make sure the butt is kept topped up.
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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Chrysalis

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We used a bit of old hose with holes poked in it last year.  Draped the holey hose around plants and used a non-holey hose (I DO love saying holey hose!! :nowink:) on a timer from the outside tap.  Could have put timer on the waterbutt pump (no jokes about butt pumps, please :ohmy:) just as easily.

We has a bumper crop of cukes and toms this way and were able to leave it for a week at the height of the hotstuff (sun, I mean  ;))

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3 allotments

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Hi i have one of these in my polytunnel,you can buy extra pods to fit on,bit pricey but it does the job ;) i paid 19.99 from a garden centre off ebay  http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hozelock+autopod :)
diggity dig dig

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floydmeddler

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Cheers folks. A nice range of ideas there.

The solar jobby looks great although I want to keep costs down... the house needs done up big time. Let's just say I feel like I'm living in Hyacinth Bucket's house at the minute...

mumofstig, that looks interesting. I might go for that.

Just stumbled upon this. What do you all think?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=271401027990&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123

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mumofstig

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Sorry but the link doesn't work because the item has been removed  :(


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mumofstig

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It says it connects to the tap - so it may have drippers that need mains (or pumped) water pressure to work  :unsure:


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Rampant_Weasel

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i use the hozelock aquapod its brilliant.altho i did have to bury 50 meters of hose, but well worth it

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Totty

  • Guest
Unless your spending a lot of time away, or have a lot of plants to water, I don't see much benefit in the auto watering systems. Each plant will use differing amounts of water, and after a little while it becomes obvious which ones need more or less water, or feed.
It's always good to spend five mins a day in the greenhouse watering, you will pick up any pest or disease damage far quicker.
 Of all the systems I've seen, the quad grow is the best as it has a wick type action which means the compost will take in moisture when it starts drying out. This is for pots only though.
I'd lay down some white polythene, plant through slits in it, and bury a 5inch pot right next to each plant.
The polythene will stop any weed growth, it will stop the majority of evaporation, and will reflect the suns rays back upto the plants,  ;) (more of the suns rays =sweeter fruit). Each plant is individually watered by filling the pot next to it, if it drains away fast, it needs a bit more, if the water sits in the pot a while before draining, it's had enough!

Totty


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3 allotments

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i use the hozelock aquapod its brilliant.altho i did have to bury 50 meters of hose, but well worth it
Ditto i use one in the pt supplied by a 1000l i.b.c tank great little gadget



 

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