My farm is now 4 columns of 4 bottles. I’ve ditched the fifth bottle as it came too high up. The window is higher, but there’s an overhang outside that shadows the top part of the window, so plants in the top row wouldn’t get enough sunlight.
As can be seen, I use bottles cut in half, suspended in chains instead of the bottles with cutouts. That left me with a few bottom halves and instead of throwing them away, I have painted some of them. By adding a piece of 28mm plastic pipe that has been split in half, and had holes drilled in one end, and a handfull or two of clay pellets in the bottom, these now works as self-watering pots. Handy for growing rooted vegetables that doesn’t do well in a WF. (I have two growing carrots already, sowed about a month apart.)
One thing I have learned is that drips tend to splash and spray…
If I were to replace todays half-bottles it would be with bottles that had a slightly wider area before the painted section, so that when drops splash on the pellets, they don’t spray over the edge. As I don’t fancy that job, I have dug a small pit in those pots where I could(such as in the bean pot), and have used a cap with a glued on piece of tubing above the other pots.
My reservoirs are 5L water cans from the local grocery store. I have 3 of these.
2 of them serves 2 columns each, and the third is for ‘out rotation’, that is, every week one of the reservoirs is replaced with the spare, and fresh water/nutrients added. The old reservoir is then used to water my potted plants, and when empty, is cleaned and used for the next replacement cycle.
I’m also slowly building up a set of spare lift tubes, drainage tubes, ball needles and other parts, so that I can just replace dirty parts and clean them at my leisure, instead of having to hurry between pump cycles.
Peas seems to thrive, but their shoots and clinginess makes it impossible for me to use the pot above it.
Beans (‘Mung’ beans) also seems to thrive, but haven’t yet flowered.
Squash/Succhini. I’m using a miniature variant ‘Midnight’ which seems to thrive, and have now begun flowering.
Lettuce thrives, but doesn’t look all that much like on the seed package. Still tastes good.
Assorted peppers… Can’t remember which variant I have in which pot.(Should really have used my Dymo to mark the pots) Growing slowly.
I have a small Stevia plant growing in my plantstarter, and hope to transplant it to a self-watering pot soon.(Not taking any chances with this one. ) As soon as that one is moved, the starter will be emptied(soil remains goes to the compost) filled with fresh soil and a new batch of lettuce and squash will be started, and probably a couple more of Stevia. (Stevia is an alternative to sugar, but 400times as sweet, without calories. A quarter leaf is supposed to be ‘more than enough’ to sweeten a large cup of tea. This can save me a lot of cash over the year… )
Still to do:
Setting up an automated refill system for the reservoirs.
(Currently, the lift stops working as soon as the level is down 1L, which takes 2 days on the reservoir that supports 2 columns) I have the parts, it’s just a question of fitting them.
Grow lights is also on the to do list…
Also, it’s now winter, and I have begun using my air-air heat pump, which is located less than 2meters from my farm. It’ll be interesting to se how that affects it.