First post! We (me, roommate, and boyfriend) just started our “research and design phase” of this little project. Perhaps foolishly, we’re kind of running off track of the community. We want to use piping (PVC for lack of a better idea) to hold the water and plants. I see this isn’t a totally new idea to the community, BUT what we want to do is integrate wicks. We’re hoping that by using some standing water which the plants can use optionally, we can do away with a pump altogether and simply water it twice a day when we feed the dog and cat. If that worked it would be AWESOME to not use any energy at all (though this is MN, I suppose we’ll need lights in winter).
Here’s what we are thinking (eventually this would be 4 levels):
SO, here’s a few things we considered or haven’t decided yet:
1) Hopefully this will allow the plants to access the water settling in the area below the pot without growing crazy root systems. We can trim roots to avoid them growing into the water too much and blocking water. Haven’t decided if the bottom of the pots should be submerged at the highest water level.
2) We’re thinking that at each watering it will actually get watered twice. Once to flush the system and give em a good drink, and once to refill again (if needed) and leave enough standing water to get it through to next time.
3) We anticipate it will get a bit gunky on the corners. Since these are independent sections, that should make it easier to clean.
4) We have absolutely no idea how high we should leave the water. Suggestions?
5) For the wick, we’re thinking nylon rope.
6) PVC pipe seems to be the way to go, BUT I know there are some pretty substantial environmental concerns. Any other suggestions appreciated.
7) End caps. I understand the PVC caps of the size we need are expensive. Any other ideas to seal off the ends???
What exactly are we sacrificing by not having a semi-constant stream? Are we going to suffer for lack of aeration?
Any other questions/comments/suggestions would be welcome! We’re new at this and have no idea what in the world we’re doing!