Sunday, April 22, 2012

AutoGardens April 2012 - Some construction details - Part 1

First part of construction details and some preliminary growing results

 In the full-size Nyack plot.  The shortest stack uses a ground tank.  The next one uses 2x4's in the support layer for the tank.  The tallest four use 1x6's for the tank support layer.  Overall dimensions of all are 2'x6'.  Total height of the whole stack is (top to bottom >3 +2.5 +7 +5.5) 18".  No spiral pumps installed yet.  Note how well the lettuce and cabbages are doing.  Remember that it is only April 22nd. (and New York)

 In the side yard.  Shows the housing for the spiral pump.  They will be painted the same green as everything else

Spiral pump under construction.  Uses 1/2" pvc pipe.  There are two types of pvc pipe.  I learned last night that this type is rated for drinking water and is about twice as expensive as the other - but the fittings are about half the price.  I seem to be able to make two spiral pumps from one 12' piece of pipe so there probably isn't a good reason to change.  Local suppliers don't seem to carry a four way connector  so I had to make my own out of two tee's. The sprocket is made from 3/4 thick vinyl trim board into which I drill 48 holes of 5/16ths.  I then cut out the piece using the band saw and drill a 5/8ths hole for the center pipe.  The center pipe has four 9/64ths holes drilled at 90 degrees at the point where the pipe will be inside the 4-way connector in the center of the spiral.  The center pipe has a cap on one end.  The cap is just a pressure fit so that I can take it off and put it on the other end if I want to pump out the tank instead of directing the flow to the tray.

Pearl River NY  Garden plot under construction.  In foreground you will see some rhubarb.  The racks are at various stages of completion.  First one just has frame for ground tank and tray support layer but no pit dug for the plastic sheet.  Notice the extensive use of weed blocker fabric.  It has been a dry spring but the real test should come this week as we are supposed to get 2 to 3 inches of rain in the next two days.  I must finish covering the ground pronto!  The first four production spiral pumps will go into this garden because at over $4 a gallon of gas, I want to visit these gardens as infrequently as possible.