What follow are a few photos of the wintertime gardens and the use of my new water controller design
This autogarden is designed primarily for the starting of seeds. It consists of a 3-level, 12-fluorescent lamp rack of 12 trays (yellow and hidden behind the horizontal bar). A constant level of water is maintained in each tray and wicks descend through holes in the green foam covers. The wicks form an always-damp pad on the top of the tray cover and the half-high downspout sections have their own sets of wicking material. The water controllers (circular devices with yellow hose sticking out of it) are constructed of a piece of 2" PVC pipe, the corresponding cap for the PVC pipe, the barrel of a disposable pen, a circular disk of 1" thick foamboard that slips inside the PVC pipe, and a 1" square piece of foam weather stripping that is stuck to the top of the foam cylinder.
View of the top rack. Also shown is the pvc plumbing that directs water from the reservoir to the water controllers.
Shown here is a window version of the auto garden. Note the reservoir with the pink level indicator. Plain nursery trays (black) are used to hold the water for the wicks
Better view of the wick pad
Large sized autogarden. This is the design that will be used outside this summer. The racks are four feet long and one foot wide. The controller is in the middle in the back and the reservoir is on the right side of the photo. With this type of setup, no wicks are used. The plants are sitting in about a half inch of water. The photo shows four plants but the versions that will be going into the garden plots will have either three or four pots depending of the ultimate size of the plants being grown.