Sunday, January 06, 2013

Making use of the Greenhouse roof!

Everything in the greenhouse needs watering. A LOT. 
At the moment, with it being so hot, I'm watering in the morning and again in the late afternoon/evening.
The tap where I fill up the watering can is a wee walk away. Ok it's a very wee walk away, but it takes three cans full to water everything so that's 6 fills. We thought about putting in some irrigation, but that's a job and a half. And I actually enjoy watering everything by hand.

Then we had another plan. The roof is a decent size and there are gutters so we reckoned the rain water shouldn't go to waste.
We went to a sort of reclamation type place in Kerikeri and bought 2 olive storage containers for $15 and two 1m lengths of chain.

The Japanese have used a length of chain as a 'downpipe' for eons! Lloyd suggested we do the same. So a couple of holes were cut in the gutters. Big enough for the top link of chain to get through a wee bit. Then we got two tiny lengths of good old No 8 wire and threaded it through the top link of the chain and rested it above the hole we'd cut in the gutter - simple! The chains were now hanging down beautifully.  We worked out where they would go into the olive containers and cut out a notch. We wanted to be able to keep the lids on the containers so that as few mosquitoes as possible could get in and lay eggs...

Finally we put some water into the gutters to test out our plan, and it worked! Beautifully.




However, there was one gigantic problem. The containers were too narrow for any of my watering cans to be dipped in. So I had a strop a wee think. Then Lloyd said - what about a big jug? Yep  - I have several and one of them was perfect!
Job well done!
Oh and why did we put them in the front rather than slightly more hidden round the back? Well Shhhh but the greenhouse is on a miniscule slant forward!!


And just a quick mention for the sweetcorn! We had our first sweetcorn of the season for dinner last night, It was sensational.
I did three plantings about 3 weeks apart so I'm hoping we'll have sweetcorn for a while!


32 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:15 pm

    Did you think about placing your containers on a block and putting a tap at the base of the containers? A very good idea though. Unfortunately my shadehouse/greenhouse only has a shadecloth roof and no gutters so I cannot save my water and at present my tank is dry so I'm watering from the mains and that is quite expensive! Like reading your blog. Keep up the good work. Sandra - Brisbane Australia

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    1. we did! The expensive ones that we'd seen to buy did this. However our DIY skills don't stretch so far as cutting a round hole and inserting a tap! knowing us the water would just gush out all over the place! We were looking for quick, simple and cheap! :) xx

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  2. Oh WOW Laura that is genius ! I love it when people take on a challenge & solve it SO WELL ! Love your veggie garden markers too, as your mother in law says you are good/brilliant at everything, LLoyd too of course, I bet your kitchen cupboards all sparkle now ! xx

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    1. I must admit, we were rather thrilled with it once it was all done, and it didn't take long at all!

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  3. brilliant idea.....and you could even put some mesh wire around them and train a creeper to cover them Laura...they wont even look like barrels then! Your sweet corn is a lovely variety, I havnt even planted any yet..........

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    1. I did wonder about that :) It is lovely. I planted three different types so we can work out which is our favourite.

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    1. I know! I did wonder when I wrote that ...

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  5. It looks brilliant and should work well, I've never seen the chain method before - ingenious!

    I had a similar problem and had a tap away from the greenhouse, so I simply put a hosepipe adapter on the tap and then cut a length of hosepipe the right length to reach into the greenhouse, now I can just turn on the tap as I'm passing and then water the plants directly from the hose or leave the hose in my watering can to fill it up.

    I have the same system with a hose that reaches to near Chicken World so I can clean out or fill the drinkers without lots of carrying of buckets of water.

    I just need to make sure I connect the right hosepipe for whichever job I'm doing :-)

    Sue xx

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    1. I hadn't either. It was Lloyds idea completely. But its great.
      I did think about doing that with a hose - but then there would be great long hoses all over the place! I also thought about putting a wee length of hose into the black containers and sucking the water up buy yug! But I hear you!!

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    2. The long hose that I have going to Chicken World has been countersunk into the grass so I can just run the mower over it and it's not unsightly trailing over the farm.

      The short one to the greenhouse can just be disconnected and coiled when not in daily use.

      Sue xx

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    3. yes! we were going to countersink it all - that's when I decided a jug would do! we did the irrigation for the veggie garden last year and it's amazing - but it took flipping ages!!

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  6. Not heard of the Japanese chain approach... interesting! Thanks for info Laura looks great!!

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  7. That's amazing! And that sweetcorn looks very tasty :)

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    1. the sweetcorn was AMAZING! I had another one for lunch yesterday!

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  8. Clever Laura and Lloyd! A word on the corn, if you grow a super sweet variety, it needs to be the only corn planted as the others will pollinate them and you won't get the true super sweet corn (which is our favorite).

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    1. oh bum! I didn't think of that - and it's exactly what I've done! Ah well live and learn. Our sweetest one is the one due to be ripe second. I do like the bi-colour one too. Wonder if I planted them on opposite sides of the garden??
      Thanks for telling me :)

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  9. Great idea Laura. I've seen the chain as a downpipe off a house roof gutter and always thought how nice the look. I have the same problem of a long walk with a watering can to get to my greenhouse, but sadly no sturdy roof structure. So for now, its still the long walk....

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    1. I must admit to being lazy - it's not a very long walk! It's just that I had to do it so often!!
      I've been thrilled with how amazingly made my wee greenhouse is.

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  10. Great idea! I love your greenhouse. We are hoping to build one out of old salvaged windows this spring. Your corn looks divine!!!

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    1. Oh I've seen pictures of ones made out of old windows! They look amazing! Good luck with it :)
      The corn was beyond scrummy!

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  11. Hi Laura, that's brilliant! Good for you, so clever.

    Thanks for linking this up with the TALU.

    Thanks, also, for following me on my Life on the Funny Farm blog!

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  12. Very clever, and what a cute greenhouse! :)

    The corn looks beautiful! I somehow missed the peak this summer here in central NY - usually stop by roadside stands in August for the best, but I was packing up for a move at the time and apparently missed the best window. [#TALU]

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    1. Thanks! The greenhouse is only a few weeks old .so we're learning as we go!

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  13. Love your blog. I just spent some time browsing around and see that you have Alpacas! I do too. We started out farm last January. Thanks for linking up at TALU this week.

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    1. Hi Debbie, thank you!
      We do have alpacas and arent they adorable.
      xx

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  14. Laura, I am a new admirer of your blog. I loved the post about the barrels and chains to direct the rain water. I did want to make a suggestion tho. You could put a faucet spout on the bottom of these barrels real easy. Then just raise the barrels off the ground for ease of access. It would be pretty cheap to do. My husband did this once with a homemade filtration system he made once for our now gone pond.

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    1. Hi Tammy!
      We did think of that :) it would make things easier, but neither Lloyd and I are that handy - the thought of drilling into our new barrels and making a total cock up of it seemed too much to handle!!

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  15. That is a very clever solution! And oh my, that corn looks tasty!

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    1. it was tasty as anything! We've been practically living on it right now.

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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x