RE: automatic watering systems?

From: Tom Massey (
Date: Wed Aug 25 1999 - 07:36:49 PDT

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 10:36:49 -0400
From: Tom Massey <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3028$foo@default>
Subject: RE: automatic watering systems?

Well, just to throw in my experiences, I have been doing this for years. I
was just up in Boston for a week and used this technique with just under
fifty trays. Yeah, I know I know its nuts -- but it works. But you can't
use 2 litre coke bottles. The bottles are too soft and they collapse, not
from heat, but from the weight of the water and the pressure differential.
 Years ago I used to use the big glass Kraft 64 oz. orange juice bottles.
 They are very stable, and if you prefer you can hang them. You can't get
them around here anymore so I have tried just about everything else. I
have a few big two gallon glass "sun tea" jars that I use, as well as
anything else I can get cheap in large quanities. Right now about half the
bottles I use are the big Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottles.

The biggest problem is getting the things to balance or bracing them so
that you have a sufficent gap at the bottom. As an alternative you can
hang them like you would an IV bottle. To hang them the only way that
really works well is to have a double tube arrangement with both tubes
going through the cap and one extending all the way to the top of the
inverted bottle. Lots of problems with leaks and arranging the aquarium

The good side is you have an automatic watering system that is basically
free and will self water anywhere in your house or outside for up to
about 9 days.

FIle as FWIW.

Tom in Fl.

> If you use the 2 liter bottles that soft drinks come in, you should not
> have a problem with the plastic softening. The plastic is 'polycarbonate'
> and does not soften below about 300 degrees F. - Carl
> On Tue, 24 Aug 1999, Gary wrote:
> > Hi there,
> >
> > I just went away for three weeks and had my CPs survive
> > with a home brew watering system.
> >
> > My plants are on the water tray system. I got larger trays
> > and some large coffee cans. I cut a slot in the lip of the can
> > the same depth that I wanted for the water, filled the can with
> > water, put the lid back on and flipped it upside down (slot down)
> > in the pre-filled tray. When the water level dropped below the
> > level of the top of the slot, air could get into the can and water
> > could come out (ever seen a chicken feeding station?).
> >
> > With the whole thing covered with clear plastic (terrarium-style)
> > evaporation was low enough that the water was sufficient.
> >
> > Hint: Find something better than coffee cans. When I got back
> > there was rust _everywhere_ (probably not good for CPs). I had
> > experimented with some plastic containers but, in the sun, they
> > eventually got soft enough that the water head caused them to
> > collapse and dump their water. Some more R&D is required.
> >
> > Have fun,
> >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 02 2001 - 17:32:03 PST