A couple of days ago we took out the backyard pond. It took lots of space and wasn’t very productive, so that space could be used for other things. While we were doing this, we needed to find a new home for the goldfish. That was easy, they went into the aquaponics (after a time in a bucket while they got used to the new water conditions). We found a Brown Tree Frog during our efforts too. The big question was what to do with our wandering crustacean, Gary the Yabby? Luckily, I’d just fitted a DIY solar fountain to the little pond in the front yard. It seemed most suitable for both Gary and the frog, so in they went. Gary was so happy with this turn of events that he actually refrained from his favourite game of ‘sever the finger’ while I popped him under the duckweed.
We’ve got water use, catchment and distribution in the garden under control, now it’s time to learn about recycling our greywater from the house. To that end, I’ve disconnected the drain from the sink and run it into buckets. A couple of days of measuring showed that we were throwing away around 21 litres a day! That’s quite a bit when projected over a year, 7665 litres in fact! Put another way, it’s nearly 8 of those square white IBCs. All for washing up and preparing food. Wow! What to do with all that water? At the moment, we’re catching it in buckets and putting it on the garden but, you know me…I’ll find a way to make the system automatic (or at least fairly labour free). It is grey-water, so even though we use environmentally friendly, phosphorus free, dish washing liquid, it’s not the best for drinking or adding to the aquaponics so onto the garden it goes. The
Jelina has been asking for a water feature out in the aquaponics area for a while. We’ve finished all the big work now on the system (until the big fish tank goes in next year), so I used a couple of builder’s tubs and some polypipe off-cuts that were laying around to make her this multi-level aquatic extravaganza. By coincidence, it kind of ties up with our need for more filtration as one of the tubs are going to be settlement tubs and the third will be reedbeds. Now for a Christmas break! Merry Christmas All!
Weve been doing lots of work on the aquaponics. Here’s yesterdays update!
With one final ‘Click!’ the irrigation system for the front garden is complete! We have a drip irrigation system in place that runs primarily from the two rainwater tanks in the front garden. That gives us 1750 litres to play with. They are connected to the tanks at the back of the house too so that, if the front tanks runs dry, we can pump water to them. There is a secondary connection to the mains water for really dry times but hopefully we don’t need to use it too often. Because we’re in the Edible Gardens programme and recording our water use, they have supplied 4 flow meters. Two are flashy and electronic and the others are converted mains water meters. They’re connected to the tanks because, apparently, they’re better with low flow rates. The drip system has been in for over a year, but was never maximised. We had random dirppers everywhere, mostly of the
Summer is nearly upon us so it’s time to work out some goals for the upcoming season. As you can see from the photo, we had some pretty big sunflowers last year, so it goes without saying that we want even bigger ones this year. The seeds from the largest of the last crop are being planted this week. The new irrigation system ensures that they’ll have more water and the recently improved mulch and compost layer will give then a super boost. Talking of irrigation, I’m currently cleaning out and improving the drip irrigation system that runs throughout the garden. I’m replacing many of the drippers with new 2 litre/hour drippers that are designed to run under a range of pressures. This is ideal for our rainwater tank-fed system. I’m also in the process of putting in 30cm lengths of 50mm PVC pipe into the ground at key areas and near trees. These will be fed
Over the last couple of days Lon and I have moved one of the 1000 litre tanks and redone the downpipes that come off the rear roof and the carport. The car port used to run to a 300 litre tank that is now in the front garden, so the capture of rain water will be far more efficient. I recently ran 20 mm PVC pipe from the other 1000 litre tank to the newly positioned 300 litre one in the front. This way we can pump from the bigger tank to the smaller. The smaller tank is linked directly to the front dripper system and positioned at a good height. Now we can spread 300 litres around most of the front at the turn of a tap. It doesn’t have enough pressure to run the sprinklers, but that’s why I’ve fitted them all with taps, so I can turn them off when using tank water and just use the