Gravity Fed Watering System

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Being on a hillside, facing south towards Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester means that we have some wonderful views and arms like tree trunks from carrying water uphill. For years we have relied on the waterbutts beside the original greenhouse and on a hose that starts with wonderful water pressure down in the cottage garden and by the time it reaches the orchard is barely a trickle. So, over Christmas we sat down and decided to put that hillside to use by creating a gravity fed watering system. This is a simple system and one we used in our old garden at Drovers on a much smaller scale. A hose is connected to existing waterbutts, the pressure in these cause the water to flow (even on the flat) and are then connected to a series of seeper hoses to maintain the more greedier plants. As we have a new potager garden in the middle of this gravity fed system, we will leave this out of the system for now as we have a sprinkler set up in this area. We are concentrating on beds where we need water for maximum crop growth, these areas are (running left to right in the image below): (1) the nursery/salad bed, (2) the rhubarb bed, (3) the fruit bed, and; (4) the lower veg bed.

Gravity fed watering system
Seeper hoses will be laid across these and connected to an old hose, using t-junctions. This follows really from the work we have done with hydroponics last year. We want to minimise waste of water on what are water hungry plants, we think this is a step forward and will save our arms. For the keen eyed amongst you, you will have noticed we have added a second greenhouse to our lay out. This will be built in 2019. We also have plans to the north of this set up in the orchard and workshop; we want to expand the latter and create a secondary/temporary winter run in the orchard for the chickens which will be larger but will allow us to grow pumpkins there in summer. This undulating ground will be cleared and knocked back by the hens and get fertlised as they go along.

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