EternalNoob

-noobs system

39 posts in this topic

No - I don't have the greenhouse yet.  I have the room to build one though - I just need to get the time and money together in one spot.  Maybe next summer.  I would like to be able to grow veggies in the winter but it gets down in the teens temp wise and stays there for several weeks some winters.

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No - I don't have the greenhouse yet. 

 

Keep a look out on craigslist for a used hoophouse or high tunnel. There is a guy local to me that builds tarp carports that bends galvanized pipe pretty cheaply. Maybe you have someone local to you that does the same? Or maybe buy the "big" greenhouse that harbor freight sells and toughen it up with gussets and whatnot (they are weak).

 

Or DIY it yourself. Check this out: http://www.hoopbenders.net/ After getting the tool you could piece it together as time and money allows using galvanized pipe used for the top bar of chain link fence (much stronger than conduit or pvc). 

 

Just make sure you pick a spot with good access to water and especially electricity! Make sure you have plenty of extra capacity in the electrical department and plan your outlets really well. Extension cords are a big no no in greenhouses!

 

Cheers!

crsublette likes this

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How did you go about building your grow bed framework? Seems like everyone does it different... What wood type, beam sizes, what did you use to secure them, etc?

 

Very clean install you have done here. Quite impressive.

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How did you go about building your grow bed framework? Seems like everyone does it different... What wood type, beam sizes, what did you use to secure them, etc?

 

Very clean install you have done here. Quite impressive.

 

Well since you asked I'll do a post about them. I need to find and upload the pics. Coming right up!

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For my media growbeds I used pressure treated 2x4's, 4x4's, 1/2 plywood (designed for ground contact), pine "car decking" and 5/4 cedar.

 

For the bottom it's just pressure treated 2x4's 16 inches on center screwed to the 1/2 inch plywood.

 

gallery_4024_124_88432.jpg

 

I then made the legs. Essentially there are 6 pressure treated 4x4's that the base of the bed sits on. You can see that they extend 12 inches below the 2x4 and 2x6 leg components so that I could sink them into the ground with concrete for added stability.

 

gallery_4024_124_202853.jpg

 

I then installed the "car decking" (milled tongue and groove pine) sides. A very nice product.

 

gallery_4024_124_73147.jpg

 

They were then leveled and cemented in place. I then installed the liner then finally installed the 5/4 cedar trim to polish them off. They might be overkill. Only time will tell.

 

The DWC beds are very simple. 10 foot 2x6's with 2x4 and 2x6 legs cemented a foot into the ground.

 

BTW. I used some kind of fancy torx headed deck screws to attach most everything together. The trim was installed with galvanized finish nails though. Both the pine and cedar were sanded and sealed with a semi gloss polyurethane.

 

Cheers!

TheDictator and crsublette like this

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Guess what time it is.

 

 

Update time!

 

Today I started early. I had 5 yards of lava rock delivered and the bastages called to tell me they were on their way before my alarm went off. Better early than late! Still sucked because I didn't have time to make a cup of coffee first. That's not cool. Not cool at all.

 

gallery_4024_124_293733.jpg

 

The rain started at 8am. It is now 8:45pm and we've had .91 inches of rain and it's not supposed to stop for 2 more days. Needless to say with that kind of rain fall and rinsing nearly 4.5 yards of gravel my comrades and I got very soaked by the time we called the day at 4pm.

 

We moved the gravel with 5 gallon buckets and got both beds filled about 95%.

 

gallery_4024_124_82856.jpg

 

We also put down nearly a yard of sand to level the floor out. We then started installing pavers on the floor. 

 

gallery_4024_124_105142.jpg

 

You might be able to see that I've gotten some cans to make my filters with next to the tank in the background. I'm really upset about those. I cut a big F'in hole in the tank to use a 3 inch drain so of course I want to use 3 inch pipe from the tank to the sump. You know what? 3 inch stuff doesn't fit nicely inside the can which means that it is impossible to get stuff centered in the can. I like stuff centered (I also didn't get my sump centered which is throwing off the pavers. I'm not sure I can handle it. I start getting twitchy just thinking about it.) I'll deal with it so whatever.

 

I also had to get some liner for the sump. I really wanted to use the DuraSkrim material I had used in the beds but I'm an idiot. 4+3+3 is more than 6 which is the width I have a huge roll of. The sales rep said I can't glue or tape it and would need to weld it to guarantee a watertight seal. I ended up buying some 45mil Firestone stuff from a Koi/pond place nearby. I hope it doesn't make me grow a third nipple because that would suck.

 

What else? Uhm... Ya. That about covers my progress. I have a big work party next weekend and will probably have the floor in and water in the system. That is if I can get the filters situated and nothing leaks horribly (bulkheads with duraskrim suck btw).

 

Cheers!

Edited by EternalNoob (see edit history)
crsublette and ande like this

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Coming together nicely.

 

Thank you. 

 

Today I actually got some water to flow! 

 

gallery_4024_124_53604.jpeg

 

Please excuse the extra crappy pic.

 

I decided to fill up a media bed with the hose.  I needed to rig up a drain so I could test the bell siphon. That's why the pipe is just chilling like that. I put a filter sock on it to catch some gunk because it seems like no matter how well you rinse stuff it's still dirty. And then I decided to just drop the pump in the sump and circulate to that one bed. Had to finish installing some stuff for the fish tank (mainly a ball valve) first so I could isolate the grow bed. 

 

While I am certainly excited to have some water flowing I'm not pleased with the bell siphons performance. I decided since the flow rate would likely be very low based on my previous build experience that 1.5 inch drain components would be good. It drains pretty quick but I don't know. I wish the flood/drain cycle was faster. After a bit of fiddling I got the siphon to break but it takes like 20 minutes to fill the bed. But whatever. I'll tune it more tomorrow and get the other bed online.

 

No leaks so far! 

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Nice progress eternal! It's an exciting moment when you first start running water through the system...

 

As far as the siphon issue, have you considered continuous subsurface flow instead?

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Nice progress eternal! It's an exciting moment when you first start running water through the system...

 

As far as the siphon issue, have you considered continuous subsurface flow instead?

 

I have. Since I have two of the same bed I was thinking of doing one of each to test the difference. I'm curious how much more flow I could get with constant flow. It would also be a major plus as far as my sump is concerned. If both siphons kicked on at the same time my sump could get pretty full. I would prefer to not exceed 3/4 capacity. 

 

Would I just have the standpipe at essentially the same level but without the bell? There are no worries about water in the depths of the growbed not getting exchanged? 

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Just set the standpipe at the height that you want your water reservoir in the beds. This should be a couple/few inches depending on your media and how deep your total bed is. Since there would always be water in the bed, renewed continuously, this will mix and you shouldn't have any issues. 

 

In my first trial system, I setup a bell siphon and it was cool initially, but quickly became a pain requiring constant adjustments. I setup my second, and all subsequent iterations, with constant flow and these are a pleasure.

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