Drip Garden

The story of a small window farm in Vienna

Setup of SchreberMeister One: Part 4 – Final touches

on April 10, 2012

It’s been a long time since my last post but I’ll be publishing a couple of them over the next 2-3 weeks. Look forward to some real progress!

Last time I posted SchreberMeister One was sort of functional but not quite the way I wanted it to be yet. I had some issues with the watering system. In one of the bottles I kept getting bubbles and not enough water was flowing to the top. I met up with Chief SchreberMeister Cezar at the Hub anniversary and came home with lot’s of great tips that I have long wanted to share.

1. Keep the tube as straight as possible. As you can see on the first pictures I mounted the bottom tubes facing inwards (in order to have easy for filling up the water). At the same time I wanted the tubing to twist around the bottles and lead up the back to the top. This causes the tube to wind quite a bit which probably caused most of my “bubbling” issues. I turned the reservoir bottles around facing outwards and fixed the tube with tape to the back of the bottles. They now lead almost in a straight line to the top where there is a narrow loop leading into the top. I still occasionally have bubbling but the problem solves itself within a couple of seconds.


2. Cleaning of the tubes. In the SchreberMeister kit there is a chain that you can use to clean the tubes. They get dirty very quickly but it hasn’t yet stopped the water flow so I’m still awaiting my first cleaning session. But I had tried to do a dry run of the cleaning and failed because the chain is too short for the whole tube. It turns out you have to take apart the tube which in itself is a difficult task. Cezar demonstrated that pulling the flexible tube off the plexiglass tube will only cause the flexible one to grip the other very firmly (hello physics!) and you simple need to life the tube (with your finger nails or something similar) of the plexiglass one. I’ll post pictures once the first cleaning day comes.

3. Height of the bottles. I had thought that the purpose of the black flower pots was to catch dirt from the clay pellets. So I put them in the bottles first and the filled up the bottle with clay pellets. Sure it might have worked that way but really the way to do it is to pour in about 1,5 cups of pellets into the bottle directly then put the pot on top of that.

4. Fertilizer. Another mystery for me, but it’s quite simple. Per full load of the reservoir you put in 3ml. This is best done with a pipette (like the one I received from Cezar as a gift – thanks again!). At the moment I’m refilling the reservoir about once a week, so every weekend I put in another 3ml.

With all those tips and motivated by seeing the Hub’s window garden in full bloom I tweaked my setup and started on the plants. More on that in the next post.

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