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July 10, 2008


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Bruce F

I know that part of what you're doing is calling attention to poor design/utilization here, but I think there's a way to use rain barrels to feed a series of sub-irrigated planters, SIPs. (Heidi made the point that having a snappy acronym is important. And SIC(ontainer) is too negative.)


As long as the rain barrel is above the level of water in the reservoirs it'll work.

Gravity feeds the water from the rain barrel into a open bucket/container. It's flow is regulated by a Hudson valve/toilet float. If the water inside the bucket falls below a certain level the valve opens up until the water goes back to that same level. Cheap. Easy. No timers or batteries.

Polyethylene drip irrigation lines go to each reservoir from that bucket/container. Flush out the bubbles in those lines with a hose and you'll have, well, something worthwhile. A true self watering system.

Doing it with a rain barrel is one more step than what I've had working on my roof for the last 6 weeks.

Since people are reluctant to even try the simple SIP, an automated rain barrel watering system seems like a pipe dream.

rain barrels

Here's a really gorgeous rain barrel I found online:

Kathy Wall

Interested in cost of this rain barrel

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