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Gilbert Fritz

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since Sep 13, 2013
Denver, CO
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Recent posts by Gilbert Fritz

This subforum may not be the best place for this questions, but it is at least related.

I am building some large, flat, open tanks for water in my greenhouse for a heating/cooling system: see more details here:

I have a non-submersible pump which will be pulling the water out and running it through a radiator before going back into the tanks.

The water will not be super dirty, but I would like to grow a few water lilies in pots and keep a few fish to eat mosquitoes. And the tanks will be open, with plants in pots set on plants above them to save space. So some gunk will end up in the water. I need to protect my pump and more importantly the radiator.

If I drilled a bunch of one inch holes in a five gallon bucket, wrapped it tightly in landscape fabric, and put the pump intake inside of it, would that do a fairly good job of keeping unwanted objects out? How fast would it clog up? Any better ideas?
3 weeks ago
Chris, I would think that if the concentration of the contaminant were low and the starting population of microbes sufficiently diverse, a community that lived off the stuff would develop over time. Maybe the concentration could be increased bit by bit. (Of course, I have NO experience with this field, but I've heard of such things being done.)
1 month ago
Thanks for the replies!  I was actually thinking about doing something with concrete to bind the stuff.

In any case, I have an aluminum/plastic radiator, so I shouldn't have to worry about the metals.

I'll probably put a little water into it, and pour that into a bucket for some kind of treatment, and then just rinse it out with enough water to dilute whatever is left.

1 month ago
I've got a scrap radiator that I will be using for a greenhouse heating application. The company I bought it from drained it but didn't rinse it. I'm going to rinse it out . . . what is the most environmentally friendly thing to do with the several gallons of water that result?
1 month ago
Gregory, that is a great idea!

Welcome to Permies!
2 months ago
I've discussed in past posts that there is a lot of vacant land near Denver that could be used for urban farms, but most of it does not have water access and getting water installed is prohibitively expensive. With only 15 inches of rain a year, there is a very limited range of vegetable crops that can be grown without irrigation.

What if a farm was laid out in alternate rows on contour 8 feet wide, and every other row was a plastic covered low tunnel. However, the plants would not be growing in the low tunnels, but in the open rows. On the long sides of the tunnels the plastic would be buried in the bottom of shallow mulched trenches.

This would give the uncovered plots the equivalent of 30 inches of rainfall. Furthermore, light rains that would have merely evaporated off open ground would be concentrated into the trenches and sink into the soil, thus boosting efficiency of water usage.

Would this set-up work to grow standard vegetable crops? (Combined, of course, with mulching, varietal choice, etc.)
3 months ago
I know lots of people say pill bugs are harmless . . . but I've found them to be a problem. It seems that if plants are stressed by harsh conditions, they will happily eat them. I've lost lots and lots of plants, particularly beans, to pill bugs, particularly in growing seasons with harsh weather. Pill bugs really like mulch. It may be a good idea to pull mulch away from tender young plants. Also, I've heard that spreading pulled up weeds around the garden might help; it gives the pill bugs some other stressed greenery to munch on. But I've never tried it.
It has got some dramatic scenery, any way!

Would heavy rain/ melting snow on nearby peaks lead to flash flooding along that torrent? Has it happened before?
9 months ago