Jambo Reece

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since Jan 25, 2015
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Recent posts by Jambo Reece

Ralph Sluder wrote:Your wicking action is only going to work with (wickable) material.   So your pots filled with soil that are above water supply will keep moist because the wick in contact with the soil will supply moisture. And the soil will absorb that moisture  ( If it is an absorbent soil). Sand would not work for example.
Your jars with water have no absorbent properties so gravity will use the wick to pull water from the jars to the lower level. If you put jars of water below the water supply, jars will overflow..( gravity.).  The jars of water would have to be at the same level as supply to work.
Sorry, not a good explainer.
 By the way, put those sweet potatoes under 4 inches of soil and you will get 10x the slips at least twice as fast.

I see what you're saying, you are a good explainer.  So just out of interest, you're saying that the capillary/wicking action of water being drawn upwards is essentially stronger than the action of a siphon which i guess is the force of gravity?

I will no doubt find out in time, but would be nice to know if I come back in 2 months that all my plants haven't dried out.  
4 months ago

Mart Hale wrote:
A video describing your problem would help for us to help solve it with you.

It is hard to understand from your picture where the water is running out.


Hope this clears it up
4 months ago
Guys and gals

I have built a self watering system that works on the principle of the wicking material, a reservoir and the plant naturally drawing water.

So I have a trough of water, upon which is sat either A) a jar of water with a plant in it, or B) a small plant pot with a plant in it.  Both have a strip of wicking material connected to the water trough.  So as water evaporates from the jar, or water is drawn by the plant it is replenished by the trough via the wicking material.  I'm sure you have seen examples

I have only just started using this system.  What I found strange is that within seconds, the full jar of water emptied.  So instead of the trough filling the jar, the jar is filling the trough.

I am assuming I have somehow created a siphon, by connecting the two bodies of water.  Admittedly the jar and the plant pot are sat above the trough.  

So here is the actual question:  Because I can't see what is going on in the plant pot, I have a question to you physicists out there.  Is the same thing happening in my plant pot full of soil?

I know using wicking material is a tried and tested technique.  But what is actually going on in the soil?   Is it a different set of principles e.g. osmosis, water tension etc which would make it essentially transport water uphill to the plant.  Or is this simply not going to work unless I put the plants below the trough?


4 months ago
Brilliant info Redhawk

You make no mention of grog.  i.e. crushed up old brick/pottery.  So for brick making, you don't add any grog, just sand right?  And can I confirm it is what we call over here "sharp sand" which has been dredged from the river bed?  

And what about the clay itself.  Is it just clay from the ground with stones removed, or has it be sieved through a screen/mesh?

Ironically, when I was originally processing my clay, i removed as much sand as I could from it.  My friend used the stuff out the ground on her pottery wheel and said it was too rough on the hands due to the sand, so I sieved it out down to 120 mesh.

2 years ago
Taken me a while, but I've finally managed to create a lid for this pit kiln.  When it's rained the pit has filled with water and turned into a nasty swamp.  

Hopefully the rain will keep the water out.  May still have a problem with the water table,  but we shall see.

Anyway, my question relates to brick making as this will be my first project.  

So basically I'm trying to come up with a recipe.  Because I want these bricks for thermal mass, and not insulating, the two things I feel I need to consider are addition of grog and shrinkage rate.

To create a recipe I need an exact quantity of water, and to know the weight of my clay when it comes out the ground.  

Not really sure how to do this.  Perhaps I clean the clay (remove as much sand and stones etc as possible), dry it out to a leather like consistency, weigh it, fire it and then weigh again to see what the shrinkage it.

Then I would make several bricks using the same consistency to test:

1) Pure clay

2) 5% grog added

3) 10% grog added

4) 20% grog added

Fire them, and should start to give me an idea of what amount of grog will prevent shrinkage and cracking.

The plan was to use crushed brick dust.  But I also read that sharp river bed sand can be used as a grog.  What do you think?

I'm also having trouble filling the molds.  When the clay is too dry, you get a lot of air pockets.  When it's too wet it sticks to the mold.  
2 years ago
Great ideas guys.  I was thinking along the lines of planting Elaeagnus Mulitflora Goumi but am open to whatever. Just trying to grab some knowledge on how tall to make it.  Or rather how short can I get way with and it still be effective.
2 years ago
Thanks Dave
2 years ago
Hi everyrone

So I am setting out my forest garden on a fairly exposed site.  But it is an allotment plot i.e. very small indeed.  3m x 12m

I know that windbreaks are supposed to provide 8 x the distance in protection, but my plot is only 3m wide.  So 3000mm / 8 = 375mm tall (1ft 3 inches)

However, isn't there a minimum height you should start with?  e.g 3ft tall.  

Surely if you have too small a windbreak the wind will just barrel over the top of it, or is this not so?

I reality I would make it at least 500-600mm i.e. 2ft tall, but still, I wonder how effective it would be.

I really can't go any higher than 600mm (2ft) because the width of the plot is so narrow, it would shade out most plants there.  

2 years ago
Ok Glenn thanks.

I had a similar design idea in mind, so I will readdress that after I've tried firing the pots this way pit kiln stylee.

Anyone know how to rotate images within a post?. The sketch was the right way up before I uploaded it.  
2 years ago