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Pi Club

40 watchers
24 May
5:09pm, 24 May 2021
19840 posts
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flanker
Or you could just buy one of the automated watering systems that you can get in any garden centre (or online far cheaper).

Depends whether you have the tech knowledge (or would enjoy learning) to set it up and whether you would enjoy the challenge or find it a pain!
24 May
5:11pm, 24 May 2021
74029 posts
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Hanneke
Just been looming at those links, thanks Fetch :)

I think I want a somewhat heavier duty pump, as it will need to do a lot more work, pumping water over several metres, to 26 tomato plants...

I can't get over how cheap that Pico etc all is! If you look at automatic watering systems in garden centres, they are prohibitive! Plus, they all need to be attached to an outside tap, which is far too far away from the greenhouse in my case. So the simplicity of a pump, driven by a cheap, basic mini computer "thingy" really appeals.

Numpty alert: could it drive a bigger pond/large aquarium pump? I am thinking of getting the little sprinklers you put into each pot, with the thin diameter connecting hoses, connect those to the tubing that attaches to the pump, submerge the pump in the water tank, keep Pico obviously outside of the tank. Do pump and Pico both need power?
24 May
5:18pm, 24 May 2021
26094 posts
  • 0
fetcheveryone
That's what I meant by upscaling Hann.

With a relay, you could get a Pico to turn a valve on and off - it's pretty much the same principle. Put the valve on a hosepipe, and in theory you can turn mains pressure water on and off.
24 May
5:18pm, 24 May 2021
19842 posts
  • 0
flanker
The Pi doesn't power the pump, it just controls it through a low voltage signal. The pump would need its own power supply, and any pump that can take a control signal should be workable, so you should be able to get any capacity you want. However if you're pumping that much water you'd need a good reservoir to feed it. Have a google - someone somewhere will be running commercial greenhouses from a Pi :-)
24 May
5:19pm, 24 May 2021
19843 posts
  • 0
flanker
x-post :-)
24 May
5:26pm, 24 May 2021
74032 posts
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Hanneke
Thanks :) going to google that later :)

I have two interconnected catyle troughs each containing about 350 litres. One outside, one inside. The outside one is slightly lower than the inside one, so it overflows outside the greenhouse when they are full. Filled from the gutter on the greenhouse. I can top this up with a hose from the tap in dry summers. Should last a week/10 days, if I want to be away.
24 May
5:51pm, 24 May 2021
14047 posts
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Cerrertonia
I tried to solve the same problem (watering greenhouse tomatoes while I was away on holiday) in a different way a couple of years ago. Rather than a pump/ hose/ sprinklers, I put the tomato pots into large plastic trays. I had a raised water butt with a hose connecting it to the tray and a valve to simply turn on or off the flow. Essentially operated as a timer - each morning, the valve opens for a fixed period, the water (under the influence of gravity) flows into the tray, the tray fills and then gets wicked up into the pots over the course of the day.

It worked ok (in the sense that the tomatoes were still alive at the end), but you run the risk of the pots being sat all day in water. A better system would probably measure the water levels in the pots and turn on only when they were dry.
24 May
6:40pm, 24 May 2021
74038 posts
  • 0
Hanneke
My tomatoes are in the ground, in bottomless pots, so a tray system doesn't work. Gravity feeding would also be tricky in my setup. But food for thought for the rest of the greenhouse plants, which are in trays!

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About This Thread

Maintained by fetcheveryone
I thought I'd start a thread for Raspberry Pi fans. This is it :-)

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