The basic idea came to me while eating lunch somewhere, and I sketched it on a piece of paper:
It's a very primitive, gravity-driven drip irrigation system. Water would drip on the plants from holes in a hose, connected to a jug, which would be filled occasionally from the faucet as well as from the rain (in the tub at the top).
The concept went through several iterations. I took out the rain catcher for the first build, and went to our local ferreteria with a translated list of supplies: a hose (manguera), jug (bidon), and duct tape (cinta adhesiva). Despite failing to communicate the purpose (una sistema de irrigación por gotea para mi terraza - the seller had no idea what I was talking about), I got everything on the list.
The first attempt involved the small planters that we already had. There were three problems: 1) I hadn't gotten a hose clamp (I had wanted a hose plug which they didn't have and forgot about clamps), so it was hard to seal the end. 2) I couldn't keep the hose positioned over the tiny planters, especially if the wind blew them around. 3) the hole I made in the jug to plug in the hose (via a connector) was leaking.
|Failed first attempt|
The bucket is to catch a leak in the plug. The hose loops around under the soil, where it's poked with holes. The wildcard will be whether the holes in the buried hose are big enough to allow water to flow through (there needs to be some suction or the water won't move), but not big enough to drown the plants too quickly. We'll see when we return!