Friday, August 08, 2008

Cost of automated watering system

Q. I'm planning to install the automated watering system for my 18 raised Grow-Boxes. I thought it was supposed to be inexpensive, but I'm nearing $300 for the PVC and fittings so far. Maybe I'm buying the wrong things. Can you give me the detailed list of what I need, and an estimate of what my 18 bed watering system should cost?

A. In Salt Lake City, Utah I would pay approximately the following for 18 beds, including risers from a main line. I have not included the cost of your main line to the garden, since I don't have any facts.

18 - 3/4" T with Riser side threaded - - - - - - - - - - - $ 13
54 - Male threaded adapters - glue to pipe ends - - - 25
18 - Sch 200 pipe for risers 1' each - - - - - - - - - - - - 2
18 - Slip/thread elbows - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6
18 - 1 1/2" nipples - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6
18 - Plastic threaded ball valve - - - - - - - - - - - - - 72
54 - 10'-long 3/4" Sch 200 PVC pipe - - - - - - - - - - - 60
36 - slip/slip connectors to make 30' lengths - - - - - 9
18 - threaded end caps - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9

Total - approximately $202.

This represents a 20 year investment of $10 per year, which is less than 6 cents per day of a 6 month growing season. It will will save you money every day for 20 years on water, plus the time required for watering, and it will make the water distribution more accurate and effective. We consider it a very inexpensive investment, with a high rate of return.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Have you ever considered growing your own food?

”Are you kidding?? Why would I even think about growing a garden? I’m much too busy earning a living!” Let me give you a few reasons you SHOULD consider starting a garden: • Diesel costs $4 per gallon – Delivering your food is now twice as expensive. • Wheat costs $26/bushel ($3 in 2002) – and supplies are the lowest in 60 years. • Some fertilizers cost 6 times more than they did only 3-4 years ago. • The dollar is weaker against foreign currencies than it has ever been, which means everything from other countries costs much more than it did even last year. Now that I have your attention I’ll introduce you to a gardening method that REALLY makes sense – even for the busy working man or woman. We’ve searched the world for the ONE method that guarantees success beyond anything you’ve ever seen. And it’s so simple a child can do it! Our FREE ebook shows you how. You’ll learn how to grow a GREAT garden in ANY soil, without soil amendments! The complete Mittleider Gardening Basics Course is FREE at You’ll also find a FREE Gardening Group, FREE greenhouse plans and automatic watering system plans, and a FREE FAQ section that contains more than 400 short articles answering your important gardening questions. With the Mittleider Method you will: • Grow healthy, delicious vegetables & fruit like NEVER before. • Increase your yields as much as 5 to 10 times traditional methods. • Use about ½ the water of other gardening methods. • Enjoy a weed-free garden without problems with bugs and diseases. • Grow a highly successful garden in any soil, and in virtually any climate. • And do it all without using harmful pesticides & herbicides. “How – and why – would you do this”, you’re asking. • We’re a non-profit Foundation with all volunteer staff. • Our mission is to teach the best gardening methods to people everywhere. • Some people end up buying the great gardening books, software, & CD’s. • Generous people care enough to assist us by donating to the Foundation. You can also become an Affiliate for FREE and receive 40% of all sales. Go to and click on Affiliates. Help us spread this gardening knowledge – Donate at

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Companion planting yes or no?

This is actually a never ending debate among the scientific
community and the biodynamic gardening community. The biodynamic
gardening is based on some "bad science" especially with the
"sensitive crystallization method".

However, there is a type of "companion planting" done on large farms called no-till farming. This technique has become popular in recent years and is being used around here for the sorghum and grain crops. However no-till is planting in the residue of the last crop and not doing the traditional tilling of the land. This is different that the companion planting you are referring to.

The farmers here are for the most part highly educated with bachelors
and master degrees and keep up with the latest research, and none of
them utilize companion planting except "no-till".

I have never seen a lot of scientific studies that have really studied this technique but have personally tried it a few times myself and was not impressed with the results. The last time was two years ago when I tried doing the three sisters approach. Actually the corn did good but the beans and squash were nothing to write home about.

I am sure that Mittleider studied the technique thoroughly and came to the conclusion it was not useful and actually detrimental as I experienced.

I could not consider the article you posted as a "Well Researched Article" but it is a very well done general introduction of companion planting. I enjoyed reading it myself. Please refer to this article for what a "research article" is.
http://www.lib. lsl/help/ modules/research .html

Below is an article of a study that a student did for her masters degree She did a two year study of companion planting with potatoes. This is a summary article and of course not a research article. There is not a research article cited. However, it is interesting reading.
http://www.organica ResearchDatabase /res_cpb_ companion_ tara.asp

This is an article from Cornell.
http://www.gardenin g.cornell. edu/factsheets/ ecogardening/ complant. html

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