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Water usage in polytunnels


 
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Marching Penguin
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject: Water usage in polytunnels Reply with quote

Hi,
I am about to set up a tunnel and wanted to build a water tank for rainwater. So I need to calculate average water use in a tunnel over the summer days. Can anyone advise what a tunnel 15ft x 65ft might use in litres? An approx idea is what I'm looking for. Also if anyone did have any rainwater tank advice it'd be great. I've heard IBC tanks get too damaged by weather and so we are planning on doing an underground concrete tank. Thanks gardeners:)
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll confess from the start that I'm not a fan of the tunnel but your concept of an underground tank has a lot going for it with two provisos.

Presumably you've got some system of collecting rain water to fill it? So, what happens when it's full but still raining? Can an overflow take the excess away?

The second potential problem is that, to use the precious water, you'll have to get it back up above ground level. This can be done via some sort of wick, as in oil lamps, but you have little or no control. You can dip watering cans into it and carry the water to where you want it, or you can install some sort of pump, operated either electrically or by hand.

However, the plus point is that your capacity is virtually limitless. If you create a permanent central walkway and use it also as the site for your tank, you can dig it out as deep as you want it, create your (waterproof) concrete tank out of blocks and then restore your walkway using paving slabs to act as a bridge across the walls of your tank. Should you ever need access for cleaning etc., all you have to do is lift the slabs.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regard to the quantity required over a growing season I very much doubt if that can be answered with any accuracy at all. The variables are too many. The plants that you sow will all have different water demands. The average temperature will vary considerably from year to year. Your personal watering regime could vary from day to day.
Just build a tank as large as you can afford and see how it goes. If it needs topping up then so be it. At least you have harvested x amount of water. You will soon learn quick enough how much water you will need. Test the soil by hand a few inches down or use a hygrometer. I would hook your stored water up to a slow release hose and pump it up on a timer, the amount of time it needs to be on will soon become apparent to you. I have had IBC tanks for years with no problems at all. Make sure that they have the uv plastic in them.

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Keeks
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Make sure that they have the uv plastic in them.


What do you mean?

Or rather how would you know if a IBC had uv plastic or not?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is uv resistant then the plastic doesn't break down over time. Also, the black ones are better than the white ones, something to do with the quality of the plastic and being 'food grade'. Read the label I presume or else find out what the code numbers mean.
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Keeks
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard the black ones were better a alright, something to do with less light getting in and less likely for algae to build up....

Good to know about the UV resistance of the IBCs...will check it out when I go looking for some over the winter.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be interested to hear how you get on - I want to install an IBC tank in my veg garden.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just get a black one GG. You can't go wrong. You can get them for around 50 around here. It's better down south.
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Last edited by tagwex on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeks wrote:
I heard the black ones were better alright, something to do with less light getting in and less likely for algae to build up...

That too. I just forgot to mention it. I have a black one now for maybe 12 years, had a white one before that, lasted maybe 4 years.

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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I'll look in Done Deal or some such. Thanks.
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