Author Topic: Water for your plants  (Read 1202 times)

Socrates

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Water for your plants
« on: September 04, 2016, 08:03:18 AM »
You may wanna offer your plants halfway decent water; the post on survival water may give you some ideas on how to easily access or filtrate bad water..

CONDENSATION is a big one in giving some plants water. What is it and how does it work?
Warm humid air hits a colder surface and BOOM, water droplets appear.
Wait, back up; i said "humid" air hitting a "coldER" surface... So what does that mean? It means you pay attention for a minute. Rocks in themselves don't create condensation; cold air does not create condensation; you need to understand what's going on here.

The air doesn't always contain loads of moisture. However, on the days that it does, it could be holding loads of moisture in a desert and you can get some water from the air even when you're in a desert. It may mean that some days you get zero drops of condensation and other days you get loads.

"Colder rocks", what are those?
As the night turns into day, the air heats up. Air will heat up quicker than matter [rocks], particularly if those rocks are in the shade [i.e. the morning sunlight isn't hitting them] and particularly if the air in question is being heated well, like flowing along matter that IS being heated by morning sunlight. So the rocks need to stay cool while the air is already being warmed up; after a while the heated air will have warmed up the rocks and there will be no significant difference in temperature (so it's not about how cold the rocks are, it's about how much COLDER they are than the air that's flowing over them).

How does air [hotter than colder rocks] flow? Well, hot air rises; so if it rises and comes along (still) cold rocks it will condense water if that air contains enough moisture.
Generally, such conditions are very localized and plants like moss take advantage of shaded spots where air flowing over sunny spots gets warmed up. However, using this very basic knowledge, it can be quite easy to CREATE some kind of setup that drips condensation on every day that the air contains enough moisture.
That condensation might be trapped underground if you make sure the ground isn't bare and heats up and evaporates what water reaches it.


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Socrates

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Ollas / wet pots
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 08:12:15 AM »
Wet pots /ollas are non-glazed clay pots one burries beneath the ground so they give off the water you put in them through the clay.

This is 3000-year-old technology that is 27 times more frugal with water than drip irrigation.

There is one drawback to ollas / wet pots: you have to bury them, i.e. they take some initial work to put into place.

Now imagine you have little water but loads of energy, time or incentive to bury wet pots; in that case you could be 'watering' trees or plants with a small fraction of what you might otherwise be needing. Especially if you mulch what ground you have, you'll be losing very little water to evaporation. It might be so little that you could actually keep your tree/plants moist by what little water you're able to carry by hand (or by urinating).


The Groasis Waterboxx is a play on the principle of ollas but does it one better; instead of relying on what water you put into it, it will actually collect water (through evaporation as well as rain). in fact, if you place the Waterboxx during a time in which it rains, you won't have to fill it with water at all. You'l still have to buy and bury/place it, but when you consider that it will be keeping your (fruit-producing) tree alive where it would otherwise never be able to establish itself, it is well worth $ 20 and some effort.

« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 08:44:56 AM by Socrates »
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Socrates

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How much do you (really) need?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 08:50:06 AM »
In this one talk, Allan Savory describes how there's this flood of rain in this region in Africa and the very next day the location is dry and dusty and looks like any other desert again... Water is not, and should not, be about quantity.

I'm reminded of the rocket mass heater that will do the same heating as the most expensive heaters but at about 5% of the amount of wood/fuel. So if you're talking about SOURCING fuel, FIRST you should have covered how to properly burn it. First things first. Otherwise you might have found a way to get twice as much fuel, or how to get it with half the effort, when you COULD have first implemented a way that USES 20 times less. Water is the same way.

Being ignorant before, the first things i picked up about water had to do with cool dams and hydraulic ram pumps. Yeah, they're still cool, but after a few years of gradually picking up bits and tidbits by permaculture experts it became clear that the best practices require no sourcing of water other than that already offered by nature. Like in the above example supplied by Allan Savory, there's usually enough water; the point is not to waste it. And when i'm talking waste, i'm talking about people and entire peoples that commonly waste 99% of the water nature throws their way. This is NOT a fringe issue in the least.
"How is this possible?", one might ask. How can peoples that suffer from drought and watch their children die from thirst and malnutrition not only waste water but so much of it?

Geoff Lawton [the prince of permaculture] has put out his video Greening the Desert which shows how one of the most arid regions in the world can be turned into an oasis by applying some basic permacultural principles. It doesn't take too much work, money, or education; all it takes is some real insight into how things work. What Greening the Desert really illustrates is that no matter how bad you think you have it, it's already been proven that situations that were even worse have been successfully healed.

So don't burn 20 times the amount of wood you need to by running a mainstream heater; don't eat 20 times what you need to by eating a mainstream diet; and don't use 20 times the amount of water you need by sourcing water by mainstream ways.
First things first.

And then that hydraulic ram pump really hits the mark; when you can get a trickle of water up somewhere but your knowledge of how to grow foods makes that trickle enough to sustain you, you have stacked your knowledge in a way that is life-altering. Then you can probably set up shop somewhere that would take anybody adhering to mainstream tactics a colossal dam to achieve as much. Then you don't need hundreds of thousands of bucks to build that dam or to bring in the water you require.

When people see the oasis Geoff Lawton designed in the desert in Jordan, i'm sure they're sure that those plants now thrive there because of some underground water reservoir or something. But there isn't. The only thing that came to that place previously covered with dust and rocks was Geoff Lawton. And anybody can accomplish the same, which is also to say that everything you accomplish won't be recognized for what it is. People will think that cheating or luck or great gobs of money were the cause. All that matters, though, is that anyone can build an oasis almost anywhere in the world, which in turn means that no one has to go out looking for prime real estate, nor that one has to be a millionaire to find a place to thrive. For survival situations it means that situations that are lethal to most people [like 99%+] are survivable when you don't live by the needs demanded by mainstream thinking.
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Socrates

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Dew ponds
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 09:03:22 AM »
The general method is to dig a saucer-shaped bed on some part of the downs where mist is apt to collect early on summer mornings. In this hollow, after the chalk and flints have been well rammed, is placed a good layer of straw or reeds on top of which is puddled a covering of clay and in some of the more modern dew ponds a final coating of concrete is used. All are wrought with experience and craft that is a heritage from the past, and then left to dry.

Then, when once the pond has filled (occasionally assisted by artificial means) there will always be water for the cattle to drink, even though no rains fall and the torrid sun pours down its relentless heat day after day.

It would be incorrect to say that there are no dry dew ponds, for they are often to be seen on the hills. But the reason is not far to seek. Once the bed of the pond is cracked or broken the water soon trickles through and the pond naturally fails. That is why a number of dew ponds are fenced, to prevent heavy cattle from wading into them and damaging the bottom.

Scientists have spent many years in trying to probe the mystery of how and whence the water comes that fills these lonely hollows of the hills but so far without success.

The generally accepted explanation is, however, that on a warm summer's day the ground round the pond is warmed; but its heat cannot get to the clay bed of the pond because of the non-conducting nature of the layer of straw. Therefore when night falls, the cooler clay attracts more moisture from the atmosphere, and so counteracts the evaporation under the hottest of days.

But whatever their origin, or the mystery of the water supply, this much appears to be beyond dispute - that they have stood on the hills thousands of years before men sought to explain them.
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Socrates

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a natural SAP: superabsorbant polymer
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 10:09:46 AM »
the peels of 3 oranges
add lemon juice
leave for 1 hour
add 100ml water
boil dry [about 45 min.]
remove excess liquid by placing on towel
cut up finely

the peel of 1 avocado
cut up finely
add to orange peel
leave mixture in Sun for a fortnight

add mixture to excess liquid [90g to 80g]
heat in oven @ 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes
crush into powder

source

In short, there are these superabsorbant polymers [SAPs] sold for loads of money and this 16-year-old girl from South Africa found a cheap and natural way to create them.
The SAPs give poor soil much better water-retention capabilities and enable (poor) soils to sustain life when other soils fail to do so.
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Yowbarb

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Re: Water for your plants
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 05:27:13 PM »
Socrates, what great info!  :)