1. Chris: Can you please provide a list of resources for accessing information regarding rainfall and anything else that might be useful to know when considering your plans
Think long term sustainability
Water will get more scarce
Grow perennials that don’t need watering.
Establish your trees.
Look at rainwater harvesting (no brainer) and grey water.
Lightweight guttering taped to polytunnel into IBC water tank (Chris)
Calculate how much water you use, using water meter if you have one. Here, for watering the polytunnel, annual veg and propagation area, use about 230 litres. The price from Welsh Water is about £1.70 per cubic metre, so that’s about 30 pence per watering session.
Martin Crawford has information about creating a reservoir in Agroforestry News vol 23 no. 2, PDF available online (though pricey)
Design derives from maximum size of plastic pond liner: 25m x 6m
Each reservoir 3.5m x 20m x 1m deep = 70 cubic metres
Use gravity fed where possible
Any water fed into pipes needs to be filtered
Circulation requires powerful pump, MC uses 4 x 180W solar panels to power Lorentz pump
Filter is an upwards-flow (much easier to clean) stone-gravel-grit system, using upcycled 1200 litre plastic water tank (previously used for transporting fruit juice):
Bottom layer 30cm deep, 40mm stone
Middle layer 30cm deep, 10mm gravel
Top layer 30cm deep, 4mm grit
| | → clean water out
| grit |
| gravel |
| stone |
|________| ← reservoir water in
2. Julie: has a 20m² area where shed used to be. Recommendation to keep the area clear?
Depends on how long you want to leave but would recommend temporary ground cover of bark or wood chip, then sow White Mustard, which will die back in winter. Should keep weeds down. Good place for bulk buying seeds is Cotswold Seeds
For longer term cover, consider other green manures eg clover. Again, Cotswold Seeds has lot of information about different green manures.