My Thoughts On A Watering System


With a rather large collection of African Violets to take care I had to come up with a faster means of water than the standard little one gallon watering can. I can not take credit for being the originator of this idea it has been around for sometime I am just going to show and explain my version of it. It is a rather simple setup consisting of a

  1. water storage tank
  2. water pump
  3. water hose
  4. watering wand
  5. system update

Sounds simple doesn't it, let us take a look at the parts individually. As always click on the links to see photos.

The storage tank can be just about anything that you have room for or have on hand. A road to the wise use as large a storage tank as you possibly can or else you will be spending more time filling the tanks than anything. The storage tank that I am using holds about 14 gallon and needs to be bigger, some day it will be. The main think goes without saying it needs to be leak proof. Here is a photo of my water Tank Photo storage tank

The pump is the main and most expensive part. The best advice here is to buy the biggest and best that you can buy. The pump that I am using seems to do the job rather nicely, it is a submersible pump that can be submerged. I found my pool pump at Lowe's. Please do not try to get buy with a small inexpensive one you are just wasting your money, they will not pump any amount of water for any distance. The pump that I use is rated at 22 gallons per hour sounds like a lot but that volume is needed to have enough force to pump the water to the top shelf. If you would like to take a look at the pump that I am using, here you go one Pump photo of cupspond pump coming up.

This is also a fairly easy item to come up with. The hose can be almost anything that will transport the water. One word of caution though do not buy a clear hose, algae just loves to grow in it. I learned the hard way. I am currently using a 25 foot section of garden hose be sure and buy a very flexible hose, it will be easier to move around and coil up for storage. The easiest way that I have found to connect the hose to the pump is to cut the end off and slip it over the outlet on the pump and secure it with a hose clamp.

This is perhaps the hardest part of the whole setup to find. If you are lucky you can find a wand that suits your purpose without having to do any fancy constructing. One solution is to possibly use a replacement wand for one of the weed sprayers, but please stay away from the plastic ones they bend. I tried one and it just did not suit my wants and setup. I ended up visiting the local home improvement center and was able to find several parts that I could put together to make one that I am very satisfied with. To start with I selected a garden watering Nozzel Photonozzle (get a good one so it won't leak) in the plumbing department I found a piece of small diameter chrome plated Bottle Photopipe (supposed to be used in plumbing sinks). In order to connect it to the garden nose I was able to find a Fitting Photo fitting in the plumbing department that allowed me to secure that pipe to the end of the garden nozzle. Once it was all connected together I carefully put a slight bend in the end of the pipe. My finished Wand Photowatering wand. The only thing remaining to do was to connect the nozzle to hose and the hose to the pump.

I have since changed my whole wand setup, but I left up these directions for the ones that might like to go this route. I now use a nozzle that used to be sold by rabbit raising product supplies. The nozzle was chrome plated and had a rubber tip that I just cut off and was able to insert the wand into. While surfing for information on orchids I notice a few suppliers that had water wands for sell so that might be a source.

Since I original wrote this article for the website I moved from Kansas to Missouri and the watering system that I had disappeared left somewhere in the move. Time to start over from the beginning. I now have what I consider to be the best watering system that I have designed in all the years that I have been raising violets. I am still using the same style of water tank and the same kind of water pump, but my watering wand is totally different and easier to use and construct. The current watering wand was purchased as a complete wand from Amazon one click on the photo will take you to Amazon and the wand.
Amazon Wand

The hose that I am not using is similar to the one in the photo, I picked mine up from the local lawn and garden but they are available from Amazon in various lengths and colors.coiledhose

Attaching the hose to the wand was a fairly simple task to complete. One end of the hose screwed onto the pump with no problem. The other end of the hose I was able to cut and after a little work was able to slid it onto the wand without the connection leaking. Now I can just hear some of you commenting about build up on the inside of he hose, first I have never had any problem for build up. Second, I do try to flush the hose occasionally with a good pressure of water and also run a bleach water solution through the hose. I have used a similar system for watering all of my plants for almost twenty years with no problem at all.

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