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Compost tea soil injector

 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The injector needs to be long enough that you can have the option of sinking it 5 feet deep into the soil.
Mine is home built and 7 feet long from tip to water hose attachment.
These are the parts you will need; 1 length of 1/2 inch rigid copper pipe, one solder on lever type ball valve, one 1/2 inch T solder on fitting with the 1/2 inch on the ends and a 1/4 inch center size, 1  1/4 inch hose bib to attach the syphon hose too the apparatus, 10 feet of 1/4 inch poly hose,
1 solder on garden hose female fitting for attaching your hose to the top end of the apparatus. You will also need a copper pipe cutter, pair of slip joint pliers or hammer and anvil, propane torch for soldering, soldering flux.
When I built mine I purchased a 10 foot piece of rigid copper pipe the left over piece became a soil sampler.
To assemble you first cut the main pipe to the length you want minus about a foot. the next step involves flattening one end of this main pipe so it will give off a jet of water (use a hammer and solid surface to start the flattening then crimp in the middle with the slip joint pliers)
Next you want to install the valve and above that a short section of pipe for fastening the T, then another short piece of the main pipe and last is the garden hose fitting. If you want to be able to have the syphon hose not spew water when you have the main valve off, you need to add a 1/4" valve before the hose bib.
This thing will drill a hole as deep as you can push the main pipe down into the soil very quickly. Once you have the hole drilled turn on the 1/4 inch valve to suck your compost tea down into the hole and out into the surrounding soil, leave this valve on as you withdraw the pipe, shutting it off just before you remove the water injector from the hole. Move 5 feet and repeat, do this until you have the area you are treating completely covered.



5' Depth
For the root zone of an established (~16yo) apricot tree, 1/2" going 5' deep would cause damage wouldn't it?
Would you have recommendations for root zones of established fruit trees?

Hose
Regarding the injector, I am interested in making one, but do you have plans for one without a "hose" attachment, and instead fitted for pouring my compost tea into?
I do not use the municipal water right now, because use Grander to treat RO water, then been using it to make compost tea, and have been "injecting" the compost tea by driving a 1/4" nail about 8" into the root zone of the apricot tree and pouring / dripping the compost tea into the holes.

Would you say that what I am doing could cause harm to the roots?
Would you have any input on how I could improve what I am doing?
Would you be able to give some input on building a structure to lay frost cloth for late frosts?
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote: ... An Injector is usually made of metal pipe (commercial ones are either aluminum or galvanized steel) Rigid copper pipe also works and is usually easier for the do it yourself builder.
1/2 inch rigid copper for the pipe works pretty well and is far less expensive than 1 inch copper pipe, the lever valve and other fittings are also less expensive and you will use less non-lead solder to put the apparatus together.
...
These are the parts you will need; 1 length of 1/2 inch rigid copper pipe...

When I built mine I purchased a 10 foot piece of rigid copper pipe the left over piece became a soil sampler.
...



What type of copper ? K, L or M?
 
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Hau Steve, mine is type M, you don't want to use a soft copper, since you are going to use pressure on the pipe to move it into soil.

Redhawk
Staff note (jordan barton) :

Here is the thread where this began https://permies.com/t/76498

 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Hau Steve, mine is type M, you don't want to use a soft copper, since you are going to use pressure on the pipe to move it into soil.

Redhawk



Thanks.

Do you think you might be able to post a picture of the injector apparatus ?

I have some questions about instructions :
1. The "solder on" is not a special type of product, it's just the normal product that you are going to then solder on, correct?
2. "one solder on lever type ball valve" -- is there a spec on dimensions?
3. "1/4 in hose bib to attach the syphon hose too the apparatus" -- I could not find a hose bib at 1/4 in, and I am wondering how the products that are pulled up when I search for hose bib are going to connect the poly hosing to the 1/4 in center piece on the T connector.
4. With soldering, do you use liquid flux? Would a silver-tin lead free alloy be fine for the soldering?
5. What kind of poly hose? Black? Clear?

Thanks!
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Hau Steve, mine is type M, you don't want to use a soft copper, since you are going to use pressure on the pipe to move it into soil.

Redhawk



For the Soil Injector, these are the parts I bought (minus the 1/2" Copper tubing and the 1/4" poly).

Would you let me know if this looks right?

My concern is that the Copper T Connector will not stand up to all the handling, because it is soft metal. I dropped one on the floor in the store and it bent just from hitting the floor. How will it not also bend through usage?
Soil-Injector-Parts.jpg
Parts for Soil Injector
Parts for Soil Injector
 
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Steve Baker wrote:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Hau Steve, mine is type M, you don't want to use a soft copper, since you are going to use pressure on the pipe to move it into soil.

Redhawk



For the Soil Injector, these are the parts I bought (minus the 1/2" Copper tubing and the 1/4" poly).

Would you let me know if this looks right?

My concern is that the Copper T Connector will not stand up to all the handling, because it is soft metal. I dropped one on the floor in the store and it bent just from hitting the floor. How will it not also bend through usage?



I think I'm going to try this tee instead. It looks like it will do a better job.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBite-1-2-in-Push-to-Connect-Brass-Tee-Fitting-U362LFA/202270522



BTW If I could just go all Shark Bite products, why wouldn't I?
Is there a reason soldering is being recommended? Is there a concern with lead content in brass?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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My plumber father-in-law gave me the rigid pipe, fittings and I silver soldered (actually brazing) the pieces of tube and the fitting. Be sure to use fittings for rigid tubing.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:My plumber father-in-law gave me the rigid pipe, fittings and I silver soldered (actually brazing) the pieces of tube and the fitting. Be sure to use fittings for rigid tubing.


Fittings for rigid copper? Are there other fittings?
 
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Apparently, because he took away the ones I had bought at HD and the ones he got from his truck box looked more like the rigid tubing. He did not teach me any plumbing except water fall rates.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Apparently, because he took away the ones I had bought at HD and the ones he got from his truck box looked more like the rigid tubing. He did not teach me any plumbing except water fall rates.


Do you have counsel for a structure for frost cloth?
I have two apricot trees--the late frost kills the fruit, so I want to use frost cloth to prevent that, but I need instruction.
I'm in Flagstaff, AZ, but I'm in the "banana belt" (it's warmer here because of Mt Elden).
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The fruit farmers I know use posts at the row corners and at each tree. They then have lines. Not only down. The side posts but also connect from side to side. This supports the frost cloth so it doesn't last on the trees. Hope that helps you.

Redhawk
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The fruit farmers I know use posts at the row corners and at each tree. They then have lines. Not only down. The side posts but also connect from side to side. This supports the frost cloth so it doesn't last on the trees. Hope that helps you.

Redhawk



So, for my two side by side apricot trees, that would be 4 - 6 posts, lined with frost cloth on the sides?
Do you also cover the tops with frost cloth?
Is it bad if the frost cloth touches the tree (as with plastic)?

Thanks.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The fruit farmers I know use posts at the row corners and at each tree. They then have lines. Not only down. The side posts but also connect from side to side. This supports the frost cloth so it doesn't last on the trees. Hope that helps you.

Redhawk



It seems certain I will damage some of the tree roots installing the posts no?

Could it be better to just build a cage and lay frost cloth on it?
 
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I believe the orchardist put in the poles at the time of tree planting. In your situation I would use the cage you mentioned  since that would allow removal of the cage once frost danger has passed.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I believe the orchardist put in the poles at the time of tree planting. In your situation I would use the cage you mentioned  since that would allow removal of the cage once frost danger has passed.



Forgive my being off topic once again but would you know about the temperatures the Johnson-Su bioreactor should be maintained at? I am wondering about where to place it--how much sun (warmth) it needs. Thank you!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Sorry but I don't have that information.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Sorry but I don't have that information.



Thanks!
 
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Hi Steve,
You will find Johnston Su info here - https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/bioreactor/
or do a search on youtube.

In my opinion it makes compost at another level but you do need patience. 6 to 9 months.
 
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Anthony Saber wrote:Hi Steve,
You will find Johnston Su info here - https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/bioreactor/
or do a search on youtube.

In my opinion it makes compost at another level but you do need patience. 6 to 9 months.



Yeah, I have had that information. I don't think it covers the temperatures the compost is supposed to be at.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Sorry but I don't have that information.



Back on topic, I tried soldering the parts together and it has been a disaster. I have gone through most of the soldering metal... and gotten nothing done.
 
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Did you Flux and use silver solder, with Mapp gas or acetylene.  The most common error is not enough heat or too much heat.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Did you Flux and use silver solder, with Mapp gas or acetylene.  The most common error is not enough heat or too much heat.


I used liquid flux, then used Oatey brand solder metal graded for Copper, and used a propane torch (the solder melted so it definitely was enough heat).
I don't understand how it's supposed to hold the thing together. The solder metal is soft, and it just peels off when it's cooled. I don't know if that solder is made for this purpose. Maybe it's only for pipes that sit still?
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Did you Flux and use silver solder, with Mapp gas or acetylene.  The most common error is not enough heat or too much heat.



That looks good no?

https://ibb.co/k0wz1F1 ; https://ibb.co/tzhMpD5

I had to watch another instructional on soldering, and then it made enough sense, and it seemed to come together well.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Did you Flux and use silver solder, with Mapp gas or acetylene.  The most common error is not enough heat or too much heat.



Hey, the compost tea is not being siphoned, the garden hose water is coming out of the poly siphoning tube.
 
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Where in the water flow line.is the siphon located? It should be below the water inlet so the water flow suction pulls the fluid into the water stream.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Where in the water flow line.is the siphon located? It should be below the water inlet so the water flow suction pulls the fluid into the water stream.



I've labeled the parts here

https://ibb.co/tbxswXB
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Where in the water flow line.is the siphon located? It should be below the water inlet so the water flow suction pulls the fluid into the water stream.



It is below the garden hose water inlet, but what ends up happening is the garden hose water flows up into the siphon bib and poly and comes out the poly.

I've even tried starting the siphon up, and then running water, but that didn't work.
 
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It looks like there is to much space between the water line and the siphon tube inlet.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:It looks like there is to much space between the water line and the siphon tube inlet.



How much space should there be?
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:It looks like there is to much space between the water line and the siphon tube inlet.



Would you please share a picture of your setup?
 
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Steve Baker wrote:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:It looks like there is to much space between the water line and the siphon tube inlet.



How much space should there be?



I'm sorry for asking so much, but I have to go to dialysis during the week, so I want to get this done over the weekend. I have time now.
 
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I am sorry but I don't have a way to show what I'm talking about.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I am sorry but I don't have a way to show what I'm talking about.



How much space does there need to be between the garden hose input and the compost tea siphon?

I spent good money on these materials. Are you saying it's not going to work now?
 
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Steve Baker wrote: The solder metal is soft, and it just peels off when it's cooled.



Copper must be abraded with emory cloth or sand paper or steel wool and then flux applied for the solder to bond. Solder will not bond to unabraded copper.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I am sorry but I don't have a way to show what I'm talking about.



Red Hawk, including a specific distance necessary between the garden hose inlet and the siphon in the instructions would be helpful.

What is the distance the siphon needs to be placed from the garden hose inlet?
 
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