Burl Smith

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since Apr 20, 2019
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Recent posts by Burl Smith

Steve Harvey wrote:
. I plan to put a raised garden box inside, that is 8' x 43" x 21"h. I also want to make the raised bed a cold frame inside the greenhouse as well.

Wont the cold frame require additional heat input to maintain growing temps if it is elevated off the floor (air space underneath? or do you plan to heat the greenhouse?

Bonsall’s office is no climate-controlled vault,

I thought maybe storing seeds in an aquarium, in which a candle is periodically burns up the oxygen, would help preserve cow peas for instance from their borers.

In my own application I find I have to channel the water flow to keep sand and leaves from collecting around the pump.
Even with filters on the pump I still have sand collecting in the filter up at the house
23 hours ago

Keith Odell wrote:Steve,

I'm a worm composter and I'm good at it, so my opinions are skewed that way.  I'm also cheap.  Therefore the following is a "cheap expert opinion" but maybe not helpful on this topic!

I'd fill it up with leaves, grass, wood chips, shredded paper and cardboard with some food scraps and some red worms.  When it settles a bit, cover with mulch.
Add compost to where you are going to plant (google zai holes).  Keep adding organic material as the original stuff will breakdown over time.

I've found that purchased, cheap, bad compost beats most purchased topsoil in final results.  I will not buy topsoil again.

So you're saying that the worms are better off separated from his raised bed, because they'd likely escape otherwise?

Dan Fish wrote:

I want to move water up about 35-40 vertical feet at a minimum and 55 feet if it is possible.

Cheaper the better. I don't want junk but this realistically would probably move less than 2000 gallons a year. Maybe 3000 tops.

A 12v pump would be ideal. Solar would be nice but I am concerned about cost.


Eliot Mason wrote:Burl... I'm bit puzzled about why that page would rekindle interest in solar?  Sure, it lays out the limitations and makes it clear that there are a lot of considerations in design, but its all there to work through.  Its really a fairly simple engineering problem assuming you have enough available flow (gpm) to power the system.
... but since the (solar) pumps alone are $600-$2000, this gets to be a pretty spendy solution quickly.  A ram pump is a small fraction of that cost.

You make an admirable argument Eliot, that is compelling if everything were equal which they are not; some of us just want to plug it in and enjoy it's quiet efficiency:

Druce Batstone wrote:... I eventually replaced the ram pump with an electric pump because I had to clamber down the hill to manually start the pump when it stopped. My neighbour did not like the noise.

Last year I soaked store-bought potatoes in 3% peroxide for a minute before planting. I read that 1% is sufficient to kill coronavirus so perhaps 3% is more than sufficient to rid any potato virus.
3 days ago

Eliot Mason wrote:Gerry, that is a brilliant suggestion.  I had no idea such things existed, and 15 minutes after reading your post I must have one!

I guess my whole post about solar slo-pumps isn't happening today...

I think your interest in the solar application may be re-invigorated after perusing this link on Ram Pump Parameters

3 days ago