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Thread: Raised Circulating Water Bed for Potted CP -- Looking for Advice

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    jlechtm's Avatar
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    Raised Circulating Water Bed for Potted CP -- Looking for Advice

    I've seen some great examples of bogs -- raised, circulating, etc. I'm looking to build (or have built) something a little different:

    I prefer to grow my outdoor (greenhouse in the winter) CP in pots, despite all of the advice to the contrary from experienced friends. I don't have a good reason except for preference. I live in USDA Zone 7A, so the plants could easily survive the winter in the ground, but I like them in pots, I like being able to baby them through the winter, I like the portability, and frankly, I like the look (shrug).

    When I have been semi-permanent in a locale, I've built long raised rectangular water beds out of 4x4s, filled with topsoil (or whatever) to a reasonable depth, lined with landscape plastic and then topped with 2x4 caps. These have worked reasonably well, but filling and draining have always been a manual process, and I'm sure I have lost plants because of the wildly varying water levels (e.g. too high for too long after a heavy rain when I'm traveling for work). The water also stagnates (and smells).

    I'm hopefully permanent again (this time for good, or at least close to it), So this time I would like to do it right. I would like the same raised wooden water beds, at a comfortable height, with a mechanism to keep the water flowing and at a specific depth.

    Tap water is not an option for me, so I collect rainwater in two 275-gallon plastic tote containers (can post pictures if anyone is interested in seeing). I would like to pump water from these containers to the water beds when more water is needed.

    I also realized that I don't need to fill the raised beds with topsoil (or whatever). I could build a false bottom and have a large reservoir underneath, either for equipment (pump, float valve, etc.) or an extra sun-protected reservoir for water (maybe even with a filter and/or UV setup), or both.

    I'm not handy by nature, and I'm planning to hire somebody to build these for me, but I've had difficulty finding someone creative enough to concept what I'm looking for.

    Any suggestions -- either for designs and operational details/materials, or even someone (hope against hope) in the Mid-Atlantic US (I live in Virginia near Washington DC) who gets what I'm talking about and can design and/or build it for me -- would be MUCH appreciated.
    Growing CP since 1975. Succeeding (more or less) since 1990.

    Sarracenia & Heliamphora Growlist

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    Hey Jay, any luck with god info on your new growing setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlechtm View Post
    I've seen some great examples of bogs -- raised, circulating, etc. I'm looking to build (or have built) something a little different:

    I prefer to grow my outdoor (greenhouse in the winter) CP in pots, despite all of the advice to the contrary from experienced friends. I don't have a good reason except for preference. I live in USDA Zone 7A, so the plants could easily survive the winter in the ground, but I like them in pots, I like being able to baby them through the winter, I like the portability, and frankly, I like the look (shrug).

    When I have been semi-permanent in a locale, I've built long raised rectangular water beds out of 4x4s, filled with topsoil (or whatever) to a reasonable depth, lined with landscape plastic and then topped with 2x4 caps. These have worked reasonably well, but filling and draining have always been a manual process, and I'm sure I have lost plants because of the wildly varying water levels (e.g. too high for too long after a heavy rain when I'm traveling for work). The water also stagnates (and smells).

    I'm hopefully permanent again (this time for good, or at least close to it), So this time I would like to do it right. I would like the same raised wooden water beds, at a comfortable height, with a mechanism to keep the water flowing and at a specific depth.

    Tap water is not an option for me, so I collect rainwater in two 275-gallon plastic tote containers (can post pictures if anyone is interested in seeing). I would like to pump water from these containers to the water beds when more water is needed.

    I also realized that I don't need to fill the raised beds with topsoil (or whatever). I could build a false bottom and have a large reservoir underneath, either for equipment (pump, float valve, etc.) or an extra sun-protected reservoir for water (maybe even with a filter and/or UV setup), or both.

    I'm not handy by nature, and I'm planning to hire somebody to build these for me, but I've had difficulty finding someone creative enough to concept what I'm looking for.

    Any suggestions -- either for designs and operational details/materials, or even someone (hope against hope) in the Mid-Atlantic US (I live in Virginia near Washington DC) who gets what I'm talking about and can design and/or build it for me -- would be MUCH appreciated.

  3. #3
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Hi Jay. I've done what your talking about. I've had the plants planted and I've now got them in pots. I've looked for pictures of my setup but don't have any with me right now.

    Basicly what I did was build a frame to hold four cement mixing tubs. As they are relatively inexpencive and UV stable. The wood was reclaimed from a deck. I purchased the pump and for a long timeused five 5 gallon buckets as my reseroure before my mother gave me her rain barrel she didn't want anymore.

    I drilled holes big enough to accept some PVC pipe fittings and ran them in series back to the resevoure. I use a rain barrel. That is also UV stable. Inside the barrel I have a fountain pump. The smallest one with an auto shutoff for low water levels. I have it connected to a micro irrigation main line and off that I have four small tubs going to each tub. The tubs only hold so much water before it flows down the drain back to the rain barrel. I'm lucky in that I can fill with tap and my plants do fine. Thus type if system can go through some water from evap.

    I'm planning on building an attached bog to my GH once its finished and moving the sarrs into the back yard where I once again will make a planted bog as I think they did better not confined to pots. I'll try to get pictures but might be a little bit. I'm in SC and would definitely be talked into co reacting out if I were closer, but contract work is always possible for the right price. My folks live in VA by Richmond.

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