We love to garden, but have lacked the skills and patience to be successful. When we moved to Brimfield, IL, we discovered our community well-water was, and still is, extremely salty; over 1,100 mg/liter! That is more than the daily allowance for sodium! Even a reverse-osmosis system failed to make it potable. Imagine the effect on our garden plants. Yup...killed them!
We are also pretty poor at remembering to water our gardens, especially when we had to go to another location and fill a lot of water jugs with water that would not pickle our cucumbers before we wanted them pickled. Our gardens would dry up and the plants wither away. I decided to research better gardening techniques and discovered a garden design called "wicking gardens." This method uses sand and gravel to pull the water from a reservoir buried in the sand itself up to the garden soil where used by the plants. The gardener fills the reservoir whenever they believe it necessary and will fill it until the water runs from the over-fill drain holes. That's fine and dandy, but we still forgot to water when required.
Then it dawned on me one day: I had an idea for a method to make the system semi-self-watering. The new design incorporated a 5-gallon jug and required us to refill the watering jugs only every few days, depending on the weather and plant species.
This is the basic concept: As the plants consumed the water, the level in the reservoir will slowly lower. Once the water reaches a specific level, the water from the jug will replenish the water in the reservoir then stop once filled.
For more details, check out the "Design Concept" page.
Since refilling the jugs was only necessary every few days, it was no big deal to travel elsewhere to collect the water. But then my friends told me to patent my design and that brought on another design change: making it self-watering by including a float-valve system for those who can use a pressurized water source. Using the same concept as the semi-self-watering jug design, I introduced a float-valve system to refill the watering system automatically. No more refilling jugs! The plants use the water at their own pace, the water reaches its lowest level, then the float system replenishes until the reservoir is full and shuts off. How much easier can it be?