Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wheatgrass and irrigation

So lately I got into the craze of growing some wheatgrass.. it's really easy actually.

Step 1. Get some whole wheat
Step 2. Wash and soak the seeds in water about 3 times its volume for three hours
Step 3. Keep seeds aside for 12 hours in a dry condition to let it germinate and let the excess water not stay and rot the seeds
Step 4. Get some kind of cloth or any matrix that can store some water for hours.
Step 5. Grow it for 3 days in darkness giving it generous amounts of water and letting most of it run off.
Step 6. Once the grass grows tall and yellow enough put it in sunlight for the leaves to turn green keep watering the plants and watch it grow.

However.. I realized quite soon that the sun was too harsh and my grass was drying up real fast. I had to water the plants more than twice a day to keep the plants alive and growing..

My irrigation system consists of  a bottle with 4 holes and a screw cap.
3 holes are lower and stuffed with a strip of cloth. Water travels through this by capillary motion, but gravity pulls it down so the holes have to be high enough for the rest of the cloth to be sloping downward.

The last hole is relatively higher and is made to a specific size. This hole is how i regulate the water flow.

The batches on either side thrive.

I fill up the bottle with water upto the brim while holding down the only free hole, my regulatory hole and I screw the lid back on. I let go of the hole now and the water doesn't trickle out. Instead, every now and then a little bubble gets into the bottle and  goes upto the top.

What's happening is that water travels down the cloth pieces and the decrease in water brings about a slightly lower pressure inside the bottle. this is compensated by with air from the regulatory hole.

Bigger the regulatory hole more air can get in.. this also allows more water to trickle out.

Simple.. now i can fill the bottle up with water and forget about how hot the day is. I now fill my regulatory system everyday. The grass is now growing well and the cloth is soaking wet.


Amit Fenn said...

As with every idea. There may be mistakes. After pondering over this post often and on observing the speed of the water below the regulatory hole, I realized that the speed is determined not by the hole but by the speed at water would flow through any cloth and hole arrangement. The speed of the bubble however could help measure the speed of water flowing through the cloth pieces

mathai said...

Wonder what happened to your garden since then?