Passion Fruit Moves to New Home

I was contemplating making Strawberry planters which make the most of the space given to them, by placing the plants in a vertical position, growing out of pipe – the online one uses PVC pipe – we looked for alternatives, came up with some not so good ones, from fibreglass to bamboo, and decided.. they seem to be OK in the small bed we have.

So, the strawberries will continue their runners that try and invade the grass in the current bed. We started with 2 plants, it’s in excess of 12 that have simply formed from runners.

The passion fruit plants shared the same smaller garden bed, and the tendrils that came off it were growing over the very small, poorly planned trellis that was in place for the cherry tomatoes. They were starting to tendril the over grown grass – possibly a good outcome for it, until the lawn gets mowed.

So this weekend, we moved them to the back fence and built them a trellis 5m long – this will allow them to expand over that distance, and in around 18 months they should be bearing a lot of fruit.

I’m looking forward to passion fruit, it’s got a great taste to it, and can be used to make a lot of different juices and foods the kids will suck down in a nano second. They are typically fast moving plants too – we’ve had ours mostly dormant until recently, when they moved out of the garden and on to the grass, it was this that made me move on to the new trellis.

The Zucchini plant that was outgrowing the garden bed it was in and starting to shoot on to the grass. It was pretty much at the end of it’s fruiting life though, having just one small Zucchini left – out it is.

Our Tomatoes are at the end of their fruiting cycle too, we lost a lot to some invasive pest that would eat some of it, and run away, the fruit would rot and be useless. But, we still did get around 10 edible from them.

I’m still yet to fix the second water tank, the first off the granny flat delivers good results, currently about 750L in it. The tank off the shed seems to have a few issues – the pipes are round, the diverter is rectangular. We did glue on using Araldite some couplings to take it from rectangle to 90mm, but upon close testing today, found it was leaking behind the glue.

This then made me think – why bother with overflow if there is no overflow to begin with. So, we went to Bunnings – and tried to match up some fittings, something like 90mm to 40mm and then get some tubing and clamp that onto it, allowing all water to flow to the tank, from which, overflow could be sent to stormwater (or redirected to another tank, then onto storm water, and so on).

Unfortunately, in the fittings they had, the smallest we could get to was 32mm, and the largest tubing they had was 25mm.

So, I got thinking some more tonight, there’s no fitting we can get ready made for this. It’ll have to be something we make – and the solution is ridiculously simple. Take a 90mm cap, drill an 20mm hole in it. Get a 20mm screw type conduit fitting, place some glue around the edging of the fitting, screw it in, cut the excess thread from the inside.

Get 20mm tubing, and a clamp, clamp it on to the conduit fitting, and that should let the good water flow!

Overflow would be managed as above, either to another tank (we are on a gentle slope, so it’s good enough to add more tanks), or back to storm water by making the same situation again – and attaching that to the overflow of the tank.

We are also looking at waste water – unsurprisingly, we waste so much water that should be happily reused, the toilet for example, couldn’t care if it was flushed with laundry water, dish water, or shower water – yet drinking water is used.

In our renovation, water will be highly focused on – the toilets won’t have any choice but used water – if we use no water, then the toilet simply can’t be flushed.

Laundry should have only waste water and rain water available – there are very good systems out there that store water, and treat it bringing it to near drinking quality. This water will be fit for washing the clothes, and the rain water is more than capable of rinsing them.

By using water twice, three times, or more, there is much more value obtained from it – the requirement for a massive rain water tank diminishes – because you aren’t wasting the drops falling from the sky!

It’d be nice to manage black water on site as well – but that has ‘sh*t happens’ written all over it – I have this vision of it backing up, requiring manual maintenance, and I just don’t wish to be knee deep in it, so I think the sewage connection will need to stay.

For the moment, buckets collect the laundry water for toilet flushing, and the shower water for clothes washing. Tonight, it’s taken 60L from the town supply, through the shower, into the washing machine, and we’ve captured 20L for toilet flushing. 60L for showers, 60L for washing, 20L for toilet, we just saved 80L of water – it cost us $2.31 for the buckets – not quiet competing with town water prices yet – over the life time of the buckets tho – inside 1 year, we’ll have saved 12000L, and we pay $1.90 something per 1000 –  $22.80!

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