Monday, May 23, 2016

Planter Project - Part 2

When last I wrote about the redwood planters (Planter Project - Part 1), I hadn't yet filled them with soil and plants.  I ended up making 19 of them in total, and I can't remember for sure how many bags of potting soil I carried up to the roof.  I think it was 4 bags per planter, but I've brought up some compost and stuff since then as well.  Just to button things up, here's a little photo-journal of the rest of the story.


Once I had all the planters built, I decided I should level them so the water in the bottom tank portion of the planters would be the same distance from the filter fabric along the full length of the planter.  If they were left to rest evenly on the parapet wall, the water would have filled up to the fabric on one end, and barely made it into the net cup on the other end.

I got the first shimmed and leveled, and then I could fine-tune the shimming and leveling of the subsequent planters down the line.  The were then screwed to each other.


I have a 1/2" drip irrigation line running around the perimeter of the roof, and I have one 1/4" line branching off for each planter (in addition to the other lines branching off for pots and such).


The line runs up, between the pond liner and the redwood, then it pokes up through the filter fabric, before arching back down, and poking through the filter fabric into the inside of the pond liner tank.


Shimming and plumbing my way down the line.  It's too bad I cut the parapet capstone profiles into the bottoms of both ends of the planters.  I ended up having to fill them with scrap pieces on the down-slope ends.



Rooftop storm glamour shot.


I had some seedlings from the farmer's market waiting in this planter.


Once all the planters were shimmed and plumbed, I cut the top horns off.


I know it doesn't have much to do with the planters, but I bought some blueberry plants last year, and I was very impressed that they actually made blueberries!  On the roof!  And they are producing even more this year!


These planters really allowed me to increase our crops last year.  This is from May, 2015. 


And here's how things looked in July, 2015.  The drip irrigation system turns on for 20 minutes, 3 times/week.  It waters all the potted plants, and it fills all the reservoirs in the planters.  Some day, if I ever make a second generation of these planters, I'm going to work out a float valve system that will allow the reservoirs to stay full all the time.  But, for now, it's working well enough.


It's fun to go back now (May, 2016) and see these pictures of how the roof had gotten even woolier by August of 2015.  I'm planning to make a special redwood planter for a small crab apple tree this year.  And I'm going to try planting tall plants on the short side and short plants on the tall side.  Project Happy Spring!


3 comments:

  1. Oh wow, you have created a paradise up there. Your neighbors roofs look like wasteland in comparison.

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