Window Farming - Recycle Material and Construction


The reasons for Window Farming
  • Improve my survival skills
  • Understand type of green and their environment
  • Produce greens that I often use
  • DIY 
  • Recycle
Living in an apartment has many limitation to produce own greens. My first proto-type did not work really well till I searched the Internet and found there are people doing just the same but at a better scale. You can find more information HERE.

Last few weeks I have made a few mistakes, I was too impatient and failed on some plants. I am no expert in farming but trying my best to understand. So now I have corrected few steps and below are the list which will be discussed in a few later Posts. Few free to comment and help me to improve better. Thanks

  • Recycle Materials and Construction
  • Seeds Germination and Transplanting
  • Watering System (still working on the idea)
  • Window Farming Diary 

Recycle Materials and Construction
In this section we will discuss topics on

  • PET Bottles Selection for Window Unit
  • Construction of Window Unit
  • Construction of Nursery Pots

PET Bottles Selection for Window Unit

Selection of PET bottle is rather important to the construction. Look closely on the photo between these 2 bottles shape, notice bottle on the left have a much straighter profile. These are the type of PET bottles we prefer to use. Currently we are using 2 litres bottles for Window Units













Construction of Window Units
In this construction have tried a few methods and the most effective is using a soldiering iron. Before making any cutting work, first draw the shape and size of the hole on a piece of paper. As for me, I try not to make the hole too big because of strong winds in our area but just big enough to fit my hand.

After drawing and cutting out the shape from the paper, next used the shape and trace on a soda can that has  been cut out into a length. Once that is done, cut the shape out from the soda can and trim off any uneven edges. This will be the template for cutting holes in all PET Bottle Window Units

Place the template on the PET bottle and tape it so that it will stay in place, I will place the template around 2" from the base of the PET bottle. Next using a soldering iron and slowly go around the template. Make 2 opposite holes on each side of the PET bottle.




Mating 2 PET bottles will take some challenge and time. Remove the PET retainer ring and trim off the edges. This will be used as template for the base of the PET bottles.  Place the ring at the bottom of the PET bottles and use a fine marker to trace the inner ring circle. 

Once that is done, use a soldering iron and cut the hole. When the hole is coming to shape, try to mate it together and use the soldering iron to even out the size till the bottle can be screwed into the hole. Do not make the hole too big otherwise the bottle cap will not be able to hold tightly between the 2 PET bottles. Trim off any uneven edges using a penknife.
  


centre the retainer ring and trace the inner circle with a fine marker


preferable if PET bottles can be held together without screwing the cap

Making the water drain cap unit is rather simple, use the soldering iron or drill a hole on the cap till the size fit a fish tank air hose. The air hoses can be purchased from Pet Shops. We got ours for NT40, 2 meters in length. I cut the air hose around 18cm in length each and hot glue them together both inside and outside the cap. 

I have decided to add the air hose for water drainage because the last time when using just a drain hole on the cap, the water had eroded the soil on the next bottle and exposing the plan root. To prevent that, this is why the addition of the air hose. This is optional however there is another method to do it is to add gravel on the soil surface. 




Construction of Nursery Pots
Using smaller PET bottles, cut the bottom and top around two and half inch high. Using a soldering iron, make as many straight line holes. This will allow the water to drain and also the plant roots to grow outwards later on. 





mini nursery green house waiting to be transplanted to Window Unit

EXPERIMENT
Currently I am experimenting another nursery method using recycle plastic egg container. 2 sets of egg containers were used. I cut the containers in halves and used 2 top covers and one lower egg tray which was used for seeding. Drain holes are made so that the soil can absorb water from it. One of the top cover was placed at the bottom of the seeding tray and act as watering unit, the other was used to cover over the seeding tray and act as a green house. 

For watering, made 2 holes for watering hose to pass through and fill up the base of the tray. The last time I been watering them directly on the soil and it had cause soil erosion, some plants died. Hopefully this method will have better luck. 



water collection at the base of the tray

cherry tomatoes not doing well after direct watering


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