Posts Tagged waterbutts

Moving the IBCs


Today we really needed to move the IBCs to somewhere behind the house so the many scrap dealers in the area didn’t appropriate them.

Unfortunately the only way to move them was to take them down the side of the house. This is the impassable side of the house, so first we had to empty it. I got one of my scouts to give us a hand and to move the IBCs as well.

Now they’re in the garden, all I need to do is level the ground, raise them up and reroute the guttering.

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IBC arrive…


Early on a Saturday morning I got the call ‘your IBC will be with you in thirty minutes’. I wake the wife and as I do so, a van pulls up and two guys start unloading the IBCs!

They’ve all had an orange/pineapple squash mix in them, so they should be fine. Only one was on a plastic pallet – the other two were steel! Bizarrely the steel ones are lighter than the solid plastic pallets. They always look bigger in person than in pics!

Now we’ve (and I mean we, they’re pretty heavy!) got to get them down the side of the house or over the garage!

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Intermediate Bulk Carrier (Or an IBC Water Butt)

Recently our garage flooded.  We’re at the top of a hill, but we’re also in a bit of a dip there.  The hill is mainly all london clay which is excellent for pizza ovens but not necessarily great when your main surface water disposal is a soak away.  Soak aways are basically big gravel pits.  The water level of my garden is pretty low and I’m pretty sure I have a spring where the old pond was, so dealing with water can be a bit of a pain.

“Normal” water butts of the type available at the local garden center can be £30.  Reconditioned blue shipping containers can be £7-15 – both carry 220ltrs.

An IBC (intermediate bulk carrier) contains 1,000 ltrs and can be bought as cheaply as £35.  Ideally you should try and get one that contains a food rather than a powder or hazardous chemical – commonly you’ll get vegetable oils or fruit juices, both of which can be quite easily drained and dealt with.

For for £70 I’ve bought two such containers on eBay – just search for ‘water IBC’ and hopefully you’ll come up trumps with one nearby – they’re expensive to ship about so you’ll need a van or one very close by.

These two will be hitched up by my outbuildings and I’m going to redirect both drainpipes direct to them.  Next to them I’ll also be keeping the compost bins and I may look into using a seeper hose so I don’t need to do much watering!

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Almost recovered from my swine flu, though to be honest the bank holiday weekend really took it out of me.  I did a bit of planting at the local St John Ambulance station (They now have much prettier baskets outside) and made some wholemeal bread.  If you aren’t aware you can buy fresh yeast from your local supermarket (assuming they bake bread fresh and don’t just bake half baked bread like my local Somerfields).  It’s usually quite cheap and you can get more than you’d usually get in a fast bake pack.  I also used this to make wholemeal pizza.

Sunday/Monday is airshow and the weather really was good for it.  Fortunately my allotment is on the flightpath for the local airport and we got some really good views of the red arrows, as well as assorted other craft including what I believe was a spitfire.

Whilst down the lottie I also managed to completely clean out the pond which was full of dirt and relocated the fish to the now shaded waterbarrel.  Similarly I also fixed the other barrel, strimmed the grass, did a bit of weeding, dug a new bed for the tomatoes and then I did something I’ve been meaning to do for absolutely ages.  I installed some watersaving devices.

Now I don’t get a lot of time to tend my plot in the morning, seeing as I get to work for 8.  What I spend most my time doing is running around manically watering.  I do this because if you water late at night, you get slugs.  Water in the morning and the ground has a chance of drying before the invading armies make it over the beds to your delicious plants.  However when it gets dry, and on clay soil like mine it gets really dry, when you water, most of the time the water just drains off on the surface.

There are two ways to get the water where it is needed.  Both are dead simple and are very similar.  Way number one is to chop up an old drainpipe and push it into the soil around the plants roots.  About 1/3 in the soil, the rest sitting out.  You can use any length or diameter.  Similarly you can use plant pots – just dig a hole around the base of the plant, push in the pot and with both methods, you can then fill to the brim with water.  It’ll gradually soak away into the soil straight into the roots where it’s needed and not off to the sides where you’ll usually find oodles of weeds.

It’s reduced my watering already today by 100% – but that’s because it’s cats and dogs outside right now…

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