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see that plant smile?   (0)  [vote for, against]
a plant watering system for when you are away

leave the tap on, enough for a steady drip into the bottom bucket of a structure similar to a ferris wheel which is powered by half a dozen AA batteries or a hamster whichever you prefer. the wheel is timed by a large clock set in the centre and the wheel moves slowly around, a new cup moving to the bottom after approximately the time taken for the 50 or so drips required to fill the cups.

as the full cups reach the top of the wheel they are completely tipped over by a protruding rod and the water is dispensed into a trough below which is the start of a vast aqueduct system extending all around the house. these pipes/troughs come in all shapes and sizes to suit the grandeur or not of your stately pile / house / flat / attic room –rather like the way you would purchase track for your train set – curves, straights, y- shapes for dividing the flow, single or double helix spirals for descending a floor; anything goes really as long as you remember that water cannot travel up hill.

the end of each pipe is covered in a semi-permeable material and is set about one inch below the soil level in each pot. so that if the soil is already wet, then no more water is allowed through via osmosis. all unused water is not allowed to just leak off all over the carpet, as some of you may have been thinking that this sloppy inventor might just have overlooked this aspect, but no, some goes into the cat’s bowl, in turn protected by a ballcock / valve in order not to overfill and the rest goes out of the window into the rain butt.
-- po, Apr 25 2003

Is that a rain butt in your pants, or are you just pissed off at seeing me?
-- FarmerJohn, Apr 25 2003

I already have a plant watering system in place for when I am away. It's called "leave the suckers out on the porch in the rain". No, I don't, really. My system is called Marg, my neighbour. My plants get watered, my newspapers come inside where it's warm, my mail gets sorted from the junk, and my neighbour checks out my sock drawer. It's a win-win-win-win situation without the unsightly hoses and tubes (although it does sounds like it would be fun setting up all the splits, loops, and turns, creating your own Rube Goldberg-esque design)
-- Canuck, Apr 25 2003

// and my neighbour checks out my sock drawer //

...but with the unsightly hosiery and tube socks, it seems.
-- waugsqueke, Apr 25 2003

keep the kids amused for hours.
-- po, Apr 25 2003

If the water dripped into a bucket on the *side* of the ferris wheel rather than at the bottom, and the full buckets were tipped at the bottom (or at least below the point where they're filled) you wouldn't need batteries or hamsters.
-- beauxeault, Apr 25 2003

I only have a small sink.
-- po, Apr 25 2003

"A small sink and a rain butt..." sounds like a whole new line of childish insults.

If I had one of these, [po], it would be running 24/7, not just when I was away. I would have some rocks for the streams to burble over and I would probably end up drowning my houseplants.

I think I would like one that runs from sink to shining sink.
-- k_sra, Apr 25 2003

overwatering is impossible.
-- po, Apr 25 2003

If water travels from high to low concentration through a SP membrane, will it not still travel to the soil/water side, which has a lower concentration of water than the water-only side?
-- lintkeeper2, Apr 25 2003

Looks like my fish tank when I’m away. (+)
-- Shz, Apr 25 2003

Don't forget to re-route some of that water for your hard working hamster buddy.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 26 2003

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