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DIY rotating garden on the cheap

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Hi all, this will be my first “real” post, it will be a (continuing) journal of modifying a clothes dryer into a rotating garden. My budget for it is $250 (Canadian) and I am pretty sure I can do that for this amount of money. Now, before lots of people start telling me that it is smaller than existing ones presently on the market: yes it is, but it will be very easy to double the size in the future without almost any cost, and the cost is only a fraction of existing ones. This post will only show the way I do it and my progress with doing so, I am retired and presently flipping a house so there is not much time for questions and answers, but I am considering to make a “do’s and don’ts” file at the end, depending how successful the project will be.

Last but not least…..I was born and raised in the Netherlands but live for 19 years in Canada, of which 12 years in Quebec and 7 years now in Ontario (never regret that move and never looked back). What I am trying to say is that English is not my mother tongue, so bear with me and please try to understand in case of any mistakes.
So here we go…..

History

My first attempt was to make a rotating garden from 2 bicycle rims that I had lying around (see picture) to make a windmill in the future.

3.jpg


But as I was working on it, I started to realize more and more that it would be a “flimsy” thing and I realized that I would ran into trouble AND cost to support the drum and give it the desired speed of 1 turn per hour, so I had to come up with something better and stronger.

Here is the “bad boy” that I came up with.

2.jpg


An Elextrolux Steam Dryer 8.0 cu/ft, for free on Kijiji. It had a broken heating element and the control panel gave some errors, none of those things I needed for my project.

To be continued….Cheers!
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
This is the top view of the drum, diameter 67.5 cm x 64 cm deep. The diameter is actually pretty much the same as the Volksgarden Supra but it is less deep. I could opt in the future to attach a second drum (if I could find one) and it all works as I imagine (imagining without using “something” :smokin2:).

5.jpg


When I opened the top and saw all the stuff on the back, my first thought was, oh my…more stuff that I cannot use and have to take off…. But I was WRONG, this “stuff” was actually a big advantage, as this was a closed-loop airflow, so no smell in the house or basement.

6.jpg


The picture below shows the closed-loop airflow within the dryer.

4.jpg

To be continued….Cheers!
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Just to be clear.....this system is not something that I came up with, they already exist, you can buy them, they are bigger but very expensive......while the basics are rather simple.

Some examples

examples.jpg


But instead of growing veggies, they are also widely used to grow cannabis.

ravenquest-1132x670.png


Now isn't this something? I don't expect THIS result but I would not turn it down... :yahoo:
There are posts within this forum about using these for growing cannabis.

Cheers!
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Guess I was looking for THIS, but couldn't find one for free on Kijiji.... :yahoo:

tumble-dryer-and-launder-machine-4-638.jpg


LOL even a nice germinating area in the drawer below, well, it wouldn't fit in my basement anyway....
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Why do I instantly think there’s a secret entrance behind that laundry unit?! :laugh2:
LOL, I was wondering what that pink laundry was...because..... why is that person wearing a mask?
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Back to the project.

There are a few things that needs modification in order to use this dryer as a rotating garden.

modifications.jpg

Belt & motor

The belt divides the drum in 2 areas and limits the place for the holes for the plants, it needs to go to the side, as well as the motor. The motor is too high under the drum, it will interfere with the rockwool pots that will stick outside the drum.

Air intake

The intake needs to be shorter for the same reason as with the motor.

Fan housing (on the bottom right)

I have tapered the existing (plastic) housing, it needed to stay in the same place as it locks to the door panel. I didn’t need the fan-wheel so it was not a problem.

Yellow area.

Explanation is on the drawing. If you look at the image of the top-view of the dryer (post no 3, first picture), you will see that the drum is very close to the side and top of the dryer, there will be interference with the rockwool pots sticking out.

These modifications are NOT difficult to do and I am planning to explain them in detail in the future “do’s and don’ts” file.

Cheers!
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Almost forgot....ordered seeds this morning! Harlequin CBD 1 to 18 Fem YAAY!!!!!!!
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Speed reduction

The existing dryer motor rotates much too fast (1725 RPM) to let the drum rotate 1x per hour, so I cannot use the motor as such. BUT keeping the motor in-between as a “gearbox” is a good idea. The motor has a shaft on the back side as well that I can use to mount a small 12V DC gear motor. For 1 revolution per hour of the drum, I would need a DC motor of .625 RPM The DC motor in the picture turns .6 RPM (Ebay) which is good enough for me. I have DC motors of 5 RPM, but bringing the speed down to .625 with a potential meter does not give a real accurate speed.

calc-speed-dc-motor.jpg

2-motors.jpg


Cheers!
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
I have finally figured out how to do the feed of the nutrients in a way that gives me the most flexibility.
Next to the normal top-feed reservoir and the lower main reservoir, I have added a small solenoid valve in the return, and a small second sliding pipe on the overflow that I can slide lower or higher.

feeding.jpg



Basics:

The solenoid valve is normally OPEN, so if the pump does not run, the valve is open and the top-feed reservoir is empty, see picture on the left. When the pump starts, the solenoid valve is activated and closes, like picture on the right. The pump keeps running until one cycle is completed, during that time, the nutes go through the overflow back into the lower main reservoir. In this way, the top-feed reservoir always has the same level.

Flexibility:

I can let the pump run multiple times in 24 hours if I want.
I can lower the sliding pipe on the overflow, this has a double effect, 1- the top reservoir level gets lower and less rockwool surface will be in the nutes. 2- Because the level in the top reservoir is lower, the rockwool cubes will be shorter in time in contact with the nutes.

I am thinking of putting small 3-way valves on both sides of the pump, so if I want to replace the nutes, I can simply pump it empty and pump it full again with the same pump. Perhaps this sounds exaggerated, but I remember the time of my hydroponic greenhouse very well, empty and re-fill was always messy and now my sump-pump pit is just 4 feet away……….

I also figured out how to make the rockwool cubes holders, but that will be another time.
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
I have installed and tested the fan for the closed-loop ventilation and that works fine, see pictures. The grey grade that you see is in the dryer, just under the door.

door-sucktion.jpg


I am also making the cartridges/pots for the 4x4 rockwool, I made only one hole in the drum to see how it goes with inserting and taking out and that is very easy.

rockwool-pot.jpg


Today I will take the drum out of the dryer and cut out 16 holes in total. Probably I could make much more holes but I am using only 2/3 of the width of the drum, as I may have an additional idea for the future and I would need the other 1/3. Anyway, this is a rather small rotating garden, it has to be seen how much plants could go in it. I will main-line the plants btw, well…..I will give that a try…..
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Some advice please….

Finally it stopped raining this morning and I could grind the holes for the rockwool cubes in the drum. At the end I decided to cut only 12 holes instead of 18 as I was afraid I might weaken the drum with cutting 18. But that was not the case, I feel very comfortable to cut much more than 12 holes in the drum., but I will leave it as it is for now.

grate1.jpg


grate2.jpg


Advice please….

Today my Harlequin 1:18 FEM seeds came in, this plant can grow very large but this drum is not very large, that means I have two choices only?
  • I can let it grow and just attach it along the circumference of the drum, which is 211 cm or 7 ft. I think this is the easy way but I will get 1 cola only.
  • I can top and do stress training or main lining and I will get more colas, probably a bit smaller as option 1 but in general hopefully more at the end.
So here are my 2 questions, I have installed (only) one grill grate at the bottom (I have 3 for all around), this would enable me to attach strings for training etc.
  • Do you guys think this would work with the grill grates?
  • Is it better to grow only one cola perhaps?
Whatever the outcome is, I will start with 3 plants in the rotating garden.

And just so you understand, I never heard of LST and main lining before yesterday and I never grew one plant of cannabis in my life! But I am not scared, I have lived from my ideas the last 15 years and I am always “tickled” by a challenge…..

Let me know what you think. Txs.
 
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