Red Party Cups
In our video, BUILD a Global Bucket, we're using 18 oz Kirkland Chinet Premium Heavyweight plastic cups purchased from COSTCO . The 3 1/2" hole saw makes a perfectly sized hole for the 18 oz cup. A 16 oz cup should work fine, but you'll need a smaller hole saw.
"Food Grade" Buckets
A reader wondered if the possibility of plastic leaching from a bucket is a health concern. We do not express any opinion on this question, but if you do have concerns you may want to use "food grade" buckets (buckets that once held food in them).
Irrigation and Root Disease
A viewer from YouTube (jj8a) questioned if root disease could transfer from one bucket to another bucket via the 1/4" tubing in the automatic watering system. This is a great question. To be honest, we don't know the answer. We don't think water or a disease would migrate from the end of one tube in the bottom of one bucket back into the 1/4" tube and then into the main 1/2" line. Why? The siphon is "pointing" away from the 1/2" line towards the bottom of the bucket. It's a one-way force. Perhaps to be on the safe side, we should eliminate the optional "T" in the 1/4" line that feeds two buckets from the 1/2" line. If you're an expert in agriculture who appreciates the siphon's one-way force we would love an expert opinion. Thanks!
The water refill pipe should be covered or capped. In tropical climates, the opening will invite female mosquitoes to breed and consequently diseases such as malaria or dengue could spread rapidly. (from YouTube viewer "asanov" writing from Malaysia)
Editor's Note: Shouldn't be a problem if you're using our automated watering system as seen in the videos.
Use Level Ground
If you're using our automated watering system (see the videos) make sure the buckets are on the same level ground as the reservoir. We had our buckets and reservoir on a sunken patio which had an "invisible to the naked eye" 1/4" per foot drop. The main reservoir was eight feet south of the buckets. This resulted in the bucket's water level two inches too low. Ooops!
This is where we buy float valves: US Plastic Corp
Make sure you get the adjustable valve. We upgraded from the 1/4" to the 1/2" because during the summer the plants were drawing a lot of water from the yellow reservoir and it appeared that the 1/4" valve couldn't keep up with the demand.
"Just so you know, the 'traditional' thinking has been that peat bogs take 10,000s years to form. I have seen college text books that teach this. However recent research has found that Sphagnum moss grows up to 30 inches tall each year. I own 150 acres of forestland which includes peat bog. I can harvest peat, and it does grow back. Allowing re-harvest every 8 years. If I remove a 3 foot thick layer of peat, and come back 8 years later I can do it again. Peat is a renewable resource. Northern Scotland, Ireland, and Finland have been performing renewable harvests of their peat bogs for about 30 years." Galen Young of Argyle, Maine.