Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Friday 15 March 2013

How to make a Tip Tap (Windmill style!)

Send a Cow has a great "how to" video for making a tip tap, but we made a few variations, so here is our "how to" version.

To make a Tip Tap, you will need:
  • 1 plastic milk bottle at least 2 litres in size
  • 2 stout sticks with pointed ends about 1.5m long as the support posts
  • 1 strong stick with straight cut ends about 1m long as the top bar
  • 1 strong stick about 30 - 50cm as the foot pedal
  • Strong string or thin rope
  • 2 sharp nails
  • 1 phillips screwdriver or round-wire tent peg
  • 1 mallet
  • 1 claw hammer (claw is handy in case you get it wrong!)

Stage 1. Use one of the nails to make a hole in the handle of the bottle at about the half way point. Widen this as necessary to fit the string / rope through the hole.

Stage 1 - set up the handle hole for your bottle.

Stage 1 continued 
- thread the string through the hole in the handle of the bottle

Stage 2 - Use the nail to make a pattern of holes in the bottle on the opposite side to the handle hole at about the same level. Also make a small hole just above the handle to make sure that air can get in easily. This helps the water to come out more easily too. Put some water in the bottle and test to see how well the water runs out in case you need to make more or bigger holes.

Stage 3 - Dig a hole about 30cm across and at least 20cm deep. Fill this with rubble or gravel to provide a soak-away under the tap. Alternatively, provide a wide basin to catch the water so you can use it for watering afterwards.

Stage 3 - Create a soak away

Stage 4 - Set up the supports on either side of the soak-away making sure they are close enough together to let you fix on the top bar. Hammer the thick posts with the pointed ends into the ground until they are firmly in place. Tamp the ground down around them with a log or mallet if the post needs further firming in.

Stage 4. Putting in the supports.

Stage 5. Attach the top bar between the support posts. We nailed ours into place, but it can be fixed by lashing it on.

Stage 5.  Nailing on the top bar

Stage 6. Tie the bottle to the middle of the top bar and fill it with water. Make a hole in the lid of the bottle, thread another rope through this, and make a stopper knot in it so that it is fixed in place when the bottle lid is put back on. Now pull down on the rope coming from the bottle lid to test how well the bottle releases its water.

Stage 6 completed - testing the bottle.

Stage 7.  Tie the end of the shorter stick to the rope so it can sit at an angle at the side like a foot pedal. Now tie the end of the rope to the frame, leaving enough slack so this "pedal" can be pushed down to make the bottle tip (probably easier to look at the picture to fully understand this bit!)

Foot pedal in use!

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