In the last post, I mentioned that one of the items we wanted to add to the new greenhouse is a hose trolley. Actually, our plan is to add two. Since we're planning on installing four rows of benches and planting beds, we think it will be easier with one hose between rows 1 and 2, and another hose between rows 3 and 4. We just finished installing the first one and tested it out. We like it, so now we'll order the parts to put up the second.
This is the first time we've installed a hose trolley. We didn't need them in either of the other greenhouses. The lean-to tree greenhouse has permanent underground irrigation lines running to above-ground circular sprinkler hoses surrounding each tree, and in the rolling greenhouse, we use drip irrigation. Fixed irrigation with timers is a big time saver when it can be used. However, with the variability of number and location of seedling flats and pots, and the fact that some tend to dry out faster than others, we don't see an easy way around hand-watering with hoses. Nevertheless, hoses are a pain to drag around and coil up afterward. That's why we're trying the hose trolleys.
We looked at some commercially made models but couldn't find any that we liked. Most were hung on cables, and that didn't appeal to us. Also, they all come as a kit with a fixed length, which may or may not be the length you need. So, I did an online search and found an alternate solution.
Strip-Curtains.com sells strip doors and strip curtains for industrial use, hospitals, and other applications. In addition to selling custom made doors and curtains, they sell individual pieces so you can make your own. We found exactly what we needed: tracks, connectors, and rollers.
None of the hardware for hanging the tracks looked like it would work for us, but we had a lot of cross connectors left over from previous greenhouse builds. Instead of using them as intended, to connect two round perpendicular pipes, we drilled and tapped the track connectors and screwed the cross connectors onto the track connectors. We used 1/4-28 x 1/4" button head socket cap screws from our favorite online hardware source. Right now, the whole track is floating on the greenhouse trusses, but we may eventually fasten them to the trusses with tek screws.
We chose nylon rollers from Strip-Curtains to hang the roller assemblies. Their web site gives the load rating for the rollers, and it seemed adequate. We used two rollers for each assembly, along with a 5-3/4" x 7" galvanized tie plate (which we had left over from building this greenhouse), and a plastic 3/4" PEX bend support. The tie plate hangs from the rollers, and the PEX bend support is screwed to the tie plate. The 3/4" PEX bend support fits a 5/8" rubber hose perfectly.
The hose pulls very easily the whole length. The best part is we got just what we wanted, and it cost less than the kits we saw. Now, all we have to do is plumb a water line from the stub-out coming into the greenhouse out to the hose end. ---Steve