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Water system
The water in the Central Valley is alkaline, so I adjust the PH down with vinegar (1 tbsp/5 gallons). Some day I hope to have a solar distiller big enough to provide plant water, or a reverse osmosis system. The well pressure is low, so this 275 gallon tote is left filling while other chores are being done. Then various organic products are added, mixed & aerated. It is a lot of work to hand water the plants, but it's the best way.
The secret's in the pump
That is a 1 HP irrigation pump with 3/4" hose. Watering with this system is sort of like holding a machine gun. It really blasts water out at an impressive rate.

With less pressure watering takes so long that I'd get bored. It was just a waste of time. Now it is fun.
Sump pump
To aerate the water a sump pump re-circulates it out a shower like spray nozzle. Sometimes I leave it aerating for an hour or two before using the water mix.

Powdered fish emulsion stinks like fish. But it feeds the microbes on the plant roots. The point is not to shove high nitrogen fertilizers on the cactus, but let the roots work symbiotically with all the soil microbes.

This stuff isn't cheap—this is about $100 worth. You can read about Maxicrop, ThermX-70, etc. at either:

http://www.biconet.com/soil.html
OR
http://www.groworganic.com/default.html

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