I have a light availability issue in my garden. To compound that it is in a very small area so diseases and pests tend to hit everything at once.

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I want to try lifting a couple self watering 5 gallon bucket planters up on a rope I have tied between two trees, at about 25 feet over the ground.

The rope is a nylon / polyester blend rated at 280 lbs and apparently very resistant to weathering, etc. If this works this season I plan to replace this piece with a (much more $$$) metal rope. But for one season I was thinking this should work.

I put some O shaped rings on this line, running from tree to tree, loosely bound in place with a zip tie to prevent it blowing up and down. Through this O ring I threaded a 100 ft piece of paracord rated at 100 lbs. On one end is the bucket. On the other end I pull.

This process turned out to be a LOT more difficult than I expected. I got the bucket about 5 feet in the air and realized I needed to change something.

I am going to try using a pulley on the O-ring instead of just threading it through -- I think friction is making me pull harder than I should have to.

I am also planning on tying it down to a heavy-ish log with an anchor screwed into it. What I don't want to happen is for this bucket to come crashing down unexpectedly (it wouldn't kill anyone because it is hanging over the rest of my garden, but it would do a lot of damage); but also I need to raise and lower it on a regular basis to refill the water and harvest whatever from it.

If I am going about this in a foolish way please let me know. I don't have much experience with this sort of thing.

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    In the next season when you start to install a metal rope/cable around the tree branch you want to consider doing two things. First off avoid wrapping the cable around twice such that there is a tight loop in the branch. Over time as the branch grows in diameter this can girdle the branch causing it to die. Even a single loop if too tight can cause this problem given enough time. Secondly consider padding the rope/cable from the branch with some material that spreads the pressure point of the cable over a wider area to help protect the tree bark. Strips of thick rubber sheeting may be one idea – Michael Karas Aug 5 '17 at 9:11

You haven't given yourself a mechanical advantage here. If you attach a pulley to the bucket, then bring the line back up, you will only need to pull half as hard (but the operation will require more rope of course). Yes, reduce friction at the top with a pulley as well, if you can.

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Picture stolen shamelessly from the internet

  • Thanks. What would you call the pulley at the top w/ both a top anchor and a bottom anchor? – jbord39 Aug 5 '17 at 0:22
  • You don't have to actually connect to the pulley there, you could connect to the ring you already have or any other (weight bearing) point above the load. They're just called "pulley with bottom loop/eye". – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 5 '17 at 1:05

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