The Urban Farmer, Issue #036 * May, 2011: Top Drip * Orchids * ID Critters!



"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
        ~Robin Williams 


Top Drip Systems are probably the most common hydroponics system in the world. They are often used in large commercial greenhouses. Once the network of feeder lines is set up, operation is simple.

We like to use the popular Bato® buckets for our top-drip systems, as they are very inexpensive, come with a safety reservoir in the bottom, and are easy to set up on a drainage pipe.



The nutrient solution is held in a reservoir. A pump comes on periodically and pushes the solution through a network of "spaghetti" tubing which trickles out at the base of each plant. The excess drainage out the bottom of the pot is collected and returned to the reservoir, where it is reused for the next "watering". The feeding cycle repeats 2-4 times daily and promotes lush growth.

Visit this page to link to free plans for a 3-bucket system or learn how to order plans for a large 16-plant setup:




There are few things more magnificent than an Orchid. The delicate blooms display nature's most intricate work in a spectacular array of colours and shapes. The exposed thick white roots and rich texture and shape of the waxed leaves add to the orchid's appeal. These unique and exotic plants are fascinating to look at and pleasure to cultivate. In the rainforests of South America and other tropical areas, orchids are found growing on the bark of trees or moss covered rocks. The rain runs down the side of the tree or rock supplying the perfect balance of water and oxygen while the roots trap nutrients from decaying vegetation. There is no soil, in essence making orchids "hydroponic by nature!"

Orchid enthusiasts endeavor to simulate Mother Nature's growing techniques indoors. As in any other type of hydroponic culture, this means an environment must be achieved that meets light, nutrition, humidity and air flow requirements.

Here's an informative article to get you started:  Hydroponic Orchids


Hydro Tip of the Month

Have you found any insects in your garden (crawling, flying)? Identify and treat them by visiting our  Pests Page.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing...


~Stella and Simon from Hydroponics-Simplified.


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