Timing Ebb & Flow System
I just made an ebb and flow system from a design I saw a picture of. My question is, how often should I run the pump ( 2,3,4,5,etc times a day)? I am going to use hydroton and this will be outside on a deck in Michigan. Thanks for the great site.
And thanks for visiting our website!
You wanted to know how often in a day to flood your pots in an E&F system. This is a very good question, because there are many varying opinions regarding this. I have read anywhere from once a day to 6 times or more.
I will tell you what we do: twice per day in cool weather or a cool air-conditioned room. 3x per day if outside, or hotter climate. And remember not to space them every eight hours, either. Plants need to "sleep" at night, just like you do. If you flood twice daily, do it at like 7a and 7p. If three times, do it at 7a, 1p and 7p.
Another tip: you don't need an expensive electronic timer to set your E&F cycles. All you need is an inexpensive garden timer (see photo here: Timers). These units are cheap, mechanical, and don't break down easily. Make sure you get the kind where each pin lasts 15 minutes. When you set the pins to kick on the flood cycle, one pin is automatically timed to last "on" for 15 minutes before shutting off. This is just right for about a half hour soaking (floods 15 minutes, then drains for about 15). We have found it works great, and almost always use the 3x per day flooding.
Remember, you will need a separate timer if you have supplemental lights.
Good luck Mike!
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