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HYDROPONIC DRIP SYSTEM
Simply Explained-Free Plans
Hydroponic Drip System
Here's How it Works
The Hydroponic Drip System is 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
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
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.
Dream Big! Learn to build a large hydroponic Drip System [4X4 growing bed with 8 or 16 pots!] Read all about it here: Simon's Simple Hydroponic Plans.
Not ready for a large garden yet?, Get started below with our small top drip mini-farm [3 pots] free plans!
Not into Do-It-Yourself? Perhaps one of these complete kits is perfect for you: VersaGrow 10 plant system or The Eurogrower.
3-bucket top drip mini farm
Build a Small Top Drip System
Using Bato Buckets
system is by far the most ambitious of the 5 “mini-farms” we present in
this series. You must follow the assembly directions carefully and pay
attention to details.
Why go to the trouble? We have found that our top
drip systems have produced the most lush and prolific plant growth of
all. Also, once it's built, it's pretty low-maintenance.
have designed here a small hydroponic drip system that supports 3 large growpots (Dutch
Bato Buckets). We love Bato buckets because they are inexpensive and
have a built-in safety feature.
A small reserve of nutrient solution is
always held in the bottom of each pot. In the event of a power failure,
the plants will not die, but can live off the reserve for a couple days.
drip Batos form a great, dependable hydroponic unit. This garden cost
about $135 (not including a lamp and food). Most of the
materials are available from Home Depot or Walmart. A few items must
come from a hydroponics supplier (but we give you a good cheap source).
- Rubbermaid Black Storage Tote Bin with lid- 18 gallon [Home Depot] (Or similar sturdy tote bin of 16-20 gallon volume)
- 3 Bato dutch buckets [try www.amhydro.com] Sources change occasionally, sometimes bghydro.com carries them, even ebay. Or try here: Farmtek.com
- Small submersible pond pump- 120 gph [heres one cheap: Cheap supplies
- Timer, mechanical garden; 15 minute increments [Walmart]
- Aquarium air pump, 6 feet of airline tubing, “T” connector & 5” airstone [Walmart]
- PVC pieces: 1½” schedule 40 pvc pipe:
Two 10 foot pcs of pipe; 8 elbows; 1 “t” piece; Tip: (buy 2 extra
elbows and 1 extra T-piece in case of gluing mistakes [Home Depot]) The connectors same size as pipe: 1 1/2"
- One 4 oz. can of PVC cement (gold label) [Home Depot] Don't get blue glue.
- Small tube aquarium grade silicone sealant [Pet shop]
- Black irrigation tubing, ½ “ I.D. (inner diameter) about 6 feet long [Home Depot]
- 1/4” irrigation “spaghetti” tubing, 10 feet (for drip lines) [Home Depot]
- Six 1/4” irrigation barb connectors (smallest bag) [Home Depot]
- Small bag of perlite [Home Depot]
brick of coco coir & small bag of LECA (Hydroton or clay balls).
More on this and ordering info later in the Tips 'N Techniques section.
drill; 1-3/4” or 1-7/8” & 2-1/4” hole saw drills & 7/8” and 1”
spade drill bits (Borrow a hole saw kit or buy one, you will
definitely use it again).
- Hacksaw, pvc pipe cutter or power saw to cut the PVC pipe.
The heart of the Bato bucket
is the built in safety “reservoir” for nutrient solution which rests at
the bottom of the pot. The bucket has a “cutout”, allowing it to sit on
1-½” PVC pipe, into which you drill some drainage holes.
A special port
which comes with the bucket allows excess drainage to leave the pot via
these drainage pipes. (This will all make more sense to you during
assembly of the unit.)
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