Hello to all of the DGC, members, nonmembers, visitors, hosts, producers, tech, suppliers, well pretty much anyone seeing this post hello to you.
I thought I would take some time today to show my fellow DGC how to create your own drip feed system for as about as cheap as I could put a decent enough setup together. I hope this post reaches the DGC before the cup and enough time to help any of you guys or gals, coming out to the cup looking to automate your garden while your gone.
(Disclaimer- sorry for the hps room orange pictures)
So first you will need the following items:
3/4″ Tubing (enough to make it from your nutrient source to your pots and back)
3/16″ Tubing (enough to make it from the 3/4″ line to each drip stake)
3/16″ Barbed Straight (quanitiy depnds on how many stakes per pot, and the amount of pots your feeding)
3/4″ hose clamps (In this scenario we would need 4)
Poly snips (something to cut the tube)
Yellow drip line punch
Water pump (sizing depends on your system)
First, cut a piece of 3/4″ tube to go around your pots that you desire to feed. You can also form it around anything you collect runoff in if your plants are not on the floor. In my system I use a 2×10 tray and the tube surrounds the inside diameter of the tray.
Connect the cut pieces to the T. Use the clamps to tighten the house to the T to insure there are no leaks, and to help prevent any tube from coming off of any fitting so we don’t flood our rooms.
Next, you will need to attach a piece of the 3/4″ tubing to the end of the T and clamp it, then run the other end to the pump you are using in your resviour and attach the tube to the pump, also clamping it.
Now is when the real labor comes in to work. I use these yellow drip line punches. They make different options for drip line punches but I find this to be the most accurate punch. Out of a couple hundred of these lines ive punches, I have maybe had 2 leak from the barb. I recommend wearing some heavy padded gloves to assist in this process. It can hurt your hand depending on how many of these barbs you will be putting in. Punch the line and get it down past the little ring around the punch. You may have to work the punch around to insure the hole is big enought for the barbed fitting.
Once the hole is punched you will add the barbs. Make sure to get the barbs on the fitting into the hole deep enough to make sure there wont be any leaks.
Next cut a piece of the 3/16″ tube to attache to the barb and the other end into the pot to the drip stake.
Once you have done all this, your ready to go. Plug your pump into your timer and set the timer to the propper amount of time to feed. To give you an example, I measure that I get about 1l of feed per drip stake with a 1 minute feed. That is with a pump rated at 265 gallons/hour. That amount will very per setup, depending on pump, amount of drip lines, distance the water needs to travel, and other factors.
Last thing, if I could recommend a pump I would recommend a Bottom Draw Pump. The BDP’s are so much more effeicent then pumps that draw water from the side. The side drawn pumps will stop sucking up water when the water level is at a certain point. The BDP’s draw up almost every last drop of feed in the res. Really effective pumps. I use an Ecoplus BDP 265, as shown above in the pictures, and the Apollo 9 timer from Titan controls that controls in minute intervals.
Good luck to all, hope this post helps!
Contact me on IG: ChoiceGardens if you have any questions.