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Building My First Setup


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Old 08-28-2009, 02:38 PM
rachel rachel is offline
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Default Building My First Setup

I have been doing a lot of research on what kind of system to build- I don't want anything too complicated, I just want to get my feet wet.

I have planned it out in my head, but I don't know if it will work. It seems to be a combination of a passive system and an ebb-and-flow.

I want to have one large container for the plants (an old recycling bin)- the bin will rest at medium-level height. A step above (high enough that it is completely above the top of the bin) would be a plastic drum of nutrient with a hose attached. The hose will have many holes pokes throughout (but the end will be plugged so the water is only coming out of those holes) and it will be threaded underneath the top layer of growing medium, like a sprinkler. This top drum is very large- maybe 50 gallons? So I assume it would take all day for all the water to eventually pass through the plant's root system.

Then, on a level below the plant container, there will be another drum collecting the nutrient water from a hose coming from the base of the plant container.

Will this work? Is this slightly better than a still setup? I thought that if I measured correctly, by the time I came home from work the water would have passed through and I can pour it back into the top drum.

I was also planning on trying this with spinach and lettuce. Is that a good idea?

Also, this is an outdoor setup.. since I am just beginning. And I can't use a pump because I don't have any outlets outside.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks. rachel


Last edited by rachel; 08-28-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:06 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
I have been doing a lot of research on what kind of system to build- I don't want anything too complicated, I just want to get my feet wet.

I have planned it out in my head, but I don't know if it will work. It seems to be a combination of a passive system and an ebb-and-flow.

I want to have one large container for the plants (an old recycling bin)- the bin will rest at medium-level height. A step above (high enough that it is completely above the top of the bin) would be a plastic drum of nutrient with a hose attached. The hose will have many holes pokes throughout (but the end will be plugged so the water is only coming out of those holes) and it will be threaded underneath the top layer of growing medium, like a sprinkler. This top drum is very large- maybe 50 gallons? So I assume it would take all day for all the water to eventually pass through the plant's root system.

Then, on a level below the plant container, there will be another drum collecting the nutrient water from a hose coming from the base of the plant container.

Will this work? Is this slightly better than a still setup? I thought that if I measured correctly, by the time I came home from work the water would have passed through and I can pour it back into the top drum.

I was also planning on trying this with spinach and lettuce. Is that a good idea?

Also, this is an outdoor setup.. since I am just beginning. And I can't use a pump because I don't have any outlets outside.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks. rachel
It would be best if you could draw up a diagram and attach it to a post because it is hard to try to understand and picture the details. Though what you have described sounds like a gravity fed drip system. you will still need a way for the nutrient solution to get from the collection container back to the feeding container weather by doing it yourself with a bucket or by using a electric pump. Either way it will take some time to get the timing right so the plants don't dry out and/or the pump doesn't run dry if you decide to use a pump. I don't know the size of the recycling bin but you may want to reconsider the 50 gallon reservoir. You will need to change the nutrient solution regularly (usually every 1-2 weeks) that could get expensive with a reservoir that large especially if it is not needed to feed a lot of plants. Something I learned the hard way. Depending on weather the plants are heavy feeders and/or the size of the plants you should be fine needing between 1/4 gallon to 3/4 gallon per plant. Your post has given me an idea for a new design.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 08-28-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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