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Need help with next system


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Old 02-16-2011, 07:54 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Default Need help with next system

I have 3 5gal buckets at home that I want to turn in to ether a DWC or a aeroponics system. The plan is to grow tomatoes and peppers in these units. DWC would be the easy solution but I already have one of those up and running. Aeroponincs would be something neat to try but will cost more money to build.

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:51 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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If you want to try your hand at an aeroponic type system, I don't see any reason you shouldn't. Although for peppers and tomato's I personally would go with a drip system. I have tried a flood and drain system for both of them, but plan to use a drip system for them in the future. Mostly because a drip system is quite efficient, easy to design and build, as well a relatively simple and inexpensive setup. Also large containers like 3 and 5 gallon buckets hold enough growing medium that I don't need to be to concerned with pump cycle times. It retains plenty of moisture for the roots, even If I forget to plug the pump back in for some reason (I have done that a lot). I have had plants in 5 gallon buckets using a drip system not get watered at all in 24 hours, and you wouldn't even know it by looking at them.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:42 PM
Penny Penny is offline
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We are new to this and have a drip bucket wirh a tomato plant in it. My question is do you let it drip 24/7 or do you do timed drippings?
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I always use a timer on my drip systems. There are a lot of factors that affect what on/off cycles I wind up using though. The amount of overall growing medium is probably the biggest factor. The more of it there is, the slower it will dry out (therefor longer times between cycles). Also heat and humidity. As long as the growing medium where the roots are is continually moist (not saturated), they should be fine. Just stick your fingers down into the growing medium 2 or 3 inches before the timer is set to go on to check if it's still moist or not.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:35 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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how many feedings per day how long each? just as a starting point.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:04 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I would say about 30 minutes on, then the off times really depends on the factors I mentioned. You can start with 30 on and 30 off. But depending on your actual setup, and growing environment, you could go hours between on cycles. The broccoli plants I grew in 5 gallon buckets using coco chips as the growing medium (sorry, I forgot to mention the type of growing medium is a big factor as well), I was running 1 1/2 hours off, to 2 1/2 hours off, even during the hot part of the day. I have even forgotten to plug the pump back in after doing things (many times), I didn't even notice I left it unplugged until the next day, and there was no visible singes wilting at all in the plants. Now, use a different growing medium, or different size bucket, and the results wouldn't be the same.

I would say just run the drip system long enough to get the growing good and wet, then shout it off and see how long it stays moist a few inches down (during the warmest part of the day). Check it every 20 minutes or so, then say it starts to feel kind of dry after 2 hours (but the plants still are not wilting). I would set the timer for 1 1/2 hours off, that way it waters again before it gets to dry.

I also went with about 1 to 1 1/2 hour on cycles with the broccoli, but that was mostly because I was limited by the amount of on/off settings the timer had. So I stretched out the on cycles, so that I would have enough settings to work with that would last all through the day, and still have one on cycle in the middle of the night.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:16 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Thanks for the info GpsFrontier, If I go with a drip system it would be indoors under LED light so I don't think that I would loose that much moisture in the grow medium so I might be able to stretch out the feedings.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:37 AM
Penny Penny is offline
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Thanks much! I'll play around with it to see what works.

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