Monday, May 18, 2009

Aeroponics, Drip System, and Ebb and Flow


Deep Well...this is a rubbermaid tub with an aquarium airstone and an aquarium heater. All items are inexpensive. I drilled four holes in the lid top and put 3 inch diameter baskets in. There are three cucumbers and a tomato plant in the baskets. Remember, the roots don't stay just in the basket. They expand into the deep well. The idea is that the bubbles will pop and spray the water and nutrients onto the medium holding the roots. I started the seeds in rock wool and peat and placed them in lava rock.
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Here is what it looks like with the lid off and the water and nutrients cycling.
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These will need to be supported with a trellis system later on.

Ebb and flow:

Here are three, inexpensive tubs that I have sprayed the outside blue in order to protect the roots from direct light.
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This is a very simple process. Doesn't require a pump or airstone. I plan to be using this as my second stage in keeping the drip system full of plants. Step one is the rock wool in starter trays. Step two is the transfer to the ebb and flow system until true leaves appear. Then they will be transferred to the drip system. This next photo shows the "ebb" part of the system where you lower the bucket so that the nutrient water runs out of the tray. The following photo shows the "flow" part where the bucket is higher than the tray so that the nutrient water flows from the bucket to the tray.
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The next photo shows an example of how the trays will look with pots in them. There will of course be more pots in use.
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Here are some of the organic nutrients that I am using.
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Here is the drip system as it looks today with 60 plants in it.
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An up close photo of the drip in use.
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My RO water barrel developed a serious drip so I had to replace the black spigot, with this new one that works great.
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  1. The three step growing system sounds like a great way to maximize use of space.

    Glad to see a system that does not depend on pumps, too. That manual ebb and flow system could be built and used by anybody!

    Looking forward to your next post.

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