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Drip Irrigation Help for a soil grow


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#1
rollinghippie

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I am looking for some help with drip irrigation. I usually run my plants in 5 gallon pots what i am wanting to do is set up some kind of autowatering for them since they arent easy to get to and I would occasionally like to be able to leave for a weekend without fear of my plants dying. This is what I have come up with so far I have a 55 gallon plastic barrel with a removalble lid. I also have a submersible water pump 1500gph I would like this system to be able to water up to 32 plants. I guess what I need to know is drip irrigation the way to go? And if so what do I need for it. I bought a raindrip hanging plant kit some time ago for a different project and never used it. But what gph drips should I get? how often should my pump come on and for how long. Should I be looking at a different set up to accomplish this?

Hip

Edited by rollinghippie, 01 September 2008 - 03:26 AM.


#2
CannabisMaximus

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I have never heard of anybody doing a drip system for soil. Soil retains water very well. If you water the plants to complete saturation, you should have no problem with them drying out on ya' over the weekend.

5 gallons of soil that are thoroughly watered should last at least 1 week, unless your temps are extremely high.

#3
rollinghippie

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I am using a 1k light and closer to harvest the plants can drink up to a half gallon each and I would like to leave for longer than a weekend. From experience I can say that 3 days of no watering and I have lost 2 out of 8 plants that were running I would like to set it up so I can set it and forget it just checking it periodically. Anyone else that may be able to help I know lots of people use drip irrigation for soil just not this application :). and most of the timer they have the system hooked up to a faucet and not fed through a barrel with a pump being used. Anyone? I know there are some smart folks on here I read their journals all the time.

Hip

#4
richirich_99

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i like your idea of doing a drip line for a soil grow. i thought about trying that but im a newb and just wanna finish my first before i try anything too complicated

#5
rollinghippie

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Yeah maybe someone will be able lend us both a hand here with a solution. Basically what I need to know is How often I should run the pump and for how long, should I use drippers or another type of end, and at what gph.

Hip

#6
CannabisMaximus

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You'll probably have to do some trial & error to see how often to let the timer go off, & how long it should drip.

Another suggestion is to put the plants in a big kiddie pool, or some other large container, & flood the pool or container from the res. & let the plants soak up the water like a wick system.

When I was growing in soil, & I would be gone for a few days, I used to put around 30 plants into a kiddie pool, & fill it up with nutrient water. Only thing is that you can't make the nutes too strong, or you might end up with nute burn if the plants don't use the water fast enough. The reason being that the water evaporates, & makes the solution stronger than before.

That would be quite a bit easier than running lines to 25 plants, & trying to automate the drip system.

The drip system would be nice though.

#7
rollinghippie

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Thanks CM...I was planning on getting 2 4x4 tables to set the plants in so I could definately do thatI would really like to figure out the drip tho just cause it seems it would be maintenance free...at least hopefully. I have even thought about those irrigation sprayers but I dont like the idea of water potentialy splashing around with the electricity.

Hip

#8
Bombastic

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#9
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I like the idea of a soil drip, gravity feed like mentioned above should be pretty relliable, seeing as how there is no water pump that can fail and no pressure that could possibly cause leaks.

To estimate the time maybe put a bucket under the type of dripper you are using and see how much water it provides in say 15min of dripping etc and adjust according to your plants needs.

I wonder if the plants further away from the resivoir would drip less than closer ones if its just from gravity.

I've also thought of bubble buckets as maintainance free watering but not sure how often they need to be refilled.

Edited by VolcanoToke, 31 August 2008 - 09:51 PM.


#10
rollinghippie

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Ok...due to the lack of information about drip irrigation for soil grows I decideed to turn this thread into a community project/tutorial. Here is where I started. Most of these supplies you can get at the local box-mart. I started here using 1/4 inch tubing and rain drip "t's" with barbs and 1/2 gallon drippers. The wood stand was homeade out of scraps in the garage. through building this I learned that you want the height of your stand to be the same height as the top of your pots.

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#11
rollinghippie

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The next thing I did was get a 20 gallon botanicare resevoir (a rubbermaid tub would work but the quality of the res is worth it if you have the cash). I then inserted a Eco-Plus 1056 gph submersible pump. The rain drip accessories hava a connection so that you can hook up to a water faucet and traper to the 1/4 inch hosing. I bought that connection and connected it to the top of the submersible pump via a male/male plastic connecter (bought in the plumbing/irrigartion section at lowe's) pictured below it is the grey piece coming from the top of the pump.

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#12
rollinghippie

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The next thing I did was throw a couple of airstones in the res then make the "side shoots: for the stand. 8 longer shoots and 8 shorter shoots. In hindsight I could have just made 8 shoots with one in line dripper and one end dripper. But hey who cares its my first go.

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#13
rollinghippie

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Once the "shoots" were made all there was to do is attach them to the raindrip "t's" on the stand.

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#14
rollinghippie

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Now a test run outside.

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#15
rollinghippie

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Perfect so far...no leaks....whooooop. So now I am gonna move this set up to its resting place and give it a whirl.

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#16
rollinghippie

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Mixed some chemicals....checked the ph and gave it a whirl...I plugged the submersible pump in and got a stop watch to determine how long the pump would need to run to saturate the plants. 20 minutes seemed to be right for my application so the next time it comes on the timer will have control. I am going to run the pump twice a week. set to come on again Thursday @ 12:01am then stray on for 20 minutes then again on Sunday at 12:01pm. One thing I learned is to cut your "shoots" to place the dripper as close to the center of the pot as possible for a more even saturation. Hope this helps! I chose not to use a gravity fed system because the drippers require more water pressure to drip 16 drippers accurately plus using a regular electric timer is pretty easy. Any tips or suggested modifications?

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#17
Ganja Guru

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#18
rollinghippie

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Thanks guru! Glad you stopped by. I am considering going with a drip/soil grow in my bloom room room once this batch is ready. I would love to be able to set everything automated...any suggested mods just throw them at me.

Hip

#19
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Im setting up a drip system for my soilless grow. I'm using an old pump from one of my fish tanks attached to an 8x octopus i just picked up on sale. I got the splitter and all the drippers and tubing for under 20 bucks at wal-mart. I color coded each lead and i think i can split each lead into 2 drippers. Glad to see your set up is working out for you. I feel much better about evacuating if one of those hurricanes decides to drop in on me and i have to get out.

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#20
rollinghippie

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Im setting up a drip system for my soilless grow. I'm using an old pump from one of my fish tanks attached to an 8x octopus i just picked up on sale. I got the splitter and all the drippers and tubing for under 20 bucks at wal-mart. I color coded each lead and i think i can split each lead into 2 drippers. Glad to see your set up is working out for you. I feel much better about evacuating if one of those hurricanes decides to drop in on me and i have to get out.



Love your set up. You are using grodoton? How long and how often are your drippers set for? Are they the 1/2 gph or 1gph drippers..sorry for all the questions.

Hip


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