How do you use rain water drip irrigation to yield such large tomatoes?
The system utilizes a 500 gallon per hour mag drive pump attached to 1/2" poly tubing, which serves as a feed line. The pump is connected to a timer which regulates automatic watering (15 min once a day). Using the Raindrip hole punch, punch holes in the 1/2" feed line and then insert the 1/4" lines, attaching no clog drip stakes on the end of the 1/4" feed lines.
For the buckets themselves, use a five gallon nursery pot and then insert the pot into a five gallon bucket. The five gallon bucket acts as a water catch for any excess water, which will later be recirculated back to a reservoir to be reused automatically. Drill a small hole on the side of the five gallon buckets, and insert the 1/2" grommets first, and then insert 1/2" barbed T's. By connecting the 1/2" poly line to all of the buckets, you create a return drain line which, using gravity, will drain to the reservoir bucket with a sump pump. The water is then pumped back into the rain barrels and, voila! you have a recirculation Hydroponic system in your own front yard!
To prevent clogging of the 1/2 drain line, place paint filter bags (small mesh like strainers) both on the bottom of the five gallon nursery pots and on the bottom of the five gallon buckets. For more oxygen, layer the bottom of the pots with hydroponic grow rocks, or Via Stone. You should also aerate the rain barrels using an air pump and air stones to keep the nutrients from settling and pathogens from developing.
Steve used coir as his media, because it tends to be sterile, inert, pH stable and has a great cationic exchange. Coir is composed of shredded coconut husks, a great hydroponic media.
To support the plants, stretch a wire in between two metal stakes. You can then hang plant support spools from the wire to elongate the plant stalks, and as the plants grow the spools can be moved horizontally down the wire. Use plant clips to connect the nylon plant support to the plants.
The hydroponics drip method not only conserves by using rain barrel collected water - but the yields are incredible. Large, luscious fruits and vegetables are just a few steps away - Now get growing!
For more information on Exteriorscaping and water conserving gardening projects, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-305-4450.