Hydroponic Drip System is an innovative solution to grow organic foods such as fruits and vegetables. The process is a hundred percent reliable and can be practiced on a large scale. One of the simplest hydroponic systems is a drip system. So how to build a hydroponic drip system?
If you have the right knowledge and right material you can build your own setup. One of the most basic drip systems is the bucket hydroponic system. This is what I have described here. And in case you don’t think you can build one, just get a hydroponic drip system kit like Atwater HydroPod from Amazon. It will help you get your feets wet.
What Is Hydroponic Drip System?
To study the hydroponic system isn’t enough. You’ll have to study the classifications for sure. The drip system is a type of hydroponic farming. In this system, a pump ejects all the necessary nutrients to the water solvent.
However, the ejection is done by sprinkling the nutrient solution directly over the plants. This organic cultivation system isn’t brand new for us. If you are keen on gardening, you’ve done this for sure.
Initially, the drip system wasn’t considered as a part of hydroponics. It was first practiced as an outdoor gardening process by the Israelites. Due to its water-efficient concept, the drip system was recognized as a part of the system.
How To Build The Hydroponic Drip System?
The article is all about how to build a hydroponic drip system. Every crafty work needs a systematic approach. In this case, you’ll need to take precautions to ensure the smooth operation of the system.
After you’ve assembled the kit, have a look at the hydroponic setup diagram. Complicated, isn’t it? To make it simpler, I’ve dissected the entire process into phases.
1. Preparing The 5 Gal Containers
First, let’s start by preparing the 5 Gal for the process. You’ll have to start by drilling the base of the container. Wait, for there is a physics involved in the process.
Don’t drill at the center of the base. On doing this, the center of mass may make way for the growing medium to escape. Therefore, I recommend you to drill near the periphery.
Remember to drill by keeping the thickness of the through-holes into account. I insist you to install a socket to restrict leakage. After installing the socket, place the through holes(bulkhead fittings)
Now, your container has become leakage-free. Place a filter furnace inside the container in such that it covers the mouth of the bulkhead fittings. Doing it will prevent the sand particles from entering the bulkhead fittings.
The next task is to place the growing medium in the container. After putting the furnace filter, lay down a layer of rocks. However, it is important to select rocks of proper size, as it shouldn’t be too large.
Clean and sanitize the rocks before laying it down. Then, add the growing medium layer-wise. Keeping coconut coir at the bottom, lay the lighter materials at the top. Keep the vermiculite at the topmost layer.
So, your hydroponic drip bucket system is ready. Do the same with the remaining three buckets.
2. The Tubing Phase
The tubing system is better known as the “Circulatory system” for the drip design. Drill another hole at the upper periphery of the bucket. It will be a portal that will allow the watering tubes to enter the container.
Keeping the diameter of the tube into account, drill the holes. Then, attach two vinyl tubes at the corresponding ends of the “T” connector. Fitting the remaining mouth with a watering tube, make the connections tight.
You can wrap a spring or paperclip around the connections of the “T” connector to make it tighter. A tight connection will prevent leakage and wastage of the nutrients. Now, it’s time to complete the drainage tubing phase.
At the bottom of the container, fix the watering tube on the mouth of the through-holes. Doing this will complete the tubing process. Do the same with the remaining containers.
3. Preparing The Reservoir
Now, this stage needs precision and accuracy. Prepare the solution by inspecting the stages of the plant. However, the watering process also comes under the nutrient preparation stage.
I have learned that the moisture-holding capacity is determined by the texture of the growing medium. Many organize a different schedule for the watering process separately.
You can mix the nutrient solution with water and circulated them at regular intervals. To follow this process, you must know the ratio of concentration. Change this ratio as the plant grows thought-out its life.
At the sapling stage, don’t make the solution too concentrated. Fill half of the reservoir with water. The volume will be around 10 gallons or 45 liters.
After filling half, add 4-6 liters of nutrient solution to the reservoir. Make sure to clean the reservoir before filling up with the solution. Also, ensure proper coverage of the reservoir to protect from foreign particles.
Don’t forget to install the submersible pump inside the solution. Install the pump before making the solution. It will save you from the mess.
4. Setting The Timer And Connections
If you have a quite busy schedule, install a timer. It will circulate the nutrients at regular intervals.
You can use a 20W heavy timer for my hydroponic drip system for tomatoes. Don’t opt for other lower capacity timers, as they will malfunction in no time.
Wrap the timer in plastic so that it won’t get damaged by rain. However, if you have an indoor system, follow this too. Check your connections and make them tight. Hence, you acquired the information on how to build a hydroponic drip system.
Things You Need For Building The System
Every crafty work needs a proper range of tools and equipment. Without the necessary selection, it’s impractical to continue. After immense research. Here are the mandatory items required for building a home hydro system. So, these are some hydroponic drip system parts that will direct on how to build a hydroponic drip system.
1. Four 5 Gal Buckets
There must a medium to root the plants. For such purposes, a 5 Gal will serve you the best. I recommend you buy BLUMAT Water Reservoir from Amazon. These plastic buckets will be an ideal choice for this task. Since it is non-biodegradable, it will serve you for years.
Here, I insist you buy four 5 Gal buckets for a wider selection of plants. It will be a total mess if you grow different plants in the same bucket. To make the system more flexible, have 4 buckets in advance.
2. Bulkhead Fittings (Search For ‘Through Holes’)
Bulkhead fittings, or through holes play a significant role in the dripping system. These tools are used in the filtration process to drain out the fluid.
You may wonder about its contribution to the dripping system. Well, for beginners, it’s genuine to get confused.
Through-holes are installed at the bottom of the 5 Gal buckets to drain excessive moisture content. You can buy fittings of 5/8 inches for the drip system. The thicker the fittings are, the better they perform.
3. A Black Vinyl Tubing, And A Blue Vinyl Tubing
Did you forgot about the supply process? Well, you must not. For the supply of the nutrient solution, tubes come in play. A poor-quality tube might invite problems for you.
A torn tube will lead your hard-made nutrients to waste. Therefore, I suggest you any quality tube made from vinyl. In this scenario, you’ll need a black, and a blue vinyl tube. These tubes will serve for filling and draining purposes.
4. One Submersible Fountain Pump Or Motor
The submersible pump is the heart of the system. A good-quality pump will increase the durability of your system for years. However, you don’t have to purchase the most powerful pump in the market.
I recommended you buy the pump that has an embedded filter. The Active Aqua Submersible Water Pump from amazon is best example of it. An inbuilt filter prevents the debris from entering the machine.
A reliable pump won’t cost more than $40. You can purchase it from online sites, or directly from the market. It is one of the most important elements of the hydroponic drip system kit.
5. 15-30 Gallon Reservoir Storage
To store your nutrient solution, a reliable storage system is a must-have. I recommend a PVC container that has a volume of 15-30 gallons. The PVC material is non-biodegradable and lasts for years. you can buy Tuff Stuff Products KMT101 Oval Tank from Amazon which has a 40-gallon capacity.
A low-quality container might end up fracturing after a couple of months. All nutrient solution might go to waste. Well, you definitely don’t want that to happen. So, purchase by inspecting the trademark of the product.
6. Hydroponic Growing Medium To Hold Moisture For The Roots
The traditional farming practice is limited to soil as the growing medium. However, for a hydroponic system, you’ll need some extra ingredients. You can’t just rely on soil to bear the plant and moisture weight in the container.
There are several hydroponic growing mediums available. I prefer Rockwool, coconut coir, vermiculite and perlite. These ingredients serve as an ideal choice for the growing medium.
I am a big fan of organic clay pebbles. You can buy something like Organic Expanded Clay Pebbles Grow Media from CZ garden supply. And if you like Rockwool, get Rockwool Starter Plugs from Amazon.
7. A Low-Cost Furnace Filter
Now, don’t assume the furnace filter to be some heavy machinery. It is just a template that will assist in draining the excess moisture. You’ll never want debris to enter your solution.
The unfiltered moisture drainage will contaminate your nutrient solution. In turn, the contaminated solution will enter the pump, and damage it. Therefore, to keep the circulation smooth, a furnace filter is a necessity.
8. Some “T” Connectors
For four containers, you’ll need a good network system. There is only one pump, and the solution has to be distributed evenly to all the containers.
“T” connectors are specifically manufactured to solve such networking issues. Make sure that you purchase by inspecting the quality. A plastic connector is more preferable over the metal ones.
Since the nutrient solution has chemically concentrated, it may react with metals to form oxides. Keeping that into account, I recommend a plastic “T” connector.
9. Two Cans Of Low-Cost White Spray Paint
In any type of farming, sunlight plays the most significant role. Similarly, in the drip system, you’ll have to take proper care of sunlight. To ensure maximum luminous intensity, paint the four 5 Gal buckets in white.
Unlike other colors, white reflects the maximum amount of light. I recommend you to purchase a spray can that will save time and energy in painting. Don’t buy the costliest quality, as a cheap one would work the same.
10. Hydroponic Nutrients
The main ingredient of the entire process is the hydroponic nutrients. Without the proper selection, your crops might not grow to their full potential. The nutrient package comes in two forms: dry mixture and liquid.
I have used the liquid nutrients successfully and insist on you the same. Just get the General Hydroponics Flora Grow combo kit from Amazon. It is the best hydroponic nutrient at present. As it will be good to blend in water homogeneously, you needn’t worry. Also, there are specific nutrients for a specific plant. Check these before purchasing.
11. pH Test Kit
pH stands for ‘positive hydronium.’ It determines the acidity of any material. Testing the pH of the nutrient solutions is very important. There are many digital pH meters available, but it would increase your budget.
The best and simplest way to measure pH is by pH testing drops. It will be easily available at the chemical store nearby. Besides, digital instruments might show false-readings and incorrect indications.
12. pH Regulators
To maintain the pH level is also your responsibility. An incorrect pH may adversely affect your plants. Similar to the nutrients, the pH regulators come in mixed and liquid forms.
I prefer the liquid regulators, as they maintain the homogeneity of the solution. I recommend you get the General Hydroponics HGC722080 pH Control Kit from Amazon. Besides, adding drops is easier than adding pinches of the mixture. Doing this will be more precise.
After a decade, the hydroponic drip system will be in trend. However, it is practiced only in some parts of the world. Since the population is growing rapidly, we’ll need an alternative process.
Being innovative, the drip system is less time-consuming. Also, it is fit to fulfill the everlasting demands of the masses on a small-scale. The time is approaching when everyone will have a deep system of their own.