Drip irrigation for 72 pot trays

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richgarrison

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I've finally decided that i need a better alternative for automating watering on my seedling benches while i am travelling. WWWWay too much stress around greenhouse care for every trip i take, and it appears that no longer a once a year thing...

Sooo...
i already have overhead 'misting' on an internet accessible timer. which works great to keep my mounted stuff and open air vandas happy enough. I have components to do drip/spike oriented irrigation on pots that are large enough to warrant it...

what i don't have is a non-overhead scheme for watering those 72 pot seedling flats. of which there are 10 or 12ish on number...

the seedlings want water every day, but could go every 2 days. and the plants are all big enough that it's difficult to see the mix from the top...

So thinking drip tape or something similar...

What are other folks doing in these situations?
 

Ray

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Have you considered a bottom-up strategy, rather than top-down? Picture this:
  • Drill a single (small - TBD) hole in the bottom of a nursery tray.
  • Set your seedling flat in it.
  • Rig a water line so that the tray is completely filled when the valve is open, wetting the medium.
  • When the valve is closed, the water drains from the tray, so there is no risk of drowning the roots.
Your drain hole size and fill rate will need some experimenting to get the right balance, providing sufficient "soak time" without wasting too much water to overflow.
 

richgarrison

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Have you considered a bottom-up strategy, rather than top-down? Picture this:
  • Drill a single (small - TBD) hole in the bottom of a nursery tray.
  • Set your seedling flat in it.
  • Rig a water line so that the tray is completely filled when the valve is open, wetting the medium.
  • When the valve is closed, the water drains from the tray, so there is no risk of drowning the roots.
Your drain hole size and fill rate will need some experimenting to get the right balance, providing sufficient "soak time" without wasting too much water to overflow.
Interesting thought…. An ebflow without recirculation. I like the idea.

I have some overhead stuff setup, but was thinking that drip tape might be a better option for seedlings.

Thanx for both replies..

(The friend thing seems like I’m taking advantage, and paying gets weird with the friends I have available…. And outright paying means finding a reliable set of skills. Not so easy out here in the boonies)
 

spujr

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Hi, the drip tape might not fully saturate the media in the pot.

Personally I like the idea of an overhead sprinkler controlled by internet-accessible timer.

But I do believe either option would work if setup correctly.
 
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