You’ll need a submergible water pump that can give out about 1000L/H per square meter of grow, which is about 16 plants. With this pump you can rest assured that you won’t be pumping too much water per minute, so there’s no need to worry about accidentally over-watering your plants. The minimum amount of time you can program is one minute, and make sure that in that minute no more than half a liter is being pumped out. You need to clean your water pump for every new grow to make sure that it keeps working perfectly – if you wait too long to clean it, it might get all blocked up and break due to the salts used in the water. Make sure to buy a quality pump, and not the first one that you see, as your entire grow will depend on this pump working properly.
If you want this to be more efficient, then you should grow in coco coir which dries up faster than soil, or in coco coir or rockwool slabs. These kinds of substrates drain the leftover water efficiently, so even if you manage to over-water your plants they should dry up soon enough and your roots won’t rot. This means that you’ll be able to water much more efficiently in this medium. Once your plants are big they can dry out our pots or slabs two or three times a day, needing to be watered more than once but this can easily be controlled with a digital timer.
Automatic watering is as easy as having at least a 2L tank per plant. You can even prepare enough water for a week, so the most you need to use is 1.5L per plant for 7 days – this is perfect as a week is about how long mineral nutrients can last in water without going bad – if you use organic nutrients you might end up blocking the pipes and you’ll also need to mix them every day as they won’t last more than 24h in the water without going bad.
If you’re growing in soil it can be hard to get the timing right, and if you mess it up twice in a row your plants will suffer quite a lot, which is why we recommend using a different kind of substrate with better water drainage if you want to use this automatic system.
This tube is used placed in a straight line between two rows of flowerpots or slabs, and the micro-pipes are used alongside the sides of the main pipe – the main pipe is in the middle and then the plants are to the right and left of the pipe, kind of like a corridor. You’ll need one line of pipe per two rows of plants and then you need to place the micro-pipes – there are various models, some of them just need one hole in the main pipe and have 6 different drip pipe endings, some have 12, and some require one hole in the main pipe per drip pipe. You’ll need to pay close attention to the pipes in case they accidentally end up blocked – if you use Ata Clean in your grow about once a week then you can forget about worrying about blockages in the micro-pipes.
The last thing you need to do is get an air pump with an air stone, which will ensure that the nutrient mixture and the water is in constant movement and oxygenized – your fertilizers won’t end up accumulating on the bottom and will always be available for your plants once the pump turns on.
These are trays that have grooves in them so that you can direct any leftover water to a specific point, where you can then channel it through a pipe to wherever you’d like or simply leave a tank underneath the hole on the tray itself so that the water can fall down into it. These trays are easy to clean once the grow is done and they’re very efficient when it comes to getting rid of water so that there’s never any leftover water sitting at the bottom of your pots and soaking into the soil. They’re also useful in the fact that leftover water from one plant has the opportunity to be absorbed by another plant, which can help avoid all sorts of salt excess in the substrate and whatnot. There are various sizes available to fit your exact needs.
If you decide to use this method, keep in mind that your plants won’t grow the same than if you were to hand water them and mind them one by one – if you have lots and lots of plants, then doing this is probably not in your best interest. You can also do this if you don’t have time to water your plants and you only have a few in your grow tent, but keep in mind that the yield will be a bit lower.
Rockwool or coco coir slabs:
Slabs are growing systems that are similar to hydroponics, where the growing medium is wet and then dried often, so it needs continuous watering, and these substrates hardly retain nutrients so you need to add nutrients in almost every watering. You’ll need to plce five slabs on your flood table, cut an X shape in them and place clones in the hole, from 3 to 5 should fit. Place a drip pipe at each plant and all you need to do is pay attention to when it dries up to know how often you’re going to need to water per day.
Automatic Watering for your Cannabis Grow – Learn how to set up automatic watering for your coco coir or rockwool slabs with this informative article.
Plug in and wait for the results to show. Just don’t forget to include a timer on your plug so that it’s not working 24 hours a day. The ideal scenario will be around 3 times a day for a duration of 6 minutes.
This system still has its disadvantages. It won’t be the easiest method to set up. Having a hose laying around your grow room will make things much easier for the average home grower. The pipes will also have to be cleaned every once in a while to prevent clogging. Algae and mineral build-up might stop the water flow. This could lead to one or more of your plants not getting the water solution it needs. If your system dispenses the water below the soil, you’ll have no way of telling if your plant is not being fed. You’ll only notice a nutrient deficiency days later.
A cannabis grow operation is not as simple and easy as it seems. But with drip irrigation, it could be! With the proper setup, you won’t ever have to think about feeding and watering your plants again.
If you’re looking for the best buds possible from your crop, proper watering practices will go a long way. And in a hydroponic system, your water solution means everything for the growth and health of your plants. There are a ton of options out there. These include methods where a continuous flow of nutrient solution is fed to the root system, and even aeroponic systems with no medium at all, where the plant is watered via a fine mist or humidity in the air.
You’ll first need some kind of bucket or container, mentioned as the last material above. Look for one with a lid. The size of the bucket is what will determine how many plants you can accommodate in your system. You’ll need to fit the net cups, so cut appropriately-sized holes in your bucket’s lid. These will be approximately 10-12cm in diameter. Drill another hole that is big enough to pass the plug of the pump. The last hole you have to drill must have the diameter of the thick tubing attached to the pump.
Now, let’s gather all these materials and assemble them into a functional drip irrigation system.
The last and most overlooked material is the bucket. This is super important because it’s where your excess water will flow into. Your pump will then reuse this water and this is how you’ll be saving money and the environment.
Now that you have everything set up, let’s start the building process.
You’ll obviously need spaghetti tubing to fit into the emitters. These will ensure that the water reaches your plant. These will then be linked to a PVC manifold that serves as a hub for your water distribution. These will vary in size depending on the number of plants. In a large-scale operation, you’ll need not only longer, but thicker PVC tubing. With all of this set up, your next addition will be a water pump. Most pumps out there will do the job just fine, pumping more than 1000 litres of water per hour, which is plenty.
Looking for a simple, cheap, and low-maintenance method to grow your cannabis plants? Drip irrigation might just be what you are looking for!