New Drip Irrigation System for My Hydroponic Vegetable Garden


In a perfect world I wouldn't need an automatic irrigation system. I enjoy working on the garden and that includes manually watering my plants. It allows me to take a short break from life, think, and visually inspect the overall health of the garden. Plus it's exciting to see how much the garden has grown since the previous day every morning.

I was hesitant on selecting the drip irrigation system. Online research indicated that the drip emitters were a headache in terms of clogging and amount of maintenance needed to keep the system in proper working order. I was in need of a solution quick and it seemed like the best option available at the time. So far the system works pretty well and I have committed to deal with the issues as they come.

The first hurdle I had to overcome was how to keep the emitter in the basket. I first tried fastening the emitters to the net pot by zip tie. It worked reasonably well until I needed to do maintenance on individual net pots which required cutting the zip tie. I'm now using paper clips. I'm curious to see how long it will take them to rust. So far it works pretty well and this solution allows me to position the emitter exactly where I want unlike the zip tie. I believe the seedlings are Aunt Mae's Bibb Lettuce. The seedlings sprouted incorrectly but I put them in anyway to see what would happen.

Here we are looking at Aunt Mae's Bibb Lettuce, Salad Bowl Lettuce, Mustard "Myers Family Heirloom", Thai Basil, and Parris Island Romaine.

These are Red Sails Lettuce.

A view of the plumbing.

The reservoir, which holds the nutrient solution, and the return pipe.

The control system. The air pump aerates the reservoir, one timer controllers the water pump, and the other timer controls the lighting systems.

Seattle, WA.