The Hydroponics Ebb and Flow System
In the beginning was the Bucket (inspired by the Bato/Dutch Bucket System). And into this Bucket is placed a hole (yes, there’s a hole in the bucket dear reader, about three inches from the bottom). And into this hole is placed a spigot made of PVC fittings (PVC pipe with an elbow pipe on each end).
A water reservoir sits below the bucket, fashioned using a black plastic storage crate into which two openings are cut – one for water to be pumped out and drained back into the reservoir, the other hole for maintenance (adding water, nutrients, checking EC/PH levels). This creates a loop water circulation system. A small but robust water pump is placed in the reservoir to do the pumping.
Just add drainage PVC pipes to catch water draining from each bucket spigot.
The buckets are to be placed on a platform slightly higher than the reservoir. The long drainage pipe is aligned on this platform under each spigot. 1/2″ irrigation hoses are fitted into the water pump on one end, and runs along the top and into each bucket with the support of the black irrigation fittings.
Add nutrient water into the reservoir. Turn on the water pump and the water from the reservoir will pump into the buckets. The buckets fill with water while at the same time drains back into the reservoir via the spigot/drainage pipe set-up. The water can only drain out to the level of the spigot – meaning there will remain three inches of water in each bucket starting right below the level of the spigot creating a wicking system which supplies nutrients to the roots between watering cycles..
A timer is connected to the water pump and set to shut on and off every few hours to create an ebb and flow (flood and drain) system.
The beauty of this ebb and flow system is that plants flourish when
1 – The right nutrients are mixed into the water reservoir
2 – The plants are placed in the bucket with the proper growing medium to provide structural support and
3 – The irrigation hose is placed near the growing roots of the plants to provide nutrition.
Use indoors, outdoors, in greenhouses, as well as on patio decks… even use them as a blueprint to create your own ebb and flow system.
Design an amazing hydroponic gardening experience.