Easy, cheap, DIY wicking cups

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This year I’ve transplanted most of my sprouts from the AeroGarden Bounty and my DIY system, into Styrofoam wicking cups. These are super easy and quick to make. They are nice intermediate vessels for the plants until being moved to their final location. These setups also provide more flexibility than standard double cups do. For instance, you could remove them from the bottom cup and set in something larger for the plant/s to drink from.

Watch my video below to see how I make them.

Items that are shown or mentioned in the video:

– 20-ounce styrofoam cups ( You can also pick these up in the grocery store or places like WalMart) – https://amzn.to/2Cz2O1m
– Microfiber clothes – https://amzn.to/2WkSLUO
– HLG-100 grow light – https://amzn.to/2HVsCbv
– 48″ x 48″ x 80″ grow tent – https://amzn.to/2U5MxuJ
– Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2TuOi05
– Perlite – https://amzn.to/2uocFm7
– Dyna-Grp 7-9-5 – https://amzn.to/2uqDeH4

How to treat aphids using pyrethrin mixed from concentrate

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Aphids on plant
Aphids on plant

Pyrethrin is my preferred method of aphid control, especially with severe infestations. I use the Bonide brand of pyrethrin concentrate. It’s important to mix it fresh when you need it, as the pyrethrin breaks down relatively quickly after mixing.

Video

Wick system comparison update

Wick system comparison
Wick system comparison

Update

This is an update on my two White Devil’s Tails each growing in a different type of wicking system. One is in an EarthBox style self watering container, when the potting mix is the wick. It is a 5 gallon bucket within a bucket. The bottom one contains the reservoir. The second one is one five gallon bucket with a 6 inch net pot bucket lid containing the plant and a wick that hangs down into the bucket. The overflow hole is set about 1 – 1/12 inches below the bottom of the net pot. You can see the original video where I set this up here.

Video

How to setup a drip system

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Drip system plants

Introduction

I started out with a Drip Depot irrigation kit that was closest to what I needed, and added what I thought I might need as far as extra tubing, connectors, etc… I chose to do two main rows that support pairs every 36 inches. I suggest sketching out what you think might work best for your area, given the space and number of plants and go from there.  I recommend taping over the ends of any exposed tubing until it is ready to connect. This will help prevent dirt from getting in the line, which could clog the emitters.

Parts Needed

  • Timer
  • Back flow preventer/vacuum breaker
  • filter
  • Pressure reducer
  • tubing, connectors and emitters

My main line is 1/2 inch tubing, connected with perma-loc fittings, and 1/4 inch tubing connects that to the drip emitters, which feed and water the plant. The connections between the 1/4 inch and 1/4 inch lines are made with barbed 1/4 inch fittings.

I am trying a fert injector for the first time this year, but they are not necessary to get started. If you don’t use one, you’ll need some kind of slow release fertilizer mixed into your potting medium. This way, every time they are watered, they are fed too. Previously I have used 14-14-14 Osmocote. This year I am feeding Dyna-Gro 7-9-5 using the fert injector.

Process

Starting at the spigot, I recommend a Y-valve with individual shut-offs so that you can attach and use a watering hose independently of your drip system.

I recommend using a timer to turn the water on and off each day. This would be the first part to connect to the spigot, or Y-adapter. After that you need a filter, following by a pressure reducer/regulator. The 1/2 inch line connects to the pressure reducer. I use a perma-loc fitting for this.  I branched my main line off into two lines using a t-fitting and and elbow fitting, both perma-loc.

To keep the 1/4″ attachments consistent, I found the side of the 1/2″ tubing where there is printing and orientated that to the top. I rolled out the amount of tubing I needed for each line. I used perma-loc ends to terminate the 1/2″ lines.

I measured points every 36 inches and placed a piece of masking tape at each one. Using a 1/4 inch punch tool,  I made a hole at each 36″ interval and installed a 1/4″ barbed tee.

On each side of the tee, I added a 24″ piece of 1/4″ tubing, at the end of which I added another 1/4″ barbed tee. From that end I added two 12″ pieces of 1/4″ tubing and installed a drip emitter on each one.  This design provides two drip emitters per plant. It gives better coverage, and some redundancy in case one gets clogged. It is easier to pre-assemble the parts that will connect to the initial 1/4″ barbed tee.

Conclusion

Once all of the connections are made you can turn on the system and make sure there are no leaks, and the drip emitters are functioning properly.

Video

Part 1

Part 2

Video Transcript

 

Part 1

0:00:00.000,0:00:02.260
Hi this is Peter Stanley, welcome to my channel

0:00:02.260,0:00:03.960
today I want to talk about drip irrigation

0:00:03.960,0:00:06.460
and the components of a basic drip system

0:00:06.460,0:00:10.880
and then I want to give you some tips and strategy for designing your own

0:00:12.000,0:00:13.360
and lastly I’ll show

0:00:13.360,0:00:14.880
my drip system as an example

0:00:14.880,0:00:16.700
at the very basic level you need

0:00:16.840,0:00:18.040
your water source

0:00:18.320,0:00:19.440
usually a spigot

0:00:19.440,0:00:19.960
or something

0:00:19.960,0:00:21.480
and then attached to that

0:00:21.800,0:00:23.400
optionally a timer, but

0:00:23.400,0:00:24.500
I recommended it

0:00:24.500,0:00:25.840
this automates your system

0:00:26.640,0:00:28.240
which is the whole point

0:00:28.240,0:00:31.400
after that you would have a, it’s very important to have a back flow preventer

0:00:32.060,0:00:33.260
or vaccum breaker

0:00:37.020,0:00:37.820
and a filter

0:00:37.820,0:00:41.660
keeps stuff from getting into your drip lines, clogging them up

0:00:41.880,0:00:44.120
and after that a pressure reducer

0:00:44.120,0:00:45.120
pressure regulator

0:00:45.460,0:00:48.020
this keeps from hammering your system

0:00:48.020,0:00:49.160
and then you would have a

0:00:49.860,0:00:50.740
mainline and

0:00:50.740,0:00:53.140
usually some kind of connector to connect

0:00:53.140,0:00:55.340
the two, I use the perma-loc fittings

0:00:56.760,0:00:58.200
doesn’t have to be but

0:00:58.200,0:01:01.320
and then your main line it’s typically a 1/2″ line

0:01:02.260,0:01:04.740
connect and then go out to your plants

0:01:04.940,0:01:07.180
and then end would be a terminator

0:01:07.180,0:01:08.760
it could be like another perma-loc fitting

0:01:08.760,0:01:10.760
and to connect your main line to your plants

0:01:11.620,0:01:14.020
typically you would use 1/4″ tubing

0:01:14.480,0:01:15.920
you could do one or two

0:01:16.200,0:01:17.880
and attached to the end of

0:01:18.660,0:01:20.740
the 1/4″ line are drip emitters

0:01:20.740,0:01:22.980
and that’s what waters your plant

0:01:22.980,0:01:24.360
so like if you had a container

0:01:24.460,0:01:27.580
plant, this could stake down next to your plant

0:01:29.140,0:01:29.940
and water it

0:01:29.940,0:01:31.400
and typically the emitters

0:01:31.420,0:01:32.780
are different rates

0:01:32.780,0:01:34.380
different kinds really

0:01:34.460,0:01:35.820
pressure sensitive

0:01:35.820,0:01:37.700
emitters are typically 1/2 gallon

0:01:38.920,0:01:39.480
per hour

0:01:39.680,0:01:40.400
or 1 gallon

0:01:41.380,0:01:41.940
per hour

0:01:43.660,0:01:44.780
2 gallon per hour

0:01:44.780,0:01:46.180
I use the 1/2 gallon per hour

0:01:46.180,0:01:49.200
you could use the faster rate, you would just run them for less time

0:01:49.900,0:01:51.020
to connect to the

0:01:52.940,0:01:54.060
1/2″ to 1/4″ line

0:01:54.060,0:01:55.700
I use the barbed connectors

0:01:55.700,0:01:57.600
and if you just wanted to do a single connector

0:01:57.600,0:01:59.800
you would just use like a straight

0:02:00.020,0:02:01.460
and this will give you

0:02:01.460,0:02:03.360
zoomed in look at the main line

0:02:04.160,0:02:05.440
and also would use a

0:02:05.440,0:02:07.100
a tool to punch a hole in the main line

0:02:07.100,0:02:08.360
and then your connector

0:02:09.240,0:02:11.160
one end would go into the hole

0:02:11.160,0:02:13.460
and the other end would attach to your 1/4″ line

0:02:14.080,0:02:15.840
you could do a, I use the tee

0:02:15.940,0:02:16.740
connectors

0:02:16.740,0:02:17.980
and that allows you to run

0:02:17.980,0:02:20.800
two lines and it kind of gives you a way to do pairs

0:02:23.500,0:02:25.260
so with that you would have

0:02:25.900,0:02:27.660
they kind of look like that

0:02:27.660,0:02:29.380
so the bottom would attach here

0:02:30.660,0:02:31.300
each line

0:02:31.560,0:02:33.960
each end would connect to a 1/4″ line

0:02:34.940,0:02:35.980
and what I do now

0:02:37.100,0:02:38.300
is actually on the

0:02:38.300,0:02:40.260
end instead of one emitter I do two

0:02:40.260,0:02:42.440
so I’d add an additional tee connector there

0:02:43.880,0:02:46.600
smaller 1/4″ lines and then two emitters

0:02:47.460,0:02:49.540
gives a little better coverage

0:02:49.540,0:02:51.600
and it adds some redundancy as well

0:02:52.360,0:02:53.800
so things to consider

0:02:53.800,0:02:55.320
when you’re designing your own

0:02:55.840,0:02:57.120
your growing space

0:02:59.620,0:03:00.980
the number of plants

0:03:04.700,0:03:05.660
type of plants

0:03:08.360,0:03:09.480
spacing which is

0:03:09.760,0:03:11.280
determined by the type

0:03:11.280,0:03:13.860
how much room to give between your plants

0:03:14.640,0:03:15.680
and your budget

0:03:16.200,0:03:18.520
so taking that into consideration

0:03:18.600,0:03:22.040
I would first sketch out your system first, on paper

0:03:24.180,0:03:26.500
and then price out all of your parts

0:03:27.160,0:03:28.440
like amount of 1/2″

0:03:28.660,0:03:30.020
tubing, 1/4″ tubing

0:03:30.300,0:03:31.100
connectors

0:03:31.300,0:03:32.500
emitters, etc…

0:03:32.500,0:03:33.880
then I would look for a

0:03:33.880,0:03:35.860
comparable drip irrigation kit

0:03:35.860,0:03:40.500
and compare to see if you save money, you’ll probably save a lot of money

0:03:40.700,0:03:41.420
doing that

0:03:41.420,0:03:43.060
and it’ll give you what you need to get started

0:03:43.320,0:03:46.360
I use Drip Depot so I’m using them as an example

0:03:46.360,0:03:48.080
and I’m an affiliate of theirs so

0:03:48.080,0:03:50.740
if you purchase through my link I’ll earn some money

0:03:50.740,0:03:52.220
but I’ve been using them for a long time

0:03:52.220,0:03:53.140
they’re really good

0:03:53.140,0:03:54.100
and they have a

0:03:54.100,0:03:56.660
kits for any kind of drip system that you might need

0:03:56.660,0:03:58.140
so that’s what I started with

0:03:58.140,0:04:00.480
what you would do is find a kit that would

0:04:00.480,0:04:02.240
approximates closely to what you’re trying to

0:04:02.560,0:04:03.060
do and

0:04:03.060,0:04:05.360
and maybe just a little more than what you need or

0:04:05.360,0:04:06.520
just under, and if it’s just under

0:04:06.520,0:04:08.840
you could add what you need to complete it

0:04:09.020,0:04:10.220
so now I’m going to

0:04:10.220,0:04:12.740
take you outside and show you my drip system

0:04:12.780,0:04:14.460
and how it works, and I’ll

0:04:15.180,0:04:17.580
show you how to install the emitters

0:04:17.580,0:04:18.600
and the connectors

0:04:18.960,0:04:21.760
that connect the 1/4″ line to the 1/2″ line

0:04:22.280,0:04:22.840
and also

0:04:23.040,0:04:24.080
before I do that

0:04:24.080,0:04:26.540
I want to show you, this is optional but

0:04:26.880,0:04:27.680
I use one now

0:04:27.680,0:04:29.300
how a fert injector works

0:04:29.300,0:04:31.100
cause I’ll show that as well

0:04:31.100,0:04:33.280
so this is your main line coming in

0:04:33.940,0:04:35.220
your fert injector

0:04:35.220,0:04:36.880
I use a diaphragm pump type

0:04:38.520,0:04:40.440
a lot of them are piston based

0:04:40.440,0:04:42.880
so they’re basically inline with your

0:04:43.000,0:04:43.500
system

0:04:44.100,0:04:45.380
so you would come in

0:04:46.280,0:04:47.400
in come out there

0:04:50.940,0:04:52.060
and at the bottom

0:04:52.940,0:04:54.300
the actual injector

0:04:55.100,0:04:56.620
attaches to a feed line

0:04:56.960,0:05:00.880
that drops into your reservoir of concentrated nutrients

0:05:02.900,0:05:04.100
so it pulls that up

0:05:04.700,0:05:06.620
injects that into the stream

0:05:06.620,0:05:08.200
and this goes out to your

0:05:08.200,0:05:09.640
the rest of your drip system

0:05:09.640,0:05:12.000
that way it feeds your plants every time you water

0:05:12.000,0:05:14.020
if you don’t use a fert injector

0:05:14.340,0:05:15.700
what I did before was

0:05:15.700,0:05:17.240
mix slow release fertilizer

0:05:17.240,0:05:18.180
into the potting mix

0:05:18.180,0:05:20.080
so every time I watered I was feeding my plants

0:05:20.140,0:05:21.500
so let’s go ahead and

0:05:21.500,0:05:24.420
look at my system and I’ll show you how that looks

Part 2

0:00:01.280,0:00:02.400
ok, this is where

0:00:03.180,0:00:05.500
it starts, this is the water source

0:00:05.700,0:00:06.660
and this is the

0:00:06.660,0:00:08.900
the little y adapter I was telling you about

0:00:10.300,0:00:10.940
and timer

0:00:11.000,0:00:13.000
I’m actually replacing this,

0:00:13.000,0:00:14.920
this one’s proved more than once to be unreliable

0:00:15.200,0:00:17.920
and I ordered a new one, a different brand

0:00:17.920,0:00:20.360
I’ve heard others complain about these too, these Orbit timers

0:00:21.000,0:00:21.500
so

0:00:21.500,0:00:23.100
I’m going to replace this

0:00:23.820,0:00:24.320
but

0:00:24.320,0:00:25.540
it’s what I’ve got on there now

0:00:25.540,0:00:27.360
this is the back flow preventer

0:00:28.600,0:00:29.100
filter

0:00:29.780,0:00:31.220
and pressure reducer

0:00:32.000,0:00:33.760
this is a perma loc fitting

0:00:33.980,0:00:35.180
that connects the

0:00:36.280,0:00:38.760
pressure reducer to the 1/2 inch line

0:00:39.880,0:00:41.400
and I’ve got this going

0:00:43.820,0:00:44.320
to

0:00:44.320,0:00:45.760
this bypass assembly

0:00:45.820,0:00:46.940
in my drip system

0:00:49.080,0:00:49.580
this

0:00:50.080,0:00:53.280
bypass assembly came with a pressure regulator

0:00:53.680,0:00:54.720
another filter

0:00:55.200,0:00:56.800
and you can see where you

0:00:56.800,0:00:58.020
could turn these off

0:00:59.420,0:01:01.340
and change to route the water

0:01:01.340,0:01:03.000
to bypass this if you need to

0:01:03.600,0:01:04.480
but for now it

0:01:04.480,0:01:05.740
comes up through here

0:01:06.040,0:01:07.880
goes into the fert injector

0:01:09.140,0:01:10.500
this is the feed tube

0:01:11.060,0:01:12.260
from my reservoir

0:01:12.760,0:01:14.040
pulls nutrients up

0:01:14.440,0:01:16.360
injects that into the stream

0:01:16.920,0:01:19.160
this is another perma loc fitting

0:01:19.220,0:01:21.220
connected to my half inch line

0:01:23.740,0:01:24.620
and that goes

0:01:25.460,0:01:26.100
over here

0:01:29.500,0:01:30.700
this is a perma loc

0:01:31.540,0:01:32.340
tee fitting

0:01:32.820,0:01:34.260
so that’s my first row

0:01:35.180,0:01:38.220
then I’ve got another line that goes over here

0:01:41.260,0:01:42.540
to a perma loc elbow

0:01:43.280,0:01:44.800
and that’s my other row

0:01:47.080,0:01:48.840
and you can see how I’ve got

0:01:49.360,0:01:51.120
my 1/4 inch lines attached

0:01:53.220,0:01:54.660
that’s the barbed tee

0:01:56.060,0:01:56.780
and this is

0:01:58.760,0:01:59.320
one line

0:01:59.320,0:02:00.980
connected to another barbed tee

0:02:01.640,0:02:04.120
and to that I’ve got two smaller lines

0:02:05.380,0:02:06.980
each going to an emitter

0:02:10.260,0:02:11.780
see the other one there

0:02:15.400,0:02:16.120
oh and this

0:02:17.180,0:02:20.860
is just a shut off valve, just another perma loc fitting

0:02:21.280,0:02:23.760
so when I was setting this up I just did

0:02:23.760,0:02:26.420
I didn’t do both rows at the same time, this allowed me to

0:02:27.040,0:02:28.000
turn water off

0:02:28.760,0:02:30.920
until I was ready to hook these up

0:02:30.920,0:02:32.720
good to have these if you need them

0:02:39.020,0:02:41.420
so I’ve got room on the end of my lines

0:02:41.940,0:02:43.140
to do one more pair

0:02:45.780,0:02:47.460
this is a terminating cap

0:02:47.460,0:02:48.360
another perma loc fitting

0:02:49.420,0:02:52.860
so what I’m going to do is get my stuff and I’m going to

0:02:52.860,0:02:54.840
install basically one one these

0:02:57.140,0:02:57.700
on there

0:02:57.880,0:02:58.920
and show you how

0:02:59.780,0:03:01.300
exactly how that looks

0:03:03.240,0:03:03.740
this is

0:03:03.960,0:03:05.320
1/4 inch poly tubing

0:03:07.280,0:03:07.780
and

0:03:10.180,0:03:11.940
these are my drip emitters

0:03:14.260,0:03:15.700
poly tubing actually

0:03:17.080,0:03:17.640
connect

0:03:19.000,0:03:20.680
and water comes out there

0:03:21.320,0:03:25.240
these are the barbed tee connectors I was telling you about

0:03:25.580,0:03:28.460
this one goes into the mainline and then the

0:03:28.460,0:03:30.560
poly tubing connects on the other side

0:03:31.480,0:03:32.280
I recommend

0:03:32.280,0:03:33.300
wearing gloves

0:03:33.300,0:03:34.680
cause you’ll really hurt your fingers

0:03:35.920,0:03:37.440
and this is a punch tool

0:03:39.400,0:03:40.760
punches a hole in the

0:03:41.580,0:03:42.220
main line

0:03:42.440,0:03:44.280
so the barbed connector can

0:03:45.000,0:03:45.880
connect to it

0:03:45.880,0:03:46.840
another thing

0:03:46.840,0:03:48.700
recommend is a little tubing cutter

0:03:48.700,0:03:50.000
makes it so much easier

0:03:50.160,0:03:52.640
really works with the 1/4 inch tubing

0:03:53.180,0:03:55.020
I like to keep a piece of tape

0:03:55.020,0:03:55.960
covering this

0:03:55.960,0:03:57.320
so no dirt gets up in there

0:03:57.320,0:03:58.720
till I’m ready to use it

0:03:59.240,0:04:00.280
and also I have a

0:04:00.480,0:04:01.360
tape measure

0:04:01.520,0:04:03.680
so I’m first going to measure out

0:04:04.340,0:04:05.540
two 24 inch pieces

0:04:05.820,0:04:07.340
and four 12 inch pieces

0:04:07.480,0:04:08.520
and will give me

0:04:08.520,0:04:10.000
enough to hook up this end

0:04:10.000,0:04:11.160
and I’ll have to do this all over again

0:04:11.220,0:04:12.340
on the other side

0:04:12.340,0:04:14.600
so I’ll go ahead and do that I’ll be right back

0:04:21.220,0:04:23.060
see that makes it a lot easir

0:04:23.060,0:04:25.520
it’s actually easier to do this type of stuff in

0:04:25.820,0:04:26.540
inside and

0:04:26.540,0:04:28.060
and just do a whole bunch of them at once

0:04:28.500,0:04:30.180
another thing, just a tip

0:04:30.180,0:04:31.800
when you’re laying out main line

0:04:32.060,0:04:34.460
it’s good to keep the printed side up

0:04:34.620,0:04:35.340
and that way

0:04:35.340,0:04:38.160
you can kind of use that as a guide to kind of put your holes

0:04:38.160,0:04:39.380
that way you know that all

0:04:39.380,0:04:40.980
kind of along the same side

0:04:40.980,0:04:43.940
here’s my little punch tool, this a really cheap one

0:04:45.340,0:04:45.900
it works

0:04:45.900,0:04:48.340
pretty much put it right here on the end

0:05:07.740,0:05:08.240
that

0:05:13.120,0:05:14.080
that just pops

0:05:14.080,0:05:15.200
right down in there

0:05:16.200,0:05:17.800
you kind of here it click

0:05:20.120,0:05:21.080
rotate around

0:05:22.520,0:05:23.320
and I’ve got

0:05:23.320,0:05:25.060
here’s one of my 24 inch lines

0:05:27.260,0:05:28.220
just take that

0:05:34.860,0:05:35.980
see how that just

0:05:35.980,0:05:36.960
pushes on like that

0:05:39.940,0:05:41.860
same thing with the other one

0:05:54.720,0:05:55.840
okay that’s good

0:05:57.320,0:05:58.520
so I need to put the

0:05:58.940,0:05:59.900
tee on each end

0:06:01.460,0:06:05.940
yeah, this is actually way easier to do inside, it’ll hurt your back

0:06:06.000,0:06:07.520
bending over like this

0:06:08.180,0:06:08.680
but

0:06:11.320,0:06:12.840
that just fits in there

0:06:24.180,0:06:24.980
and I’ve got

0:06:27.320,0:06:28.680
little 12 inch lines

0:06:30.440,0:06:32.840
again this is just how I’m doing mine

0:06:33.700,0:06:36.020
you could do just one line per plant

0:06:53.780,0:06:54.820
so there’s that

0:06:55.160,0:06:57.480
and then I just put the drip emitter

0:07:16.460,0:07:17.500
and that’s that

0:07:19.880,0:07:20.920
and I’m going to

0:07:20.920,0:07:22.680
put some tape on the ends of these so

0:07:22.680,0:07:23.800
they don’t get dirt in them and

0:07:23.800,0:07:25.060
get the other one done

0:07:25.060,0:07:25.960
and them I’m going to get my

0:07:26.260,0:07:28.100
bag filled up and ready to go

0:07:28.780,0:07:30.380
and it’ll look just like

0:07:32.820,0:07:33.540
like these

0:07:33.540,0:07:34.500
when they’re installed

0:07:36.500,0:07:37.620
see how that goes

0:07:37.780,0:07:39.620
yeah when I get it installed

0:07:40.080,0:07:41.920
I’ll turn the drip system on

0:07:41.960,0:07:43.080
let you see how it

0:07:43.080,0:07:44.160
sounds and looks

0:07:44.160,0:07:46.200
but let me get these others done and i’ll

0:07:46.560,0:07:47.440
be right back

0:07:47.440,0:07:49.620
ok I’m going to turn this on manually

0:07:49.620,0:07:51.340
just to show how the emitters work

0:08:01.440,0:08:03.600
[click]…[click]…[click]

0:08:03.600,0:08:04.780
so it just opened the

0:08:04.980,0:08:07.460
valve to allow the water to go through

0:08:09.300,0:08:10.980
the clicking sound is the

0:08:11.180,0:08:12.140
fert injector

0:08:12.620,0:08:14.220
this is a diaphragm pump

0:08:14.660,0:08:15.300
so that’s

0:08:15.500,0:08:17.660
the injector pumping nutrients

0:08:18.460,0:08:18.960
into

0:08:19.580,0:08:20.300
the stream

0:08:21.720,0:08:23.160
so we can take a look at

0:08:37.140,0:08:40.660
sometimes these don’t look like they’re working but

0:08:41.580,0:08:43.340
they’re actually working

0:08:44.360,0:08:46.760
they’re just kinda running down the

0:08:47.120,0:08:47.620
stake

0:08:52.980,0:08:54.260
and this should run

0:08:54.320,0:08:55.280
for 15 minutes

0:08:55.680,0:08:56.960
but yesterday I was

0:08:57.780,0:08:58.580
using it and

0:08:58.580,0:08:59.640
it didn’t turn off

0:08:59.640,0:09:00.700
and two hours later

0:09:00.700,0:09:02.840
I realized this was still running

0:09:02.840,0:09:04.000
that’s why I’m replacing it

0:09:05.280,0:09:06.800
it was really wasteful

0:09:12.220,0:09:14.300
these are some Sugar Rush Peach

0:09:20.920,0:09:22.760
these are the plants that we

0:09:24.320,0:09:25.360
just installed

0:09:34.640,0:09:35.760
Yellow Dystopia

0:09:37.560,0:09:38.760
and this is a Mayan

0:09:39.340,0:09:41.420
it’s got a little bit of sunburn

0:09:43.120,0:09:44.320
but the new growth

0:09:46.300,0:09:47.020
looks fine

0:09:50.920,0:09:51.420
anyway

0:09:52.980,0:09:55.140
thank you very much for watching

0:09:55.640,0:09:57.480
hope you found that helpful

0:09:58.660,0:09:59.160
and

0:10:00.240,0:10:02.640
Please like, comment and subscribe

0:10:02.640,0:10:03.280
and share

0:10:03.800,0:10:04.300
thanks

 

How to save on AeroGarden sponges

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support my site and YouTube channel.

You can cut your costs in half for AeroGarden sponges by buying the 60 cell size Bio Dome refill sponges from Park Seed.  You can buy the Park Seed sponges directly from Park Seed of course, but Amazon also sells them. The Amazon price is usually a little higher, but the shipping costs at Park Seed might offset the difference. Sometimes they offer free shipping, or other specials. I’m not an affiliate of Park Seed, but you can sign up for their newsletter learn of specials they have. The AeroGarden sponges can be found at the AeroGarden website and Amazon.  All things considered, the biodome sponges are roughly about half the cost, and work just as well. Honestly I like using them better.

There are some slight differences. The AeroGarden type are round and denser. The Park Seed version’s sides are squared off, and less dense/more spongy. They are about the same length.

The biodome sponges fit in the white AeroGarden baskets just fine. You might have to pull it down from the bottom to snug it in. The biodome sponges also seem to work better in the AeroGarden seed starting decks.  Once they become wet, they expand and fill the hole better than the AeroGarden sponges.

Video

Wick Systems Comparison

Which system is better?

Introduction

The other day I showed a wick system design using a 5 gallon bucket, and wick attached to a 6 inch net pot. To test the effectiveness I need a control setup to compare against. For this I’ll use a 5 gallon self-watering container. This is a known and tested design used by many growers. It is essentially another version of wick system, but the potting mix is part of the wicking mechanism.

Control System

The control system is made from two 5 gallon buckets, one nested in the other. The internal one has 1/4″ holes drilled in the bottom to form an aeration screen, and a 3 inch hole in the center for a three inch net pot. Potting mix is filled down into the net pot and the rest of the internal bucket which contains the plant. The bottom bucket has a 1/4″ overflow hole that is placed 1/2 – 3/4 inch below the bottom of the internal bucket to prevent nutrient solution from touching the bottom. This is a proven design similar to commercial Earth box systems.

Comparison

The principles of both designs are the same, just the method of wicking are different. I will setup the traditionally wick system with another White Devil’s Tail, which is the same age as the one in the other system. Both will be fed the same hydroponic nutrients. Both with receive the same amount and type of lighting. They will initially be inside under a 400 watt CMH light, and will go outside later.

Conclusion

If the new version works the same or better, I will use it for future self-watering setups. The advantages are having a much larger reservoir, and requiring less potting medium. Also only one bucket is needed instead of two. Overall the net pot wick system would be less expensive to setup than the traditional self-watering container.

Video

How to Make a Micro Self-Watering Wick System from Styrofoam Cups

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support my site and YouTube channel.

Styrofoam Wick System

Styrofoam Wick System inside bottom

Introduction

This is a very small scale version of other self-watering wick systems similar to Earth Boxes. This tiny very I will describe uses the exact same principles as the EarthBox, and can be easily scaled up. It is very easy and inexpensive to make. You can use mostly (or entirely if you get creative) recycled materials. The system in my example here is ideal for plants ranging from spouts or seedlings up to small plants that will fit in a 20 ounce cup (for this example). The plant and supporting medium (potting mix, coco fiber, etc…) will sit at top of the cup inside a 3 inch net pot. A strip of wicking material will touch the supporting medium and affix to the bottom of the net pot. It will hang down and wick nutrient solution up from the bottom to the plant. The plant will draw water/nutrients as it needs. Once it is setup, the grower will need to fill the reservoir as needed.

Materials Needed

  • 2 x 20oz Styrofoam cups
  • 1 x 3 inch net pot
  • Potting mix (or similar) enough to fill the net pot and upper part of the Styrofoam cup
  • A 1/4″ – 1/2″ wide strip of wicking cloth a little less than the length of one of the cups. Strips of microfiber cloth worth really well. Just test a piece first by holding the end in some water and see if it wicks up to the top.
  • Knife
  • Nutrient solution – Mix to a strength appropriate for the plant. To start with, use something no stronger that what the plant was in previously.

Steps

  1. Cut the inside bottom out of one of the Styrofoam cups.
  2. Tie one end of the wick cloth to the bottom of the net pot, making sure some of the cloth is exposed to the inside of the net pot.
  3. Push the net pot down into the top of the cup that you cut the bottom out of.
  4. Determine the distance from the bottom of the net pot and bottom of the Styrofoam cup that it is in. Then add to it the offset between the bottom of the two cups when one is placed inside the other.
  5. Make a mark of the combined lengths on the outside cup (one that doesn’t have the bottom cut out) from the bottom. Then make a mark below that about 1/2″. This second line (lowest one) is your max fill line. This will allow an air gap between the bottom of the net pot and the top of the nutrient solution. If the nutrient solution is too high and touches the net pot, the plant will drown.
  6. Transplant your seedling or small plant into the top of the inside cup and make sure to water it in.
  7. Fill the bottom cup with nutrient solution up to the max fill line determined above.
  8. Place the cup that contains the plant and wick into the cup that has the nutrient solution, making sure the wick hangs down into the solution.
  9. Place the plant under a grow light.

Follow-up

Periodically lift the inside cup out and check the nutrient level, adding more as needed. As the plant grows it will consume at a faster rate, so you’ll need to check and fill more frequently. You could optionally place the inside cup or cups into a tray and fill up to the max fill line. You’ll just need to make a few small holes in the bottom of the plant cup up to the fill line so that nutrient solution that’s in the tray can enter. If you use this method you won’t need the bottom cup.

Alternatives

As soon in my video, you can use other materials to craft small self-watering wick systems.  One example is a large 32 ounce cup with holes make in the lower portion and wick attached. This is placed in a 20 ounce up, and it leaves plenty of room for nutrients. Another example is a plastic ocean spray bottle cut in half with holes drilled in the nozzle end and in the cap. Wick is tied through the cap and this is inverted into the lower part of the bottle. The point is you can be creative and use what you already have if you don’t have the exact materials mentioned above. All of these examples make excellent and effective wicking systems.

Video:

How to Clone Peppers Using the AeroGarden – Easy and Reliable Method

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This is at no extra cost to you and helps support my site and YouTube channel.

Introduction

This method of cloning peppers (and most other plants) is very easy, cheap and effective. It requires no special rooting hormone.

Materials needed

  • Sharp snips or razor blade for cutting stem and leaves (disinfected)
  • Scissors for cutting the sponge material
  • Nutrient solution – If using the AeroGarden nutrients, use the strength you would for everything else. If mixing your own, use a little less than full strength. If unsure, do a trial run first, before committing all of your cuttings. Information on mixing your own nutrients can be found here.
  • Net cup/pot/basket – If using the AeroGarden just use a white basket like the ones that seed kit pods have. You can buy just the baskets from AeroGrow or Amazon.
  • Sponge material – For AeroGarden, this can be the peat based kind that come with seed pot kits, or something similar like the Park Seed Biodome sponges. This is what I use. Rock wool should work fine as well. For non-AeroGarden or Kratky just use something that will fit the net pot/cup/basket. You can use the AeroGarden baskets and sponges too if you want. Again, that’s what I use.
  • Container – For non-AeroGarden or Kratky use any food safe container that will hold water. The top needs to have a hole that can fit the plant basket. The AeroGarden baskets fit really well in containers that have 1.5 inch openings.
  • AeroGarden (although you can improvise applying the same principles). I use the following in my video:

Steps

Prepare sponge material and container

  1. Cut the sponge material lengthwise down the center (not all the way through) so that it can be opened up and folded around the stem.
  2. Make sure the AeroGarden or Kratky vessel contain nutrient solution. For the Kratky method the solution will need to touch the bottom of the sponge material by 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The solution will wick to the top via capillary action. For AeroGarden just fill to the max level you normally would use.

Prepare cutting

  1. This seems to work best with a relatively young, tender side shoot (sucker). The bottom will need to be just under a node at a 45 degree angle. Initially cut a little ways below that.
  2. Cut off the first few leaves from the bottom. Cut any larger leaves off or in half. Make sure there are no buds or blooms present. Cut at a 45 degree angle just below the bottom node.
  3. Spread the sponge material apart with one hand and lay the bottom part of the cutting inside. Close the sponge, folding around the stem.
  4. Place sponge in the basket/cup/pot and put in the growing system.

Follow-up

Within a few weeks start checking for roots. Just lift it out and look for any roots coming out of the sponge material. Once you see this you’ll know the cloning has been successful.

After the roots have grown some you can leave it in there, or transplant it to something else.

Video of my process: