Drip hydroponic systems are one of the most commonly used methods of soilless gardening, for home and commercial growers. Drip systems are simple, relatively inexpensive and effective. In a drip hydroponic system, nutrients are pumped from the nutrient reservoir through a network of small tubes that drip the nutrient solution onto the base of each plant. The nutrient solution seeps through the growing medium to the roots of the plant, just like rainwater seeps through soil to the roots of a plant grown in a dirt garden.
Prepare the Flood Tray
Set your table or workbench in the grow room. Make sure there is an outlet nearby or use an extension cord. Set out your materials on the table, and store the 10-gallon nutrient reservoir under or next to the table.
Use the hole saw to drill a 35mm hole in the bottom of the flood tray.
Install the ebb and flow drain fitting in the 35mm hole, making sure the barbed end is outside the tray.
Cut a 4-foot segment of 1/2-inch black tubing. Use the drill to create evenly spaced holes throughout the tubing, approximately where your plants will be placed in the flood tray.
Insert 1/4-inch barbed couplers in each hole in the 1/2-inch tubing.
Cut the 1/4-inch tubing into uniform lengths, 1 to 2 feet per plant. Attach 1 tubing segment to each barbed coupler. Attach an angle or basket dripper to each segment of 1/4-inch tubing.
Attach the barbed elbow joint to one end of the 1/2-inch tubing. Clamp the other end of the tubing in a "Z" fold and secure with a zip tie.
Place the pump in the 10-gallon bin and attach it to the elbow joint using the remaining 1/2-inch tubing.
Fill the nutrient reservoir with water, and turn on the pump to test the system. When you are satisfied that there are no leaks, drain the water and fill the reservoir with nutrient solution.
Place your plants in the flood tray, and position the drip tubes near the base of each plant.