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I use a drip system in my terrarium. I hooked up some tubing to a submerged pump that runs on a digital timer.

I use anywhere from one drip of 4 liters an hour to several 8 liters an hour, depending on pot size.

I also let the drip fall on yhe leaves, to mimic rainfall.

3 times a day for 3 minutes each.

Keeps the soil nice and damp.

Mind you, this is no replacement for misting, but an addition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got this little lot to supplement my misting system for my greenhouse. 50m of tubing plus 60 individual drippers with 'T' joints and fixing spikes.

 

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I'll be connecting this via a sprinkler system timer so that it drips water into every pot with an adult nepenthes plant. I have no idea how much each plant needs, but each dripper nozzle is adjustable so I should, with some trial and error, be able to keep each pot moist without soaking them

 

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First thing I did was cut the tube so that I had a tube that would go from a supply pipe running along the eaves of the greenhouse to each pot. These are the short ones, I cut them using modeling cutters, but a craft knife or good scissors would also do the trick. The tube is quite rubbery and pliant

 

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I will be using my trusty cable ties to keep this all in place, they have the advantage of being able to be put in to hold the tube, without having to tighten them straight away. Once I'm happy I can pull them tight to hold everything secure.

 

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The drip nozzles are an easy push fit onto the ends of the tube

 

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The drip nozzles are very simple, and are threaded which allows adjustment of the rate of drip, or can be fully closed

 

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The T pieces are harder to push onto the tube - but I developed a strategy to deal with that, more later

 

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Here's a finished spur - one down, twenty five to go

 

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It's important to have the right tools at hand while tackling these tasks

 

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Getting the tube to sit right on the T pieces is tricky - the two on the left didn't want to play ball

 

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this is how they should be

 

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After a lot of work and some very sore fingers later, this is where I got to

 

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So the trick to getting the tube on the T pieces correctly is to use a cup of very hot water. You only need to put 8 to 10mm of the tube in the water, and it pays to heat up the T piece as well so that it doesn't cool the tube too quickly.

 

If you heat up more than 8 - 10mm of the tube, it all folds up and wrinkles as you try to push it onto the T piece

 

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Using pliers to hold the T piece, you can then push the tube on, and if it is warm and you are lucky it will go all the way over. If it doesn't, then you can try the next trick

 

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You can immerse the T piece and 8 to 10mm of the tube into the water again, then quickly remove it and it will normally go on fine

 

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There is a bit of a knack to it, but after doing so many of the bloody things I learnt it.....

 

So here is the first half of the system with short (about 150mm) bits of tube linking the T pieces. I used the same hot water trick to join everything. At the left you see a T piece that will connect the supply inlet pipe to the system, plus the outlet that goes to the other side of the greenhouse

 

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And this is the other side, waiting to be connected to the first

 

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Remember that the last spur joins on the end of the last T piece, so there are two spurs off the end - otherwise you will have to find a way to blank off the open end of the tube

 

I still have to fit it to the greenhouse, which I will start doing shortly, I will keep you posted on how I get on.

 

Hopefully this will give me a better watering system, with no dry or over watered areas

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The water supply line has to go through the polycarbonate greenhouse 'glass', but as this would leave a sharp edge, the use of these grommits will stop the sharp edge cutting through the tubing

 

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As you can see the tube fits neatly through

 

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Drilling the hole in the polycarbonate was not difficult, but you have to be careful to make sure that you don't damage anything else or leave a nasty edge. You can see the white electrical cable for the heater, and the beige high pressure water supply for the misting heads

 

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With grommit in place, we can move on inside to get the tubing all connected up

 

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It was a bit warm in the greenhouse though, great for the plants but not so good for someone doing some physical labour.

 

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The inlet tube is fed through to where the supply tube will connect

 

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The hot water method is used to join the bits together

 

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The grommit does a good job of sealing and protecting the tube

 

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It's always important to reiterate that the right tools will always make the job easier

 

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The connection to the hose adaptor on the outside of the greenhouse is a push fit, assisted by a cup of hot water

 

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The inlet pipe and system are provisionally held with loosely closed cable ties. You need to be able to get everything in place before pulling everything tight. Cable ties give you the chance to play around with it all and since they are cheap you can use them as temporary holders while you sort out your definitive solution. You can tell I like them!

 

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The beige pipes and brass nozzles are the misting system, which works really well. I used saddle clamps screwed to the greenhouse structure for those, but for the drip system I can piggy back off what is there already, so I can just tie one to the other

 

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At the top the crossover pipe is attached the same way, although this is as I was trying to put it all in

 

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The important thing to remember is that with the heat and humidity, keeping hydrated is of maximum importance

 

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You can see it all starting to come together here, the spur line to the pot is obvious

 

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After this, it's a question of keeping it neat, trying to tuck it in where it's not so obtrusive

 

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Each spur and nozzle is held in the pot by a spike (poor picture, sorry)

 

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Here's how the nozzle sits

 

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All that's left is to clip off the tails of the tie wraps, you can see how many were needed for this simple job

 

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So, it works, but needs some tuning to make it perfect. Tomorrow, when my hands don't hurt so much and I am not so tired, I'll get it all working just how it should

Edited by lesthegringo
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Another update on this. The drip nozzles are the variable type, but unfortunately in this case it means variable quality. Don't get me wrong, they are not bad, especially for the price you pay for them. However for our purposes we need to have a slow drip, which means that they are virtually closed off.

They have a click stop thread that holds the cap at a certain point once you have rotated it to get your desired flow. The problem is that we want the nozzle just open, so due to the production tolerances, some are fine, but others either close off completely on one click stop, or flow too much on the next.

They would be just fine for larger pots, but I want a slow, constant drip of maybe one drip every 15 seconds. I can use a tap to restrict the flow to get that but it only works if you can set all the nozzles the same, which these don't allow. The other issue was that some of the nozzles wouldn't seal fully onto the tube, which gave two sources of dripping water.

The solution was to buy some Pope nozzles, which are more expensive (but still cheap - less than 15 quid for 50) and appear to be better quality and more uniform in quality. If nothing else, they are easier on the fingers than the cheapies, with a finer click stop and are less stiff to adjust. They have a threaded attachment, so should be easy to fit, but I will have to make sure I cut the tube square at the end.

With any luck, an hour or so of playing around with the settings should have this correctly metering the water.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Playing around with this has shown that the water supply pressure and flow rate has to be reasonable, otherwise the metering of the drip nozzles is a bit hit and miss. By upping the flow rate (by what's technically known as opening the tap more!) it makes more reliable drip rates easier to achieve.

However the down side is that overall drip rate increases, so I have connected it to a tap timer that allows to drip to happen three times a say for ten minutes, more than enough to keep the pots damp. It does have one undesirable side effect, which is to make heavy dripping onto whatever is growing below.if that is another adult plant in a pot, no problem, but the seedling trays are a lot mre sensitive, as the drops can uproot the seedlings. I will have to make someone to direct the drips safely. Will post what I come up with

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was interested to know why the original drip nozzles were not so reliable. I took a number of them apart and checked them out, and essentially it is just cheap moulding practices that make them so. Most are very easily recoverable by using a sharp craft knife or scalpel to remove the very prominent moulding flashes both on the body and the cap, plus if you scrape away the little ridge left by the mould split line on the tail that connects to the tube you can prevent the slight leak that can happen there. It take a minute to do each nozzle, and while I would say one in 10 can't be fixed, the majority of the can be made to work as well as the more expensive ones.

 

Also, when you set the system up, if you inadvertently put a heavy paving slab down without realising that the water supply tube is underneath, you may have trouble with the whole system. Ask me how I know that.....

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Ask me how I know that.....

Go on, how do you know that!!

Also, you said

It's always important to reiterate that the right tools will always make the job easier

Can I just clarify, does it have to be Peroni, or will any other type do? Got to get the important details right!

Guys, having just erected a new greenhouse, is anyone interested in seeing how to rig up a misting system? I also have to put the drip system in, but that will just be the same as written above

Les

I'd be interested. You've really got me curious with this thread. Keep the info coming!
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