Overhead, automatic water system for mounted orchids

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SusieH
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Overhead, automatic water system for mounted orchids

Post by SusieH » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:01 am

Here is a simple overhead watering system that we have in our plant room. It uses a five-gallon bucket (RO Water and/or fertilizer), a pump, and 1/4-inch tubing with emitters. I bought a Misting System from Dripworks, http://www.dripworks.com for $25, and some extra supplies for about $6, a digital timer ($10), plus the pump (a friend generously donated this item but estimated cost is $100).

You can see from the photos that the 1/4 inch tubing runs from the pump that is submerged in the water, up about 4 feet and across a four-foot wide area. There are five Vari-Mister emitters that have adjustable spray nozzles. They are attached with a short line that is connected to the main line using tee attachments. This system could also be connected to a sink faucet or a regular hose, using some additional attachments, but I wanted to use RO water. This is enough water to last for about five days if I am away from home. The timer comes on in the morning and allows the pump to run for 5 minutes. You can direct the nozzles/emitters to evenly distribute the water over the wall (it's about 4 x 4 feet). The plants are hanging on a white plastic grid (the kind used as a baffle for fluorescent light fixtures), and behind that is a sheet of mylar used for showers. The water flows into a large black "boot tray" underneath (Gardener's Supply). The watering system in the hot summer weather comes on again in the afternoon for one minute. You can put different kinds of emitters on this system. I used what's called the Vari-Mister, which has a knob to adjust the amount and spread of the water stream.

The pump is the tricky part. I first put my bucket of water on the floor and so the pump had to send the water about seven feet upward which for the size of the pump (45 watts/ .8 amps), was just too much. So, I elevated the bucket about 3 feet and the pump works fine. Greater vertical distance requires a more powerful and thus more expensive pump.

It took a little time to get everything adjusted, but it's been well worth the effort.
Susie
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cjmack
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Re: Overhead, automatic water system for mounted orchids

Post by cjmack » Fri May 10, 2013 7:34 pm

Great job Susie!
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