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-   -   Indoor watering system. Input needed! (http://www.orchidboard.com/community/growing-under-lights/105280-indoor-watering-system-input.html)

Johndeaux22 11-20-2020 03:59 PM

Indoor watering system. Input needed!
**I think this is the appropriate forum, however, if not, will a moderator please move it to the right one?**

I currently have my orchids in my garden seed starting chamber, and am hand watering as appropriate. I am also setting up a much larger, cannabis type, grow tent in my shop to more permanently house my entire collection in the winter, and the more delicate/difficult species year round. I have lighting, heating, cooling etc. figured out (though will, Iím sure, need some tweaking to achieve optimum conditions). I would like to automate watering, and am hoping that some of the more experienced growers might chime in. I am keeping a variety of species, both potted and mounted. Iíve divided them into two groups 1. Likes lots of moisture (water every 1-2 days), and 2. Likes to dry a bit (water every 7-10 days). Getting running water to my shop would be prohibitively expensive, so anything I put together will have to involve a reservoir(s) that are periodically replenished, and pumps.

I am picturing two separate systems with two sets of equipment (timers, pumps, lines, emitters etc. ). I have a fair amount of experience setting up and maintaining utility fed outdoor irrigation systems of all kinds. Am I just setting up a low pressure drip system with an appropriately sized pump, a reservoir and spray nozzles, or am I going in the wrong direction here? Do I just get two mist king kits and call it a day, or should I put together a custom system? Iím fine with either, cost is definitely a consideration, but reliability is definitely the most important....I would like to only have to buy this stuff once, and if it costs a bit more to get that, then Iím willing to pony up to do it.

Any input is appreciated!

My Green Pets 11-20-2020 10:08 PM

I'm thinking the same thing as you John. I have a 3 x 5 foot grow tent and I water it multiple times a day. It would be nice to have an automated setup.

What I am thinking right now is a mistking system with 4 mist heads, each in the middle of a cuadrant of the tent, and a few feet above the plants, to hopefully hit everything with every spray.

I am thinking that there might be 'dry spots' so I might just move my plants around accordingly so the water lovers definitely get soaked every time. There will be lots of adjusting but once it's fine-tuned, it should work great!

I have a friend with an 8 x 4 grow tent and he has 25 mist heads in there. Apparently it works great and he only spot-waters a couple times per week.

Please post whatever you decide to do!

Orchidtinkerer 11-21-2020 12:20 AM

Hi JohnDoe,
I was going to post how I grow my orchids but it can all be found online already. I don't do anything new so anything I do can be found online. I copied my method from MissOrchidGirl but you need to dig for it because although it is great she posts all her secrets she also posts all her failures and experiments and she has probably tried it all by now.

I'm still not sure why she hasn't converted more of her orchids but she has like over 300 so you have to have picked up a few secrets to save time on watering every week. I know I spend far less time than she does watering with everything she has taught me by now, as most of hers are still potted in traditional bark.
Maybe she is still evaluating which method is best.
It can all be found on youtube if you look hard enough. Most my orchids including my vanda's get watered every 2 weeks now

Ray 11-21-2020 08:28 AM

Before I moved, I had a 3' x 6' orchid incubator/nursing home set up in my basement. The bottom was an ebb & flow hydroponics table with a valved drain.

It was watered with a Mist-King system with 6 nozzles, which ran for 2 minutes in the early morning and a few seconds later in the day to boost humidity.

The potted plants sat on a false bottom, and the excess water and drainage was trapped and directed to a 5-gallon bucket for dumping.

Instead of two separate systems, I suggest you consider changing how they are potted: Plants that need constant moisture can be grown in a mix that holds water well. Others can be mounted, grown in baskets or highly-perforated pots, or just in a much coarser, less-water-retentive mix so that the water evaporates faster.

estaciůn seca 11-21-2020 01:22 PM

MistKing is very reliable.

I have heard several commercial grower speakers at our society say they use multiple different potting mixes for different plants in different size containers, to allow them to minimize labor and water costs by watering only once a week. For example Alan Koch said he uses 7 different mixes, including a lot of plants in pure sphagnum moss.

Johndeaux22 11-21-2020 06:54 PM

Thank you for the ideas! Iím now leaning more towards adjusting media to suit watering habits. The biggest thing for me is automating the system, so I think a Mist King system with the bigger pump (to allow for future expansion) may be the best way to go....everything arrives in one box, with no ďtreasure huntĒ needed to put the system together.

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