(Updated Friday, February 14, 2003 )
(Sweet bell pepper)
In our simple drip-recovery system, we have five leach trays all sloped toward a common return pipe. As the name suggests, nutrient is dripped into the medium supporting the plant, then recovered into the nutrient supply reservoir to be used again. The trays sit atop plastic 55-gallon barrels filled with water. This heat mass helps keep the temperature up during the night...
We can fill these leach trays with a variety of media, but have chosen rockwool slabs for our first attempt at vine crops. The 3" x 6" x 36" Grodan slabs fit perfectly. However, you could easily fill the leach trays with other things as well, such as sand, gravel, or Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA.)
The recovery system is very simple. We have suspended a piece of 2" PVC pipe at the rear of the system. To each leach tray, we've fitted a 1" 90º PVC elbow and short piece of pipe. With a hole saw, we cut the 2" return pipe at the proper interval to accept these 1" pipes...
The strings you see hanging down will eventually support our vine crops. They are suspended from cables in the ceiling. These particular devices are called Reel-Enz and are available from many greenhouse suppliers.
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