From Vertical To Horizontal
Going from vertical to horizontal is something that can happen when something dies. Well, my recent vertical grower turned out to be a nightmare. First, the expandable aluminum duct tube continued to expand. Everyday, the tube would grow downward into the nutrient tank from gravity. By the same tokin, the top would shrink trying to re-compress. The only thing intresting about that project was how well the foam rubber hair curler plugs kept the plants alive.
So, Today, I set up a horizontal slopeing trough and will be putting my spinach plants in it.
The trough was constructed using a PVC shade panel split down the center to form two 13 inch by 8 foot strips. These were overlapped as necessary to make an 11 foot strip. The strips were screwed to two 12 foot 2x4s. A 10 inch piece of 2x4 was screwed to each end to form an 8 inch wide by 6 inch deep trough 11 foot long. One end was set on a post 36 inches high while the other end was set to 30 inches high using simple cross arms that can be adjusted to chance the slope. 3 bags of pea gravel filled the trough pretty well. 1/4 inch screen was used at the low end to keep debrise from going into the nutrient tank which sits at the low end. A small 400 gph pond pump sends the nutrients back up the the high end to repeat the cycle. I'm hopeing for better results than I had with the aluminum tube. I have pictures of the construction which is about 95% complete. I am using a 22 gallon tote box for the nutrient tank. I washed the gravel this evening and tomorrow, I should be able to get the plants into the system. The aim of this system is to model a system for disabled folks who have a hard time stooping or bending over. It can be adjusted to where a person in a wheel chair could work on the garden with their legs under the trough. I am going to use a 1/2 inch pvc pipe connected to the pump output that is capped on the end. I am then going to drill holes along the length of the pipe that will lay on the surface in the trough. I am going to try to drill as few holes as possible in order to balance the output to the speed of the nutrient drain rate from the low end of the trough back into the tank. That way, the pump should be able to run continously avoiding the necessity of a timed sequence. chuck
Here is a link that might be useful: click on ELEVATED TROUGH system