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Hydroponic Vertical Garden

Make first experiences with hydroponic with little effort and low cost.

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For some years now, I have been watching projects from the hydroponics and vertical gardening sector with great interest. Last year it was time to start my own project.

The most important part of this vertical garden is the solar powered pump of esotec. It runs two times a day when it gets lighter in the morning and when it gets darker in the evening. The pump sucks water out of a reservoir, in our case out of a pretty old wine barrel. It shifts water out of 15 drains up to 2m. You can change time of pump from 30 seconds to 12 minutes. A water-level sensor protects the motor for damage by running dry. With  this watering system it is simple to realize an automatic hydroponic garden without using a timer clock.

I used Grodan culture blocks 40mmx40mmx40mm to cultivate the plants. These blocks fits optimally in the smallest rectangle shaped rain pipes I found in then hardware store.

I started with six rain pipes, the printed holder are latched into the wooden planks that covers the wall to our neighbor. You need two holder for 1m rain pipe. If you like to extend the length you need more, I think three three holders are enough for 2m pipes.

The left side of each rainpipe is closed by an end cap that you can buy, there is the inlet tube mounted with a clip.

At the end cap of the right side, a 3D printed part, is the drain to the lower rain pipe integrated. The drain of the lowest rain pipe guides the water back into the reservoir.

After days of producing the necessary parts and mounting the rainpipes I started with seeding different cultivar of picking salads. It was awesome to see the first seed leaves after only three days. Later I put cutting of peppermint in the culture blocks. This project was  a great success and we will scale up the installation when it is getting a little bit warmer.

AbflussV4.stl

end cap and drain

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 209.36 kB - 02/12/2019 at 15:54

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ZulaufV2.stl

clip to mount flexible tube (inlet)

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 40.78 kB - 02/12/2019 at 15:50

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  • 5 × small rain pipe 1m length
  • 1 × 3D Printer to produce end cap,clip and holder

  • Almost finished

    Xo Ne Un04/11/2019 at 17:08 0 comments

    Now, all gutters are mounted on the wall and the main drain pipe is connected. Because this is a thick tube that is normally used for underground water pipeline, it needs support construction so the water flows in right direction. Each gutter is leveled with a slope of 1cm per 1m.

    The drain tube are connected by printed parts and by silicone glue.

    This is the first prototype of pipeline support.

    Meanwhile the lettuce grow, the weatherman says the next night become frosty, hope the plant stay alive.

  • Installation of Expansion

    Xo Ne Un03/24/2019 at 15:20 0 comments

    The six one meter long gutters must be removed first before the longer new can be mounted.

    On the basis of a plan I install all gutters.

    Because four holder are missing, one last short gutter can not installed. It will find his place on the upper left.

    Two short gutters filled with picking lettuce that grew in the last weeks with too little light so they had a long stem.

    The next days I hope that I will find time to install the pump and mount a drain pipe over the total length of five meters.

  • Expansion in progress

    Xo Ne Un03/23/2019 at 17:48 0 comments

    Four gutters are bought including end caps and drain connectors are printed. I am in hurry, the weather gets better and the lettuce plantlets become tall.

    For the next four gutters each is two meters long I need minimum three holders to mount them at the wooden wall cover. So the 3D printer has some busy days :-).

  • Restart 2019

    Xo Ne Un03/03/2019 at 13:26 0 comments

    Now, a much too warm february is over, I started to sow seed of pick lettuce and, what a magic of life, first seedling outgrows only after two days. I hope that, depending on weather situation, I can put them outside after two weeks.

    We plan to expand the installation with four more gutters to the right side each with 2 meters length. Hope that the pump will have enough power to suply all gutters with water.

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