Recovery Drip Systems for Hydroponics
In reality, there are several methods for using hydroponics, including wicking beds, floating platforms, flood-and-drain systems, drip systems, and other various titles that likely mean little to those who aren’t gardening hacks. Suffice it to say, hydroponics is a well-established form of agriculture, something humans have been practicing since Ancient Egypt. However, we obviously have new technology that has made things work a little differently.
Probably the most popular hydroponic system for small-scale home gardens is the recovery drip system. This system is designed to improve the efficiency of agricultural irrigation by offering up the plants a constant flow of water and nutrients then sending the unused solution back through the system. Many drip designs are set up so that water is gravity-fed through a collection of pipes that with a slight slope such that they drain into the pipe below them. When the nutrient solution reaches the bottom of the system, a pump sends the water back up to the top, and the process is repeated.
These systems and others like them are very easy to make at home, and they are available as kits if total DIY is not in the cards. For independent cultivators, it’s important not to use PVC pipe, but rather food-grade plastic piping, when cultivating edibles in them because PVC can leach unwanted chemicals into the solution. Nevertheless, this can be a fun, interesting, and productive project to increase food production at home.