Grow Q&A: Drip Emitter Systems

Dear Dan, I’ve heard of people growing using individual lines to feed their plants drop by drop of water all day. Is this effective? Furthermore, how would I go about setting something like that up for myself? Thanks! – Drippy

Dear Drippy,
You’re referring to the hydroponic growing method called the Drip Emitter System (DES). Tubing connected to each plant draws your liquid nutrient solution from a reservoir to each plant in your room. Drip emitters are the ends that sit at plant level that control how much water the roots receive.

First, you need enough tubing to reach all of your plants. Drip systems are quite versatile, and you can customize them to fit almost any space or amount of plants. Cut the tubing in the lengths you need and secure the dripper on the end. Then firmly press the emitter into the top of your growing medium. Attach the reservoir end into your underwater pump and set the timer to drip when needed (typically about 10 minutes every two to three hours during the “daytime” hours. You will need to decrease or increase feedings based on your plants’ sizes and nutritional needs.

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