Learn how to build a recirculating drip system for a grow closet or grow tent. My video will show you how. Easy and cheap DIY hydroponics project!
Growing in small spaces can be a challenge but you can still get great yields if you do it right. Here is a picture of my recirculating top feed drip system inside one of my grow closets.
This is a long narrow closet that measures 2 x 8 feet. The actual grow area is about 6 feet with a foot on either side for fans and other equipment. My recirculating drip system uses totes so it can be scaled up or down for any size space.
Recirculating Drip System Video Tutorial
I want to show you a scrog grow that uses top feed drip. It is in my other grow closet but it is the same setup and you will be able to see how good the growth is with a hydro system like this.
I had been using flood and drain in this closet. It works very well. But I can not flood high enough to wet the whole pot. I noticed because the top of the pot is dry the roots are mostly in the bottom half of the pot. So to me I am wasting space or I need to use shorter pots. But I dont want to do this.
If I am going to use a 2 and 1/2 gallon pot for a large SCROG plant I want the roots to fill all the pot not just the bottom half. Here is a link to my top feed drip SCROG. The results of top vs bottom feed made me change my system in both grow closets
Growing With Hydroponics
I have a really helpful article with a bunch of information on growing with hydroponics further down in this post. There are a lot of advantages to growing this way. It is faster so your plants could easily be done a week sooner. If done right you can expect a yield increase too.
If you use trellis netting or want to SCROG or run a SOG hand watering really is not practical. Sure it can be done but it can be a big PITA. Watering everything evenly is probably the bigger problem.
This MAC 1 was grown in a SCROG using a recirculating hydroponic system.
If you are growing in coco you can get hydroponic results if you water correctly and dont let it dry out. Also watering can be automated and dripper systems work well. But generally coco does not play nice with recirculating systems.
So you will be using a lot more nutrients than you have to. If you run the often recommended drain to waste system with coco you are polluting the environment every time you feed and also being wasteful.
To get the most benefit from a hydroponic system you need to use an inert media like hydroton or Grow Stones(now Buddy Stone) or rockwool.
Rockwool works really well for some growers but it is pricey and you cant reuse it like stones. I find it holds a lot more water than hydroton or stones and that makes it easy to over water. I prefer grow stones because they hold a bit more water than hydroton but not near as much as rockwool.
They are very forgiving of newbie mistakes. I really think you could water them 24/7 but I wouldn’t.
Also in hydroponics some things commonly used in soil or coco should not go into your nutrient reservoir because they can clog drip emitters. But my recirculating drip system does not use emitters so this is less of a problem.
What you really need to be concerned about is many organics can cause unwanted bacterial growth in your reservoir. So it is best to use hydroponic nutrients that are designed for recirculating systems.
The article below will list what you need to build my drip system and give you good advice on what nutrients to use with it and also how to manage your reservoir.