Flood and Drain System: Fastest method to grow your plants

Flood and Drain System: Fastest method to grow your plants
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Flood and drain system (Ebb and Flow) System) is a hydroponic method which has gained fame due to its fast growing capacity. If you are looking for a system that would allow your plants to grow fast, this is the one to opt for.

This system creates a faster growth cycle and cuts the requirement of time spent on developing nutrient water. For these reasons, flood and drain is considered one of the best planting procedures. 

How does Flood and Drain System work:

  • You allow your plants to rest on the grow tray or in containers.
  • Flow and drain hydroponic system operates by flooding the nutrient solution from a nutrient reservoir.
  • The reservoir’s submersible pump is fitted with a timer. The pump fills the grow tray or containers with water and nutrients as the timer begins.
  • When the timer ends, the water is steadily drained from the grow tray or containers back into the reservoir.
  • Plantation tray or containers are fitted with an overflow tube to ensure that floods do not reach above a certain level and destroy the plate’s stalks and fruits. It also ensures that water is not getting spill from the grow tray.
  • The plants drink the nutrient solution from their root systems when the developing bed is submerged.
  • The moment you switch off the pump, the water gets drained.
  • The roots dry out as the water ebbs and the rising bed empties.
  • In the interval prior to the next flood, the dry roots then oxygenate.

Types Of Flood and Drain System

There are commonly two different types of flood and drain system. Flood and drain table system and the flood and drain bucket system.

The flood and drain table system

The flood and drain table system is a famous one. The plant is placed on a flat table surface and a drainage system it created in the middle of the table through which the water gets pumped up to reach the plants. Once you turn the pump off, the water gets drained through the same passage. It is simple and effective for fast growing plants. This system gives you the freedom of using any growing media you want. You can use coco coir or clay balls as the media.

Flood and drain bucket system

Flood and drain bucket system is similar to the table flood and drain system. The plants are flooded with nutrient water all day long. The major difference between the two systems is that in the bucket system, you plant the seed in different pots. To supply the nutrient water, you would have to attach tubes to the pots and then attach the tubes to the bucket or the reservoir. The greatest advantage of the system is the freedom of growth. You can add pots to the system whenever you want. It also gives you the freedom to place your plants in light as they require. The bucket system has the potential to grow within a few weeks.

How to setup Flood and Drain System

Basic Requirements for Flood and Drain System

Basic Requirements for Flood and Drain Table SystemBelow are the basic requirements for setting up flood and drain table system

  • A container or grow tray to grow plants
  • Growing medium of of your choice
  • Stand or some arrangement for placing the grow tray or container
  • Reservoir for the nutrient solution.
  • A digital timer to turn the pump on and off.
  • Submersible water pump.
  • Tubes
  • An overflow tube set

How to Setup Flood and Drain System

Setup for Flood and Drain Table System – Below are the steps to setup flood and drain table system

  • Place the grow tray or container on some stand
  • Make proper arrangements in the grow tray or container for connecting flood pipe and overflow pipes. Diameter or drainage rate for the overflow pipe should be more that the flood pipe.
  • Place the reservoir below the grow tray
  • Place the submersible water pump in the reservoir.
  • Connect the flood pipe to the water pump.
  • Connect the water pump with the digital timer to turn the pump on and off.
  • Connect the overflow pipe to the reservoir
  • Place the plants in pots directly in the grow tray.
  • Use well drainage growing media in the pots to place the plants

The idea of the system is to dip the roots into nutrient water for nourishment. Once the draining process begins, the stale air around the plant gets cleared away. You would have to increase the flood time as your plants begin to grow. This is the most versatile method to opt for. It does not matter what type of gardener you are – you would find a flood and drain suiting your requirements.

Fast growth is the key reason for which people opt for flood and drain over any other method. Because flood and drain leads to plant root oxygenation, it increases the health of the plants. Your plant would grow healthy and strong if you opt for flood and drain. It is also easy to customize and versatile.

Key Points  to Remember in Flood and Drain System:

  1. You need to set up the flood cycle properly for the flood and drain system to work.
  2. It is important to use the right growing media. Because you would have to flood the plants multiple times throughout the day, it is advisable to use pebble clay as media. It would help the plants to grow fast. However, if you don’t have clay pebble, you can coco coir as well. 

Advantages of Flood and Drain System

Cost effective: The flood and drain system can be set up with the things already present at home or which are commonly available. It does not require much knowledge about the technicality.

Versatility: This method can be employed to grow a variety of plants ranging from leafy vegetables to fruits and vegetables. The apparatus can be customized according to the plant grown and the care and maintenance is low.

Disadvantages of Flood and Drain System:

Prone to diseases: The media should be taken care properly or can be prone to rot and other disease causing pathogens.The system should be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis to prevent clogs and the growth of algae. 

Dependent on external support: This system requires electricity to work. The lack of electricity or a non functional pump can be harmful and can cause the death of the plants.

Read more about Hydroponics

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