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Hydroponics Gardening, Organic Nutrients and Drip Emitters

Hydroponics drip emitters provide water and nutrients to your plants Hydroponics drip emitters provide water and nutrients to your plants © RosebudMag.com

In the world of hydroponics gardening and hydroponics equipment, one of the most popular, small and important devices is the drip emitter.

Found at the end of a tube at the base of your hydroponics plants, drip emitters are the final delivery device that distributes water directly to your plants roots and whatever they’re growing in.

Or course, drip emitters aren’t found in aeroponics, NFT or hand-watered gardens. Those gardens have different methods for providing water and nutrients to roots.

But in a majority of automated hydroponics gardens, you find drip emitters are an essential piece of hardware. Not very expensive, easy to install, and essential.

As with any hydroponics equipment that’s essential to your garden’s success, there are details you have to pay close attention to.

For example, there are many different types and brands of drip emitters and that’s for a reason: the type of nutrients and root zone material you use, as well as your overall gardening climate and conditions, make a difference in how well emitters will work for you.

In fact, one of the harsh things you find out if you try to grow all-organic using a drip emitter style of hydroponics gardening is that some types of drip emitters clog too easily.

Organic hydroponics nutrients are naturally thicker, and they have rather large particulates. Synthetic hydroponics nutrients, if they’re properly manufactured and processed, are by contrast easy-flowing.

If you use the wrong kind of drip emitter along with organic hydroponics nutrients, you get clogged emitters. If you’re doing daily tending of your garden and have the time to also remove and clean the emitters every day, this might not be a huge problem for you. But if you don’t have the time or opportunity to do the cleansing, you end up with clogged emitters. This reduces or eliminates the flow of water to the affected plant. You know the rest of the story on that one!

To avoid problems with particulates and clogging of drip emitters, there are various tactics. One is to use only the highest quality synthetic or organic fertilizers. Another is to use only reverse osmosis water. Because unfortunately water itself in most locales contains high ppm and/or pre-existing minerals that can clog or foul drip emitters.

People who can’t afford or don’t want to install reverse osmosis systems will attempt to use mesh to filter their source water. This doesn’t work so well.

Hydroponics growers also use specific types of drip emitters to overcome clogging and other problems. For example, if you have a large hydroponics garden with long lines of tubing, you might have pressure gradients in your lines. In this case, you use a pressure-compensating emitter that helps mitigate the effect of pressure drop-off or surges.

Emitters are surprisingly high-tech. Some give you the ability to adjust how many gallons of water per hour could be delivered from the emitter. This helps you micromanage nutrients and water delivery.

It’s important to match your emitters’ water output to your plants’ water needs. The wrong kind of emitters, combined with the wrong kind of pump timing for watering duration, can waterlog your hydroponics roots. The reverse can also be true, so you end up with a drought that harms your plants.

Other hydroponics emitters give you the ability to adjust the spray pattern. This means you don’t just get a drip of water- your hydroponics root zone gets a large or small targeted 360 degree spray of water that provides better distribution of moisture and nutrients, as well as better oxygenation of the water as it is distributed. Or you could use the Roberts Side Spitter, which is an adjustable flow emitter that comes in a variety of 90-160 degree spray patterns.

Who would have thought the world of hydroponics drip emitters could be so nuanced and fascinating? Well it’s important for you to ask questions when you’re buying a hydroponics drip system so you get the right size tubing, and the right type of drip emitters, to match your gardening goals and details.

Tell your hydroponics retailer or hydroponics gardening equipment manufacturer the various facts about whether you’re using organic or synthetic nutrients, how long your lines are going to be, how much water your plants use, etc.

Only by fully exploring all your hydroponics drip emitter and hydroponics irrigation tubing and other equipment options ahead of time can you be assured of getting a hydroponics drip system that provides optimum water to your hydroponics plants.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 21:54

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