Simple and Reliable Flood and Drain Setup

Sometime last week I needed to automate the fertigation of some seedlings. The plants had reached a size where it was necessary to water them more than once a day and I needed a break.

A simple flood and drain setup was exactly the solution I needed.

Setting up these systems is really simple. The hardware consists of:

  • a flood tray and reservoir
  • some tubing
  • a sturdy pump
  • a timer
  • fittings

Connected to the flood tray is an input line with a short strainer and an overflow line with a tall strainer. Connected to the input line is a small pump. The pump is submerged in the reservoir and is activated by a timer, flooding the tray with fertilizer solution.

If the tray is overfilled with solution it tops the tall strainer and flows back into the reservoir via the overflow line. A well assembled system should not lose a drop to leakage.

The pump is submerged in the fertilizer solution and is activated by a timer. This one is set to flood every 6 hours for 15 minutes. Here is a quick photo essay of the system. Have a look:

These are being fed the Peters 20-10-20 @ 100 PPM Nitrogen. The formulation can be found in this post.

These have already been transplanted by the time this post is published. The reliability of the flood and drain setup gave me a break from daily maintenance over a much-needed holiday weekend.

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