Hydroponics is essentially a system where you grow plants by placing the roots in a liquid nutrient solution, rather than in soil. To provide physical support for the plants, sand or other inert mediums can be used as a soil substitute.

Since there is no soil, there needs to be a way to provide the plants with water and nutrients (and physical support). Some examples of methods include:

    • Wick,
    • Flood & drain,
    • Drip (recovery or non-recovery),
    • Nutrient film technique, and
    • Aeroponic

Unfortunately, these systems will not work effectively if the water supply and nutrients are insufficient and/or not provided when needed. Without soil to hold the required water and buffer nutrients, plants will die quickly.

To ensure that the essentials are provided in a timely way, an effective automated irrigation control system is required for all but the smallest DIY operation, which can be hand attended.

Most of the commercial irrigation control systems that are available are unable to achieve the specifications that are required to maintain hydroponic plants. For example, a large installation might require several irrigation cycles per day (especially in summer) and have many zones with different water and nutrient requirements.

In order to choose an effective irrigation system, you need to ensure that it is capable of achieving the scheduling requirements needed. Some other functions that need to be carefully considered before purchasing a system include:

    • Can durations be set to the second? Nutrient solution (dispensed via automated valves) can be expensive to waste and/or damage plants if not given in the correct quantities.
    • Can the durations of the irrigation cycles be easily and quickly changed, without changing the entire schedule? Weather can be hot one day and raining the next.
    • Can there be very long cycling of ONs and Offs? Needed for the NFT systems.
    • Can there be lots of schedules per day for multiple irrigation passes?
    • Can the system control more than one pump and multiple solenoid valves for water or nutrient supply?
    • Can the system control grow lights, fans and/or heaters?

The Easy Irrigation system is one of the very few systems on the market that can manage these requirements. Please contact us today for more information.


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