Drip System

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Definition - What does Drip System mean?

In hydroponics, the term drip system refers to one of the six main methods of growing plants hydroponically. Drip irrigation systems involve having one or more drip emitters that drip a mix of water and nutrient solution onto the surface of the grow media, rather than spraying it on or washing it over the roots in larger quantities.

Drip systems can be set up using grow containers, where each plant has its own pot to sit in and has its own emitter, or in grow beds, where the plants all share the same root zone area.

Drip systems are simple to set up and economical to run because they reduce the amount of water that is lost through evaporation, leaching, and runoff. In other words, plants are given only what they need, and make good use of what they are given.

MaximumYield explains Drip System

In a drip system, the nutrient solution gets pumped up from a reservoir through tubing and gets delivered to the tops of the growing media. From here, the nutrient solution drips from the tubing and evenly coats the growing media surface where it eventually drains downwards to the bottom of the container, coating the plant roots along the way.

There are two types of drip systems that can be used: recovery (recirculating) drip systems and non-recovery (non-recirculating) drip systems. The names of the systems reflect what happens to the nutrients once they are done dripping over the growing media. For most growers, it is ideal to have the nutrients recirculate in order to save resources and money, but recirculating systems require the grower to pay close attention to the quality and contents of the nutrient solution as it is continually changing as plants use what they need.

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