Introduction:

Flood & Drain system:

Flood & drain system obeys a very basic and simple technique. It floods the root system of the plants with proper solution of mixed nutrients. Instead of continuous manner, this works periodically. Thus it is very easy, efficient and manageable. Its just simply fill the pots with water and drain the same. Plants grow very well in flood and drain. We can connect┬ámany plants/pots in series. A timer turns on the pump, and nutrient rich water is pumped through piping from the reservoir tank to the main pots of the system. The nutrient rich solution starts filling the system until it reaches the height of “U” shape bend of pipe called overflow tube so that once its reaches the overflow tube height all water in system gets drained back to reservoir tank. The “U” shape bend of pipe sets the water level height in the pots.

Need of project :

We designed two aeroponics systems to get hands on experience. To get more details about these project please go through below links——>

1.http://vadic.vigyanashram.blog/2020/01/27/aeroponics-version-2/

2.http://vadic.vigyanashram.blog/2019/11/14/aeroponics/

3.http://vadic.vigyanashram.blog/2019/11/13/garden-tree-aeroponic-prototype/

But there some issues were found related with previous system,

  1. Plants were dying more quickly without proper care and due to lack of knowledge, Monitoring is key factor.
  2. We were using high pressure pumps, misters and timers, if any of these breaks down all plants were die.
  3. Crucial issue with these system was maintaining proper droplet size of water without getting mister clogged.

So to overcome these drawbacks we had decided to go with Flood & drain technique.

Objectives:

  1. To overcome the drawbacks of conventional Hydroponics and Aeroponics systems. And to understand new plant growing technique.
  2. Scale up of system for 28 plants.
  3. Temperature & humidity sensor and motor automation.
  4. Power failure indication system.

Protocol:

Image 1.1.1-Testing prototype for flood & drain system

We are adapting new technique of plantation so, we decided to go with one pot/plant for flood and drain system.

  • From above image we can see, for reservoir tank we took bucket and for plant we took paint bucket.
  • Proper connections of pump and timer is given.
  • For each half hour pump will start for 2 minutes.
  • Off time of pump : 30 minutes.
  • On time of pump : 2 minutes.
Image 1.1.2-Testing prototype 2 days after plantation
  • From above setup, we found descent results from this system and we had decided to go with multiple pots.
Image 1.2.3-Hydroponics prototype four pots in series connection
  • We have taken five liter pots for this prototype.
  • Number of pots is 4 and Total quantity of water required is 20 liter.
  • We have 4.5 LPM discharge of 12 VDC pump so, Pump on time is about 4 minutes.
  • Therefore, pump off time = 30 minutes and pump on time = 4 minutes.
Image 1.2.4-Hydroponic:Flood & drain working prototype
  • We put flood & drain system inside shed net structure but aesthetically its not seems good, that’s why I shifted all plants inside dome which was not utilized.
  • Overall system is working smooth, plants growth is also seems reasonably good.
  • With further extension instead of using NPK nutrient we are using Vermiwash.
  • Vermiwash proves to be an effective fertilizer.
  • Also observed that the plants treated with vermiwash were disease resistant.
Image 1.2.6 – Cripper plant in hydroponics flood & drain system
  • Within 7 days number of leaves gets doubled so we can say system is working smooth.
  • Plants are growing faster.
  • Within one day plants is growing about 5 to 6 inches.
Image 1.2.7-leaf miner attack
  • Plants are suffering through leaf miner(Naag-aali) attack.
  • It is one of species of insects that eats tissues of leaf, cause damage to agriculture crops and garden plants.
  • To avoid these we have sprayed Neem-ark on leaves.
  • Neem leaves have antiseptic properties which destroys insects that causes infection.
  • Because of these further spreading of leaf miner attack is stopped but it doesn’t vanishes infection completely.
  • Still to avoid this infection we sprayed sodium bicarbonate on plants.
  • And within next day plants started dying and completely dead within few days.
Image 1.2.8-dead plants after caustic soda spray

HYDROPONICS: FLOOD & DRAIN RACK SYSTEM :

Now we are decided to go with large scale system. For that we have found broken rack structure in scrap yard. We decided to modify that as per our requirement.

Image 1.3.1-Broken rack structure

As we had decided to use these structure, we had took dimensions of structure, calculated number of pots and placements of pots, draw 2D sketch on paper.

Image 1.3.2- 2D sketch of structure
Image 1.3.3-2D sketch for pots placement

For more details regarding rack structure fabrication please go through this link—>http://vadic.vigyanashram.blog/2020/04/16/fabrication-of-pot-system-rack-for-flood-and-drain-system/