Sunday, 10 April 2016


This is what has kept me busy for most of the winter.
I really tried with the 6cm square line down pipes but was unable to solve the leaks.
As you will understand with NFT, constant water flow, even one drip is a serious problem.
The 110mm pipes system presents it own challenges but end caps with a good waterproof seal are available.
I increased the hole size to 7cm.
The connecting pipes are all 21.5mm waste pipe. Including bulkhead fittings These are probably some of the cheapest fittings available in the UK.
I offset the hole I cut in the end cap allowing me to vary the depth in the tube.
The terra-cotta underground pipe system was slightly cheaper. In my opinion also more attractive but I was overruled. SWMBO.
I had intended to do a straight flow through system. That is tube one flows into tube two etc.
I had the 22mm manifold from last year and also the 10mm taps and pipe so in the end used them. More control.
There is probably a 4cm drop of the water into the tube. This adds oxygen.
The Up-flow filter was the original I made from the main system.
I replaced this with my new “U Tube” filter.
The Up-Flow filter is fed from 3500L pump in the sump. Really it is too powerful. Its what I had. Using a, ’T” I divert some of the flow via a tap back into the sump.
During the initial water integrity tests I pumped on a 15/45 timer.
This tended to overfill the bottom tube. Now I can control this via the individual taps. BUT this F&D allows me to use the bottom tube to encourage root growth from new plants.
I intend to grow cherry tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers in this system.
The copper strips you see are snail slug deterrents.
In addition I will also be planting companion plants. In this case marigolds.

Calendula. These I understand are edible. Now I can scatter petals across a salad but does anyone have a calendula recipe?

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