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Just got a recycle timer to feed the plants automatically for me. I had them on a regular timer that would let me water for 1 minute every 12 or 24 hours, but it was too hard to control the moisture level.
What I'm wondering is it better to run it every 4 hour for 20 seconds or every 12 for a minute? I'm trying to balance the amount of moisture and air so it doesn't have any root zone problems.
This is in coco, almost drain to waste. I need another pump before I can let it drain to waste officially.
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I don't like drain to waste but it's simple enough to do. One issue with drain to waste unless you're doing a significant amount of run off is, the watering requirements change so as you progress you're going to use more and more water per feed or require more and more feeds per day.
The good part about coco is it doesn't mind being overwatered, and so long as your roots are established you won't rot them by "over watering" a good rule of thumb is 20% run off for DTW to make it fool proof and eliminate the risk of nutrient burn from the nutrients evaporating time and time again within the root zone and becoming too concentrated.
Another thing is with drip irrigation is it is beneficial to water very slowly, as you will get a very even moisture content in your medium, not so much an issue with coco as it wicks very good.
My suggestion is consider how often you want to irrigate, since it's drip something like hand feed throughout veg or just manually kick on the pump as they may only need 2 x feeds a week at that point. Once you get into flowering if you're using small containers you may need to feed 3 - 5 x a day depending on pot size.
Do an experiment on one of the plants and feed manually and figure out how much water the plant used then aim for 20% run off if you're feeding 1-2 x a day or 10% if you're feeding 3-5x a day then you need to measure your output from your drip lines, which can be done by putting a couple of the lines into some jars or containers of some sort and leaving them on for a minute. Then you can figure out how long you need to run your pumps to feed your plants adequately.
The feed amount / time can be altered by using drip emitters that control the amount of nutrient solution that can come out of them under typical drip array pressures. Very convenient but not necessary.