Hydropodics ~ The Dutch Bucket (Bato) Technique

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How The Dutch Bucket System Works

The water for each bucket is delivered to the top of the clay balls that hold the plant. The whole system shares the industrial timer we use for the majority of the hydro garden, which cycles on for about 4 minutes every 10 minutes.

A 3/4" drip line runs along the perimeter of the raised bed with standard skinny irrigation lines brought up to each plant. Three of these are firmly held in place by plastic clips which have been custom printed on our 3D printer.

Water drains from the bottom of each bucket through a 1 inch tube at its own pace and comes back into a sunken 15 gallon reservoir inside the raised bed. A sump pump then returns the water to the main 55 gallon reservoir next to the bed.

The buckets we bought on Craigs list initially had holes only in the bottom of each inner bucket. We found this created a vacuum when we tried to lift the buckets out, as well as concentrating the roots out the bottom. By drilling holes in all the sides we alleviated both problems. We also added handles which makes maintenance much easier.