Watering system for house plants: automatic, versatile, no power needed.
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These are procedures and tips for the installation and set-up of the Vergrowth watering system are explained and illustrated below. When implemented, you will be on your way to automatic watering of health house plants.
In the later part of the discussion below, the Distributor is shown in white and the wicks in a light color for clarity. In the kit the hydrator is black and the wicks are black, charcoal or dark blue so as to be unobtrusive in the pot.
It is easy to set up and use the hydrator for customizable plant watering. It is black to blend with the plant growth medium (medium). However, in some of the illustrations that follow, the hydrator is shown in white for clarity. In addition to the supplied parts: the Hydrator, Retainer and the Wicks, you will need a water reservoir.
The is most commonly used reservoir is a plant watering globe, such as an Aqua Globe® or equivalent. These are available on line and in retail stores. The outlet of the reservoir is inserted into the Hydrator which has been placed in the medium. Other reservoir options will also soon be available for longer term unattended water delivery. These options include adapters that fit larger reservoirs and that have an extension that will fit into the Hydrator. These allow unattended watering for weeks in the absence of a caregiver. After the caregiver's return, they can be swapped out for the more attractive watering globes or other decorative reservoirs.
The is most commonly used reservoir is a plant watering globe, such as an Aqua Globe® or equivalent. These are available on line and in retail stores. The outlet of the reservoir is inserted into the Hydrator that has been placed in the medium. Other options will also soon be available for longer term unattended water delivery. These include adapters that fit larger reservoirs and that have an extension that will fit into the Receiver. These allow unattended watering for weeks in the absence of a caregiver. After the caregiver's return, they can be swapped out for the more attractive watering globes or other decorative reservoirs.
The included wicks are long enough to provide two branches from each wick for water distribution in a typical pot. To improve the lifetime of the wicks, they are made of 100% polyester. Therefore, they do not "wet" initially as well as natural fiber. To "quick start" water distribution in a dry medium, wet the wicks in soapy water before installing them. The wicks can be secured by looping the wick around the Retainer. Then slide the Retainer down into the Hydrator until the Retainer reaches the bottom. To push in the Retainer, you can use a dowel, screwdriver blade, pencil, etc. After placing the Retainer, you can use the watering globe stem to hold the Retainer and wicks in place within the Hydrator while positioning
the wicks in the medium. Because the wicks allow you to distribute water to locations in the pot that are remote from the reservoir, you can position the Hydrator in any location within the pot. If you plan to use a larger reservoir for watering during extended absences, it will be easier to place the hydrator closer to the edge of the pot. This will allow more room for the larger reservoir. Once you have selected the location, insert the Receiver into the medium. If it is difficult to insert the Hydrator, use a large screwdriver or similar tool to open a hole for it. Insert the tool vertically into the medium and use a circular motion of the tool to make a hole large enough to allow the Hydrator to be inserted . This will move aside not only the medium but also roots from established plants. Push the Hydrator directly down into the medium until its top is about 1/2" (~1 cm) above the surface.
To position the wicks, make trenches about 1/2" (~1 cm) deep spaced around the plant(s). It may be easier to make the trenches by scooping out the medium to form the trenches and putting it into another container temporarily. Then place the wicks in the trenches. Cover all the wicks with medium.
Fill the reservoir with water and place it in the Receiver. After a few minutes, you should see the wick become wet near the Receiver. Then you should soon see air bubbles rise periodically in the reservoir stem as water is absorbed in the medium. However, because water doesn't transfer readily between wicks and completely dry medium, it may take some time (an hour or two) for steady flow to start if the medium is initially dry. To hasten the onset of robust water transfer, you can initially water the medium over the area where the wicks have been placed. Also, it can be helpful to remove the reservoir, put a drop or two of dish detergent into the Receiver and replace the reservoir in order to hasten the moistening of the medium.
Using the Hydrator and wicks, the flow rate can be kept low and constant, delivering the water at a uniform rate and reducing the likelihood of over watering. The watering rate can be adjusted by adding or removing wicks or by using different sized wicks. Each of the wicks provided is long enough to form two branches for watering. If it turns out that, for example, two branches are not enough to water the plant properly and four are too many (water drips out of the bottom of the pot), then one of the branches can be put back into the Hydrator below the reservoir stem, reducing the effective number of wicks to three.
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