How to build your own intermittent seedling mist system plans

Written by debrataylor
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How to build your own intermittent seedling mist system plans
(Crop sprinkler image by Jim Mills from

There is a difference between the watering systems you need for growing seedlings and the systems you would use to water cuttings. Mist nozzles are necessary for propagation of cuttings because the leaves must be kept moist, continually, without excess water soaking the soil. Misters are timed to come on for a few seconds every five to 10 minutes. Sprinkler heads are more helpful for seed germination because the soil must be kept moist. One to two times a day is usually enough for a seedling system. Once the seeds have sprouted and begun to show leaves, it is best for the seedling foliage to dry between waterings.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1/2 inch PVC pipe the length of the potting bench plus 3 feet
  • Programmable controller
  • Solenoid valve
  • Mist or sprinkler heads
  • 2-by-4 support posts

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  1. 1

    Cut the 2-by-4 posts into two 36 inch pieces. These will be the supports for the overhead water line. Drill a 3/4-inch hole in top end of each support. The 1/2-inch PVC pipe will run through these holes. Fasten supports to each end of your potting bench.

  2. 2

    Place the PVC pipe through the support holes. Install the solenoid valve on one end of the PVC extension and cap off the end opposite of where you want the controller and water supply to be. A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device that controls the flow of liquids or gas with an electric current through a coil of wire around an iron core.

  3. 3

    Fit nozzles into the PVC pipe above the potting bench about 3 to 4 feet apart according to the type of nozzle and the manufacturer's directions.

  4. 4

    Hook up the water supply hose to the solenoid valve. Pay attention to the water flow arrow on the solenoid for proper connection.

  5. 5

    Plug in the programmable controller to an electricity source. Connect the controller to the solenoid valve. Program the controller according to the requirement for your particular cuttings, seeds or seedlings.

Tips and warnings

  • The devices mentioned here are available at irrigation supply houses and at most home improvement stores.
  • Misting systems also come in kit form.

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