A Homemade Intermittent Mist Propagation System

Written by kasandra rose
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A Homemade Intermittent Mist Propagation System
At-home seed propagation extends the growing season. (Bed with a green salad image by Supertrooper from Fotolia.com)

An intermittent misting propagation system can save money and provide you with the opportunity to grow a wider variety of flowers and vegetables in your garden. By allowing you to propagate your own seeds almost effortlessly, it can encourage you to grow more heritage varieties of plants and practice seed saving.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Schedule 40 PVC
  • PVC tees, caps and elbows
  • Various shapes of mist novels
  • Screen or filter
  • Cut-off valve
  • 24 volt transformer
  • 24 volt solenoid
  • 24-hour clock
  • 10-minute interval timer

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  1. 1

    Build a raised bed garden that fits your available area and gardening ambitions. It should be fitted with curved hoops of plastic pipe to support a shade cloth. Using electrical conduit braces, secure a 1-inch diameter plastic PVC pipe vertically to one side of your raised bed, and then bend the pipe over your bed, securing it with another conduit brace on the other side.

  2. 2

    Determine how many feet of piping, and the number of elbows, misting heads and end caps you will need for your particular layout. You will need enough feet of pipe to lay a pipe 1 foot in from each side of the raised bed at approximately 2 feet from each other. For example, for a 6-foot-wide bed, you would have two parallel lines of pipe running down the length. For an 8-foot wide bed, you would have three lines of pipe running the length of the bed. You should do a mock layout using sticks or hoses to help you visualise how many end caps, elbows and tees you will need, and sketch a diagram of your plan.

  3. 3

    Add 5 to 6 inches of propagation medium, or use flats filled with seed starting medium.

  4. 4

    Lay out and trim your PVC pipe to fit the diagram you made earlier. Be sure to lay everything out where it will go before making any connections.

  5. 5

    Drill holes in the PVC pipe every 30 inches in the top of the pipe with the drill. Use a drill that is the size recommended by the mist nozzle manufacturer.

  6. 6

    Use PVC glue on each of the end caps, tees and elbows after you are sure of your layout.

  7. 7

    Assemble the water lines from the source in the following order: cut-off valve, strainer or filter, 24 volt solenoid, connection to PVC lines.

  8. 8

    Assemble the connections from the plug in the following order: 24 volt transformer, 24-hour timer, 10-minute interval timer, 24 volt solenoid.

Tips and warnings

  • You may replace the electrical connections with a battery-operated sprinkler timing unit.
  • Ensure that all corners are covered by the sprinkler system. You may have to use quarter circle or half circle misting heads to reach everywhere.
  • Cover the hoops with shade cloth in the heat of summer, or with transparent plastic early in the season to keep out frost.
  • You may need to set the water cut-off valve at half-open to lower pressure.
  • Always bury or otherwise protect electrical wires from mowing incidents.

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