This article covers all the components you might use when setting up an intermittent mist system. These types of systems can be used to maintain high humidity for various applications.
The controllers used enable you to propagate softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings, keep flats of seedlings moist, or just schedule irrigation of potted plants or sprinklers.
This will be updated and expanded with affiliate links to products you can easily purchase on Amazon. We will link to videos and build this blog post as time goes by. For now though, I have all the components listed that are discussed in this Expert Council episode of The Survival Podcast.
I’ve gotten a couple questions in this vein, so I figured I’d answer with a blog post to give the broad strokes for you guys. Well, I use a..
Galcon 8056S AC-6S 6-Station Indoor Irrigation and Propagation Controller which is $76 as of the time I am typing this blog entry. That’s the controller I use for now. They also have an almost identical version that’s a different model number Galcon 8006.
Those controllers are specifically propagation controllers and what makes them different is that you can program it to operate in seconds. And both of those are 6 station controllers which means you can set 6 different programs for 6 different valves. One program can be set to water once a week on saturday at 4 am for 3 hours. Another program can control a different valve every day starting at noon, coming on for 30 seconds and cycling every 30 minutes. And another program can be for a mist bench where it comes on at 8 am, turns on for 9 seconds, then turns off for 9 minutes and repeats until 9 pm that night. Very versatile and allows you to get a lot of utility from one controller.
You’ll want an inline filter for any small orifice emitters like mist heads. So if you’re setting up a seedling irrigation bench, then I’d go with mist heads because they produce a fine mist that won’t push seeds or soil around. If this is intended for larger plants then you can get regular sprinkler heads of course.
You will also need one solenoid control valve for every unique irrigation use or area.
So to recap, you’ll need the controller, a solenoid valve, and an inline filter to remove sediment and protect the mist heads.
So as always, that was the quick overview, and here’s the details.
Before when I said you need one solenoid control valve for every irrigation zone..
By that I mean if you have a seedling bench where you need to automatically keep a ton of seedling flats moist, you’ll need at least one valve for that zone. If you have potted trees with bubblers to keep them watered, you’ll need one valve for that zone. If you also want to automate irrigating some garden beds, you’ll need a valve for every extra zone. I have no idea the scale you’re talking about, but for most smaller applications like in a greenhouse, you should need something around a ¾” supply line. Larger irrigation zones like for a whole garden, you’d probably want a larger supply line and hence, a larger solenoid valve to control the water going to it. So size the solenoid valve for whatever size water line you’re using, they sell them in all sorts of threaded sizes.
But I’ll just assume it’s a more conventional application and you just need a mist bed zone, a seedling tray watering zone, and maybe one more zone for something else. That’s three zones in this made up scenario, which needs 3 of the solenoid control valves. And as long as you aren’t trying to irrigate a whole 98’ high tunnel, you should be fine just using ¾” valves for all of those, which is handy because most of those affordable whole house filter canisters are threaded for ¾” fittings.
Now, to set up your system, first hook up all your plumbing with a shutoff valve on your supply line, then your filter, then the manifold that all your solenoid valves will branch off of. If you’re using something like a 50 micron reusable metal spin down filter, that one goes first on the main line, and you’ll probably want to add another plastic canister filter with a 20 micron filter element on any direct line to the mist heads. That’ll help ensure none of those mist heads get clogged with sediment. Cause once they’re clogged, you almost always have to replace em. You’ll then need to hook up the controller and mount it somewhere it’ll stay dry and out of the weather. You’ll have to follow the instructions in the manual to program it to whatever interval and duration you want your system to irrigate for. Unplug the whole thing and connect your controller to the leads coming from your solenoid valve, (if you need extra length, you’ll need to buy some irrigation valve wire rated for direct burial)
Get that all hooked up according to the instructions on the packages and now your solenoid will be set up. This may sound a little ambiguous cause it is, I’m trying to avoid getting super in depth here both because I can’t really give good instructions on how and what to wire up without visuals, so I’m just telling you the broad strokes and you’ll have to follow the directions of the manufacturers to hook it all up correctly. And please use good safety protocol when working around electricity.
Now that the valve is hooked up, go ahead and check to see if everything works. Assuming it all does and there are no leaks, you’ll want to dial in your interval and duration. You might want it to come on every hour for 30 seconds, or every 3 hours for 2 minutes. Whatever you determine is best for your needs, just dial that program down for that solenoid.
Alrighty, I hope that helps you out and wasn’t too scatterbrained to be useful. It’s a ton of information to try and jam into one short answer. But I hope it is enough to get you moving in the right direction.
As the year goes by, I’ll be teaching seasonally appropriate propagation techniques and methods, including setting up a mist system like you’re wanting to do. All those videos will go out to my Patreon Supporters first.
So be looking for those videos around January when I’ll be starting my vegetable seedlings. So if you want to see detailed videos on how to do all this stuff, sign up over there to make sure you don’t miss out. Just check the rewards tiers to make sure you’re signed up at the right level to get first access to the course level content like Plant Propagation.
You can find that page over at www.patreon.com/homegrownliberty
I just started with a series of videos touring the family property where I live. So if that’s of interest, definitely check it out.
And for links to all the products I suggest or have used in the past, you can click the affiliate links listed below that take you to all the components so you can add them all to your amazon cart and have them delivered straight to your door!
Thanks for the great questions guys! Keep them coming, to learn more about me and for tons of free, helpful information check out my blog over at www.homegrownliberty.com and to support my new venture into video education, head over to www.patreon.com/homegrownliberty to sign up and get some great rewards!
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Mist Heads and Components:
These misting nozzles incorporate a needle that vibrates slightly during operation to help prevent clogging. Although these nozzles include a built-in filter, water-soluble fertilizers can be applied with the DGT nozzle allowing maximum flexibility. These nozzles are excellent for overhead watering by threading PVC pipe to accept the nozzle. An even easier method is done by drilling a schedule 40 PVC pipe with 7/16″ drill bit having 60 taper. Place Adapter Bushing in drilled hole. Screw nozzles into Mini-Adapter until firm.