From a grower in Texas
Your article titled ‘What are the fundamentals of setting up an NFT system?’ in PH&G issue #148 was very helpful. I am setting up a scaled-down NFT system in my greenhouse to run a basil trial. I have set it up with 4” rectangular grooved downspout channels that are 40’ long and I am supplying 0.5 litres of solution to each channel, as you suggested in your article. I have the channels sloped on a 40 to 1 ratio, which brings me to my question. In examples I have found elsewhere on the Internet most folks upon transplanting raise their drain tubes in order to raise the solution level to the bottom of the net cups in order to ensure the infant plants come in contact with the solution. They later lower the tubes back down when the plants have matured and the roots can lie on the bottom of the channel. This is not possible with the 40 to 1 slope; you just end up flooding one end of the channel. I was wondering what you normally recommend doing in these sloped systems? Also, the 0.5 litre flow rate seems like just a trickle to me and as it meanders down the channel it may only be in one or two grooves on one side or the other. In other words the solution is not evenly spread over the bottom of the channel. Thanks in advance for your help.
Answer by RICK DONNAN