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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '16, 10:34 
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I am thinking of planting an orange tree in a 50g plastic barrel. Thinking of drilling a hole say 4-5 inches from the bottom, 1.5" pipe with strainer and uniseal as the return, then just continuous feed with a 1/2" pipe on top. And with gravel as media. I can connect sprinkler timer to the supply, so it feeds off and on?

Will that work or F&D would be preferred? Any other suggestion? thx.


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '16, 14:15 
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I'm not sure about this, I think it will work though if done right. I think it depends on what you mean by sprinkler timer (are you using irrigation valves or a simple gate) and how much water pressure there is. I'd like to see what you come up with so take some pictures and post back if you decide to do this :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '16, 15:21 
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I was thinking of using irrigation valve and leverage existing sprinkler timer, which may not work as it may not allow on/off multiple times a day. One of the worries would be the 4 or 5 inches of constant water at the bottom, will it cause root rot?


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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '16, 00:27 
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I'm concerned the the irrigation valves may require enough pressure to operate. I don't think the 4 or 5 inches of water will be a problem if the tree's roots are allowed to grow into this zone where it can regulate it's own needs.


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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '16, 16:11 
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It seems like most irrigation valves require a minimum of 15-20 psi to operate .... got to measure mine to determine pressure.


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '16, 08:45 
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Come to think of it, may be a lot easier just to use a timer on the pump.


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '16, 10:39 
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Probably don't need much flow. If there is any way to keep the strainer accessible I would - nothing like having to unpot a tree just to clean the strainer.


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '16, 22:05 
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They don't seem to like to have constantly wet roots. Ours were in buckets of hydroton drained rapidly by siphon but we still ended up only flooding once every 12 hours and had decent growth, blossoms, and fruit... until the "citrus scale" insects decimated them. :upset:

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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '16, 23:58 
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David - WI wrote:
They don't seem to like to have constantly wet roots


Very true :thumbright:. This is the reason I suggested allowing the roots to grow down into the water zone.


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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '16, 05:57 
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In case of 55 gal barrel, it's over 3 ft tall. Not sure if it helps but the roots had to travel over 2 ft before reaching the "wet zone" in the bottom. The top opening is close to 2 ft dia, if one were to place the supply towards the edge and say 3 inches below the surface, then there ought to be enough air pockets to help the roots breath? Would bigger sized gravel help?

Just thinking.


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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '16, 01:56 
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You can try it but I'm not sure if it will work. I tried a circle drip ring on a meyer lemon 6 or 7 years ago and it didn't work out too well (this was using Hydroton, so pretty large media). I think sub-irrigation might be a better way to go with citrus. I had the additional problem of not being able to give the plant enough light during the winter so your results could be much different.


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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '16, 02:02 
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You can try it but I'm not sure if it will work. I tried a circle drip ring on a meyer lemon 6 or 7 years ago and it didn't work out too well (this was using Hydroton, so pretty large media). I think sub-irrigation might be a better way to go with citrus. I had the additional problem of not being able to give the plant enough light during the winter so your results could be much different.


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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '16, 21:21 
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I have been thinking the same thinking with lime trees, but with wicking beds as I thought it would be easier and because I because I would have to buy a potted seedling.

They are growing oranges hydroponically in Isreal, using perlite, so it could work.


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