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BluMat self watering systems for soil(indoor) garden

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    So far so good, spent the first week adjusting the moisture level up and had to exchange out a pot that had finished for a freshly flipped one. Just turned off the valves at quick disconnects, unplugged the old pot and plugged in the new one, opened the purge valve after tuning new sensor and that was that.


      Great thread DT , keep us informed. Good Luck.
      Cfls for a week or two
      315lec for everything else
      Dug up Ms.topsoil, with perlite added
      36x36x63 inch tent.
      6inch - exaust - intake fans an scrubber
      Smart pots


        Today is one week since I installed the system, I've adjusted the moisture level up the recommended 1-2 small increments per 24 hour period each day and took a little bit bigger of swing today. My 3 gallon fabric pots would usually be bone dry by the 5th day after watering. Day 7 after install (and haven't hand watered) and the pots have retained much of their moisture towards the center but drying has started from the edges in. I'm going to continue adjusting the moisture level + to try and knock back the edge drying. I also started to move around the ends of the small drip line on each carrot sensor to avoid the drip only hitting the soil in one spot. They sell products to help w/ this too and I may end up ordering a pair of distribution drippers for each sensor or possibly soaker hose to help disappate the water over more surface area. I haven't used it yet but plan to add HydroGuard to the resivor. I believe it'd help the soil draw/hold moisture better but I could be wrong. I have sm90 too and may be confusing properties of the two, as sm90 is the actual wetting agent (I previously used it for minor pest problems). Anywho... If I can't keep the entire pots saturated w/ just the one drip line from each sensor, before I order extra drippers or tape Id just use an extra sensor in each pot because I have those on hand already. I have about 2-3 more weeks to really dial in the system before Im away for a week. I also still have to get my small T5 veg space situated w/ the BluMat Jr.'s, kinda waiting for things to fall into sync w/ transplanting/cycles.
        Last edited by DnkTnk; 06-12-2017, 05:58 PM.


          10 days after installing the system, the sensors seem tuned to the perfect moisture level. The soil around the edges of the fabric pots is staying just slightly moist. I stopped the daily adjustments a couple days ago and it's maintained about the same moisture since. I've been adding a gallon of water here and there to keep the reservor level well above the output/input ports, 7 days away shouldn't be a problem at all if fully filling the bucket before departing. I'm pretty confident and comfortable to leave things unattended for my upcoming vacation now that I've seen the system in action for about two weeks. Still have to install the BluMat Jr's in my veg space before going away but I'm thinking of installing the regular blumats in there too when I return. I hope this thread helped anyone curious about Tropf Blumats self watering system. I'll continue to post observations and experiences as I go. I intend to tweak things to simulate flushing and to turn moisture down in pots cloesest to finishing, etc.


            15 days in and still haven't hand watered, seems to be working out quite well so far. I'll need to harvest the next plant in a couple days, that'll be my second transfer/transplant of a pot out and a new one in, I dailed back the moisture a touch this week just on the one finishing after having it increased the prior week.


              Finally got the Jr.'s installed in the Veg space!


                It works, still working, no signs of not working. Went on vacay and came back over a week later to a happy garden. Saves me hours of hand watering in a tight area. System is fool proof if you set it up right and understand in's & out's. Very happy.


                  Getting ready to pop for 6 5" carrots, and maybe some drip stakes for the next crop going into the tent.

                  I'm planning to dedicate one of my 6 ACDC clones that are nearing ready to go into the tent (as their 'momas' are nearing harvest) as my official 'big mama' going forward. That has to be in a different place than where the current crop is maturing to take advantage of some available sunlight, and I thought that a couple of those Jr's would be an easier (and cheaper) set up.for a single plant.

                  Going away myself end of next month, and like you, am counting on Blumats to keep everything thriving while I'm gone.

                  Thanks for starting the thread. I actually started a similar one requesting input on these before I found this. Need to figure out how to kill mine, since this one already covers the area of interest.
                  Last edited by jalapeno; 10-14-2017, 07:22 PM. Reason: The last couple of photos DT posted pretty much answered my question about the 'Juniors'. Clearly the jug is below the soil level, and each Jr. has a separate draw tube.


                    I ended up with 6 of the regular gravity fed Blumats one to each 2 gallon cloth pot, and one Junior (that sucks up from a gallon jug below) for a plant that I'm saving to be the 'mom' for my next crop. They worked well while I was away (though I worried about them none the less).

                    Each of the regular Blumats feeds two Drip Stakes that guide the solution down into the soil. Not sure if that was necessary, or even better than just letting it drip out on one spot, but it did keep my plants alive and healthy for many weeks.

                    It's important to adjust them carefully at the start, and to make only the recommended 'half arrow' adjustments at a time afterwards. Even one 'half arrow' tweak can make a noticeable difference in the rate the reservoir is emptied. The initial adjustment requires that the soil in which each Blumat is placed be thoroughly saturated. You open the valve (counter clockwise) to allow a full flow (this also purges any air out of the lines), Then slowly close it (clockwise) until a single drop remains suspended at the open tube end. Then close it 2 'arrows' (half a turn) The 'arrows' are V shaped marks on the valve, so you can gauge how much you are adjusting it. One 'arrow' (distance between the points of two V's) is a quarter turn.

                    How they work: The valve consists of the adjusting screw, and a small 'piston'. A 3mm flexible tube that delivers the water passes between them. The 'carrot' part is made of a porous ceramic material that's inserted into the soil. As moisture builds up in the surrounding soil, it is drawn into the carrot by capillary action (I think). This additional moister inside the carrot presses upward on the piston, pinching the delivery tube against the adjusting screw, and cutting off the flow of fluids through the tube. When the soil dries out, moisture flows back out by the same capillary action going in the opposite direction. This releases the upward pressure against the piston, thus allowing water to flow through the distribution tube once again.

                    Ingenious application of the principle of negative feedback. Depending upon the position of the adjusting screw, a certain equilibrium between the fluid contained in the Blumat, and the moisture in the surrounding soil is maintained. There's just the one moving part (the piston), and it's reliable with no electricity, and only minimal supervision.

                    Though a kit comes with a 'bulkhead' fitting that goes directly to the 8mm distribution manifold tubing (also included in the kit), I set mine up with a 1/2" bulkhead fitting (also from Sustainable Village, the Blumat folks) and a male 1/2" MPT (maybe it's 3/4") to MHT (hose thread) adaptor. This to a hose thread Y connector with two ball valves in it, designed to allow two hoses to be fed off of one hose bib. One outlet goes through a regular irrigation fine strainer, and then out to the 8mm tubing that feeds the Blumats. I had previously installed a short piece of pipe with a male garden hose thread on the inside and female on the outside passing through the outside wall of my grow room, to provide drainage for plant runoff, and dehumidifier condensate. I added another Y with ball valves at the inside wall, connected by a short length of garden hose to the other outlet on the reservoir's Y. By attaching a nearby garden hose to the outside fitting, I can refill my 5 gallon reservoir without moving the bucket, or having to bring the outside garden hose inside. Once the drainage valve at the wall is closed, and the other one opened and the distribution valve on the Y by the reservoir closed, and city water pressure applied, I can open the other valve at the reservoir outlet, watch the bucket fill, and then close it before it overflows. No splashing or dripping in the room, and no lifting a full bucket up to the height necessary to gravity feed the Blumats. Nothing to connect or disconnect other than the garden hose outside.


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