Basis set (Balcony Set) for 3 planter boxes of 1 m each for a balcony, also suitable for watering purposes of other planters or single plants in a flowerbed.
Water supplied from an elevated reservoir tank or faucet (connected to house water tap).
- Quantity Tropf-Blumat: 12 Tropf-Blumat
- Water connection: TankFaucet
- 12 Tropf-Blumat with 20 cm drip tubing + T-connector piece
- 7 m water supply tubing black 8 mm
- 1 angle piece 8-8 mm
- 1 end piece 8-3 mm
- tubing branch connector 8-8-8 mm
- 1 T-connector 8-3-8 mm
- 1 tubing connector 8-8 mm
- 1 elevated tank connector 8 mm (inserted in a 12 mm bore hole)
- 1 pressure reducer
(setting fix 1 bar, connections 8 mm clamp screws, ¾ inch inner threading)
Set is suitable for (alternative examples)
- 3 m in total of planter boxes (box length 100 cm or 80 cm)
- 1.2 m² planted beds (ca. 24 middle size plants)
- 12 single pots up to ca. 20 cm in size
(when using more than one Blumat per pot, reduce number of pots accordingly)
- 12 single plants in a greenhouse such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers
Directions for correct usage can be found under “Use”
Deciding how many Tropf-Blumat are necessaryFor watering planter boxes, use the rule of thumb: 4 drip locations (Tropf-Blumat) per 100 cm box length (box width- 20 cm), 3 drippers for 80 cm. For wider troughs (such as 100x40 cm), usually 6-7 Tropf-Blumat are enough, depending on the size of the plants – also see bed plantings.
For watering in pots, every plant / every pot should have 1 Tropf-Blumat. According to the pot size, 1 Tropf-Blumat is enough for pots up to ca. 20 cm in diameter, for pots up to 40 cm use 2 Tropf-Blumat, up to 50 cm 3 Tropf-Blumat.
The size of the plant is also an important factor and sometimes the needs of a particular plant species plays a role when deciding on the number of Tropf-Blumat needed. Large Containers such as planting tubs, for example, should often have fewer drippers in order to avoid overwatering.
For bed plantings, 2 plants (the size of typical summer flowers such as geraniums) require 1 Tropf-Blumat (plant spacing ca. 20-22 cm), when planted closer together (about 15 cm), 1 Tropf-Blumat is enough for a group of 3 plants.
Connection to an elevated reservoir tankThe connection onto the elevated tank (spigot with hose) should be mounted towards the bottom of the tank, about 5 cm above the tank floor (12 mm bore hole).
The elevation of the tank should be at least 70 cm above the watering level (top of pot) to the bottom of the tank, in order to produce the necessary minimum pressure. Overly low pressure can result in clogging of the tubing.
The tank can be purchased at a local hardware store to meet individual needs. It should be impenetrable to light and should be cleaned occasionally.
Connection to tap waterThe required pressure reducer fits a standard water faucet with ¾ inch outer threading. The water faucet must be kept constantly open for operation of the system. If the water tap is to be used for a garden hose in addition, then it is practical to use an optional 2-Way-Branch Connector, this allows for the watering functions (hose or Tropf-Blumat) to each be used separately.
The pressure reducer sets the pressure at 1 (0,8) bar, the pressure from the water source should not exceed 6 bar. It is also possible to connect to a house tap with less pressure.
It is important, however, that the pressure reducer be stored over winter protected from frost, or for the purpose of winter operation, that the water connection is located in a frost-free cellar.
Tubing InstallationThe 8 mm-water supply tubing should be placed near the plants on top of the pots or along the top of the planter boxes; for each desired Tropf-Blumat location, the tubing is cut and a t-connector is inserted into the two ends of tubing ( for the last Tropf-Blumat at the end of the tubing, use a end piece instead of a t-connector).
In order to minimize the loss of pressure when using an elevated tank, the water supply tubing should have as few branches as possible and when branches are necessary, they should be as evenly distributed as possible.
If the water supply is from a faucet, the installation is more flexible, the tubing can be branched as desired, also there can be some variation in elevation within the layout, for example, from the point of the faucet upwards max. 4-(6) m and downwards ca. 2-(3) m.
Drippers and water supply tubing can be mounted using support pins which are an accessory to the system. The support pins allow the drippers to be mounted above the soil level, thus allowing them to be more easily controlled. An occasional control is recommended - see Dripper Chain. Drip tubing should not be longer than 150 cm, also here, an occasional control with flushing is recommended.
The water supply tubing can also be mounted using any wire fasteners or nail clamps.
System"Tropf-Blumat" (Tropf = Drip) works using pressure as its basis, it requires a minimum pressure for the correct functioning of the watering head and to avoid cloggage.
The Tropf-Blumat is the heart piece of the entire system and acts as a moisture sensor and dripper at the same time. Every dripper location is therefore sensor controlled according to the tensiometer principle. Also included in the system are fittings to connect the tubing.
ProcedureFill the Tropf-Blumat with water (part of the sensor function only!) – see Directions for Use – and insert into moist soil. As the soil becomes drier, water is sucked out of the feeler which is a porous clay cone. This creates a sub pressure (partial vacuum). As the pressure develops, a membrane in the watering head is released (before then it is squeezed together), opening the thin dripper tubing; the tubing begins slowly to drip. The water seeps through the soil once again to the clay cone, causing a lessening of the sub pressure, the valve closes; the dripping slowly stops.
AdjustingThe Tropf-Blumat is adjusted using the brown knob; it should be set so that when the soil is optimally wet, the dripper has just stopped dripping. When first using, the sensor requires a certain settling period. Therefore, adjusting should be carried out only after a day of use. The general recommended adjustments are described in the Directions for Use or in our Recommended Settings. It is important that the adjustment is correct from the beginning!
MaintenanceThe water being used must be clean (there is no filter in the system), it can contain completely water soluable fertilizer. It is recommended to treat water that is extremely hard (over ca. 30°dH) by softening or to use rainwater, if possible. Light lime deposits in the tubing can be removed by rubbing.
The water inside the sensor should be occasionally checked. However, in general, the water will not need to be topped off during the watering period. Under certain conditions, winter operation is also possible.