Misting Systems For Plant Propagation
Soon after misting systems where commercialized and readily available, the plant propagation industry was able to make vast strides forward because misting is a much better way to propagate many plants. Before misting was available, the plant propagators used different ways of asexual propagation. For instance, one of the most common ways to propagate a plant is to cut the plant, stick it in moist sand and cover it with a jar. The light will penetrate in the glass jar and will eventually retain moisture around the cutting. Although this method works, there are still some hitches that have affected the propagation of the plant, if too much heat penetrates the glass jar, the plants will get burned. Another problem which can affect the propagation process is the growth of fungus. Fungus wants to live in moist environments, hence, there’s a great possibility for the fungus to grow inside the jar. If this happens, the cuttings which are covered by the jar could die because of too much moisture content or fungas. Since there is no air movement inside the glass jar the moisture will cause the cuttings to get too wet. As you use this method, you have to remove the glass jar frequently to replace the moist air with fresh air. So although it worked, this method proved to be very laborious and time consuming.
In usinga misting system, the propagators were able to save a lot of time in the whole process of propagating the plants. The mist still allows the propagators to keep the cuttings moist but with more control and less labor. The cuttings are usually placed out to allow circulation of fresh air, which the plants need for its respiration, cooling, drying, and watering requirements. Because of this, more cuttings can be done at one time.
There are 2 basic types of misting kits used for plant propagation, low pressure (without a pump) or high pressure (with a pump). All low pressuremist kits used for this type of application should have the same basic components. They should have a simple on/off timer to turn the system on and off daily, a frequency timer to control the misting duration and frequencyor a humidistatswitch to control the mist based on humidity levels alone. It will also needa low voltage DC solenoidwith an AC to DC step down transformer. The solenoids are used to start and stop the flow of water to the mist heads as directed by the above controls.
When installing a low pressure misting kit for plant propagation, a 24 hour timer set up is used to turn on the system in the morning and off in the evening. The timer can be hard wired to an electrical circuit or a simple wall plugto facilitate the systems. The 24 hour timer is then connected to another timer that controls the duration and frequency of misting. The frequency differs from geographical location and season. Or, an in-line humidistat switch can be used, which should eliminate the need for the other timers. These controls are then connected to the solenoids. If there are any doubts about the set up, one can talk to an electrician and ask for his advice.
A common garden hose is then attached directly to the solenoid. In this case, only the pressure coming form your hose is used to deliver the mist.The connection of then ozzles can be done in different ways and will depend on its application. Some are hanging overhead while others attached to stakes in the ground to let the mist cover the cuttings.
The other option, high pressure, uses a misting pump to increase the pressure to between 160 and 1000 PSI, thus delivering a finner mist. When using this method, the above controls can be wired directly to the pump, which should have its own built-in solenoid. Some manufactures of these pumps already build in the above controls, or will do so upon request, making it much easier to install.
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