This method is aptly named because it was first introduced in Holland and is now extensively used by commercial growers there for roses, tomatoes and cucumbers. The Dutch Bucket method allows the grower to use just about any growing medium, including coco-coir, perlite, LECA stone, gravel, and even sand. The Dutch Bucket is basically a 2.5 gallon bucket with a special drain fitting that maintains a small reserve of nutrient at the bottom as a precautionary measure. This method is best suited for large, long-term crops such as vine tomatoes, cucumbers and roses. Each bucket is fed nutrient solution independently by a single or double dripper, and it drains through the bucket into a common drain tube made from 1.5 inch PVC pipe. The system's reservoir is positioned below the level of the drain pipe, and gravity carries the solution back to it. A pump then re-circulates the nutrient solution back to the drippers to start the feeding cycle over again. The inset photo details how each bucket has a small recess on its bottom that allows it to sit flush atop a drain pipe. Dutch Buckets can be spaced at just about any convenient interval, however the growers (and plants!) prefer no less than a 10" interval, on center.
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