Reason 4 was: Once set up, the system runs with minimal supervision.
Once your intermittent mist system is properly installed, the only thing left is to set the program you want it to follow. Once set, the system will follow that program with little to no intervention.
Depending on the type of misting system you decide on depends on how much supervising will be needed. Mist systems that use two mechanical timers (one 24 hour, and one interval timer) require a little more supervision than a misting system that uses a digital mist timer.
Mechanically operated misting systems have many more components and moving parts than the newer digital ones. Below is a list of components needed for each type of system.
Mechanical misting system
- 24 hour timer
- interval timer
- 24 volt transformer
- water piping
- misting nozzles
- assorted wire (for high and low voltage)
Digital misting system
- digital timer
- water piping
- misting nozzles
- length of wire (low voltage)
The new digital misting timers replace the 24 hour and interval timer as well as the transformer. Along with replacing these components, the entire digital misting timer takes up much less space. Two mechanical timers along with the transformer will take up an area about 12 inches by 18 inches, where the digital timer will take up an area 4 inches by 8 inches and include both timers and transformer.
Two other features of the digital misting timer worth mentioning are the ability to use the timer to control 6 entirely different misting beds separately and the battery backup.
Mechanical misting systems generally control only one misting bed (or “zone”) with only one program. Every cutting in the bed (“zone”) gets the same amount of mist. Digital timers increase the number of beds (“zones”) you can mist by five times as mechanical systems. They accomplish this by being able to have 6 entirely different programs, one for each “zone”. Each zone operates independently of each other.
The battery backup is by far the best feature of the digitally controlled misting system. In the event of a power failure, the battery will retain the program that was set. Once power is restored, the timer automatically knows whether it needs to mist according to the program, or whether it needs to wait until the next day. In the event of a power failure with mechanically controlled misting systems, YOU have to physically adjust the 24 hour timer to get the system running again. If you are unaware that the power had gone out for a number of hours, the mechanical systems program will be off by the same number of hours. Your cuttings could receive mist during the evening hours which may lead to stress, or receive no mist at all during the hottest hours of the day which would surely kill them.
Intermittent misting systems that use digital timers require only minimal supervision to ensure the system is operating correctly, there are no broken pipes or leaks, and to ensure the cuttings are getting the correct amount of mist. This can usually be accomplished in a few minutes time, then you can walk away knowing the system is taking care of everything all by itself.
Dwayne Haskell owns and operates Mistkits.com where complete misting kits, individual components, and advice can be found. After building his own misting system for his nursery, he realized he could design and build systems for small nurseries or home gardeners who are interested in starting their own plants from cuttings.
He has written an E-book titled Build an Arbor in Just One Weekend, and another on gardening, landscaping and plant propagation tips. He also enjoys teaching others how to grow their own landscape plants and owns and moderates the Mistkits blog, where you can find more articles, polls, and quizzes on landscape and gardening related topics.
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