Sun-irrigated planter - first time

Hello hello!

I just built my first SIP, sub-irrigated planter. I would love any feedback, tips or pitfalls to avoid from those of you with experience. I’m also pretty proud of my simple DIY and wanted to share!

I’ve been growing for 2 years now. Feeling good about my knowledge and results, but still have a ways to go. Done photos and autos, indoor and outdoor.

It’s a 64 litre (16.9 gallon) tote. Three strips of 4-inch perforated drainage pipe (about 22 inches long, each). 3/4 inch PVC pipe for my fill tube, plus a funnel to avoid spills. I used six strips of nylon rope as wicks, and covered the drainage pipe in a few layers of landscape fabric.

The drainage pipes don’t fill the bottom perfectly, so I’ll get some wick action from the nylon rope wicks and from the medium. I figure I have a 4.5 gallon water reservoir and 12-13 gallons of medium.

For medium I’m using HP Promix. Added in about 10-15% worm castings. Added Gaia Green dry nutrients, split 50/50 between All Purpose and Power Bloom. Those are dry organic nutrients and break down over time, for anyone not familiar. I went with about 3/4 the recommend amount for the nutrients.

I’ll start this week. When I wet the medium initially I’ll add in some silica, kelp, and a microbial innoculant (Microbial Mass is the product). I’m worried I’ll over or under water the medium at the start. I know that’s important for success of a SIP. Anyone have tips?

I have two, 240 watt (true watt, not equivalent) COB LEDS, from Hollandstar on Amazon. Lots of power for my small space, but I know they’re not all-star lights. I have a couple fans, exhaust with charcoal filter, timers, all the basic stuff. I’m in a small wardrobe, it’s about 33 inch x 18 inch by 5 feet tall. It’s in the my garage, which is super cold (southern Ontario).

My plan is to sprout two auto Zkittlez seeds (Seedsman). I do the water cup then paper towel method.

I’ll run the lights on 24 hours because that makes it easy to stay around 24-26 Celsius.

Does anyone think I’m missing anything?

I plant to cover the top of the tote with some plastic, earthbox style, except for holes for the plants. If I need to I’ll top dress more nutrients.