30
Nov
15

hydroponics review

image

 

Seeds , High Mowing Organic, Te You Flowering Brassica, Tat Soi Asian Greens, Red Russian Kale.

Lettuce, Heat wave; Burpee’s

 

image                                                              Harvested greens for salad

imageI guess that’s why they call it flowering Brassica !

The goal is to provide a year round system for growing edible greens for salad, properly planned to provide periodic  harvesting.

This would include seed starting to either full grown or baby greens. (lettuce, kale and other brassicas).

Later to expand to tall growth plants, tomatoes, peas, etc.

Indoor growth during winter months, out door during seasonable warm weather.

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A Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System

Pros:

Decreased foot print vs. soil containers, generally plants can be spaced closer vs. soil based.

Rapid growth

Little maintenance between nutrient changes ~2weeks

Healthy, disease resistance plants

Cons:

equipment initial cost  (one time purchase) maybe more costly than container soil based.

electricity requirement (air pump) ; negligible cost.

electrical mechanical device (air pump), Failure might slow the growing process till replacement.

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Hydroponic growing system remarks:

Initial equipment purchase  for a system kit: Deep Water Culture tub, top cover , net pots, growing aggregate (lava rocks), air pump, air tubing, air stone, nutrients for the first few weeks. Out of the box setup, Do It Yourself, less cost.

Refills required: nutrients, PH test paper.  pH meter (optional) , TDS meter (optional) , expansion  additional lava rocks for expansion (optional) additional net pots (optional) additional containers (optional)

A soil based system equivalent would  need : containers, soil, nutrients as required by size of plantings

If the a nutrient schedule is used for both hydroponic and soil, the nutrient cost probably would not be that different.

(An NFT Nutrient Film System might require less stored water per plant vs. Deep Water Culture but requires a water pump for circulation of nutrients in addition to the air pump.)

Weekly check of PPM nutrients and Bi weekly change of nutrients, outdoor spring and summer months require topping off of nutrients. Discarded nutrients can be used on other outdoor plantings.

So far the progress was better that previous soil based gardening, the big plus was the nutrient use and schedule which worked well with both the hydroponic and container grown plants, tomato, green and hot pepper. Some separate hydroponic containers were used (less the air pump).

 Most of the greens grown are cold tolerant so an unheated indoor space that doesn’t go below freezing can be used, when outdoors they tolerated a light frost.

Lighting for indoor growth.

Lighting with new technology L.E.D. requires much less power and space than florescent, HPS or metal halide and doesn’t require cooling in small fixtures. Red and blue L.E.D.s provide the necessary wave length for growth.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S2DPYQM/ref=pe_861660_150334770_fxm_3_0_n_id.

These fixtures are at reasonable cost compared to the commercial versions and so far have provided adequate light for about a 12 hour on/off cycle.

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a good hydroponic online free magazine:

(geared more towards the commercial grower)

http://www.hydroponics.com.au/issues/issue161/html5/

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http://greensensefarms.com/about/,

  Green Sense Farms is the country’s largest commercial indoor vertical farm.

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http://www.highmowingseeds.com/blog/getting-started-with-hydroponics/


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