hydroponics

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by steeled, Feb 15, 2012.


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  1. steeled

    steeled Monkey

    Has anyone tried anything like these? There are instructions on the site as well as kits. We have a small 6x8 patch of ground we garden, but want to add to it and thought I might try to make one of these.

    Windowfarms?
     
  2. Smitty

    Smitty Monkey+

    Never done a window farm but have experience with hydroponics.

    Smitty
    uploadfromtaptalk1329368242049.
     
    steeled likes this.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Give it a try, Steeled!

    Good post Steeled, and thankyou for the link....it is very informative. I have not tried hydroponics as such, but I do have some indoor plants in self watering pots, making best use of natural light captured through external windows...and they are thriving! I should imagine that hydroponic window farming would be just as successful.

    Give it a go and see....it would be a reasonably cheap way of at least producing kitchen herbs and salad vegetables.

    As they say in the SAS....."Who dares, wins"
     
    steeled likes this.
  4. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    I've always been interested in hydroponics but have considered it to be too expensive and too complicated! My husband and I worked for a Racing Stable many years ago where hydroponic grass-growing units were set up so that each horse could have a fresh grass turf each day in the winter. I believe it was experimental at the time but it may be a normal thing at stables nowadays for all I know. I would go into the small rooms from an outside temp of way below zero to a lovely immensely bright and lit up green oasis. The smell of the grass was overpowering and so enjoyable to my winter-weary nostrils, lol.

    It would certainly be a good thing to do but I believe you need special "salts" which add mineral content for the plants....stuff needed that might be unobtainable in a SHTF situation???
     
  5. Smitty

    Smitty Monkey+

    Yes you need many things for hydroponics to work correctly that wouldn't be easily obtained post SHTF. Hydroponics is very simple once you get the hang of it and the amount of production is unbelievable. So while it may not be the best post SHTF grow method it can aid you in making your food preps much faster.

    Smitty
     
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  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    If Hydro nutrient supplies fail, fish never fail to crap.

    Good post, Smitty.

    Depending on how the hydroponic set up is organised, it can, if needs be adapted to an aquaponic setup....just add fish tanks, and a pump system, and one or two other doodads, and the fish will provide all the nutrients that the plants require. This adds fish protein to the diet which adds variety, and, depending what kind of fish you keep, a source of omega 3 oils that may not be so easily come by via other means. Fish can be salted, smoked and pickled for preserving, but in an aquaponic setup you just harvest as required. Even the water from a table top aquarium can be cycled through growing medium to produce a plant or two.

    The surplus of fish may be a tradeable resource for other things that you may require. A good way of building trust and good will, and a relatively cheap care package for refugees whom you may wish to help on their way to somewhere else.
     
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  7. steeled

    steeled Monkey

    I should probably start small, then adapt, but excellent idea on aquaponics for barter and for reminding me that would provide much needed omegas! I really like that idea.

    Smitty, thanks for your post. What was the learning curve like on your set up?
     
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Think big, but starting small is always a good option...

    It is often better to start a project modestly, mastering the basic principles and techniques before going onto grander designs and ambitions. That way, any disasters are cheaper to fix, and the cost of learning from your mistakes is scaled to a much lower investment risk...there is nothing so motivating and inspiring as success...even at a small scale...success builds confidence and the inclination to reach for higher goals.

    Whereas....investing megabucks on the Taj Mahal of hydroponic projects may be wasted if your interest flaggs or if following the instructions in the Hydroponics MegaKit 2000 manual is so complicated and frustrating that one gives up in disgust. I suspect that Van Gogh started with painting by numbers...and just got better at it as he went along.....
     
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  9. Smitty

    Smitty Monkey+

    Steeled, the most important things to know are to monitor you pH and EC and keep your equipment clean. A basic system can be built at a very small cost and work quite effectively. I went back to school a few years back and got my horticulture degree so luckily I was able to learn hands on as I helped to start the hydroponics program there. If you need any advice or tips feel free to pm me. Good luck if you decide to go hydro, it is extremely rewarding.

    Smitty
     
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  10. steeled

    steeled Monkey

    Thanks Smitty, I appreciate that! Most excellent on that horticulture degree!!
     
  11. steeled

    steeled Monkey

    Whereas....investing megabucks on the Taj Mahal of hydroponic projects may be wasted if your interest flaggs or if following the instructions in the Hydroponics MegaKit 2000 manual is so complicated and frustrating that one gives up in disgust. I suspect that Van Gogh started with painting by numbers...and just got better at it as he went along.....[/QUOTE]

    this brought a laugh, but I appreciate the sentiment :D
     
  12. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Farmtek sells that system for about 3k. I am fascinated with it and am trying to figure out how they keep the seeds from just sliding to the bottom of the tray before the roots get going. (their trays are on an incline).

    We are about a third of the way through building an aquaponics system from IBC totes ATM and I'm trying to figure out how to run a few PVC hydro tubes on the returns for some strawberries.
     
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    You could try currugated cardboard...the cardboard should be an inert growing medium that should wick the nutrient to the seed....you may need to score the cardboard to allow root development into the solution. Edit: DON"T TRY THIS METHOD!

    An alternative method may be to use a tray with cells and fill them with an inert growning medium and establish a seed in each cell, then placing the seedling tray into the nutrient tray so that the cells wick up the nutrient solution up to where the seed can draw upon it.

    I cannot speak from personal experience for either method, but it should work, propogating the seeds without the seeds collecting at the bottom of the nutrient tray.

    Edit....just realised the Farmtek trays are likely to be big ones....I was thinking a bit smaller in scale
     
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Been there, done that in the lates 70s.

    Let's just say that there are more productive ways to spend your time and money.

    But that's just my experience.

    HK
     
  15. Smitty

    Smitty Monkey+

    Pretty sure a lot has changed since then but please do elaborate on the more productive ways you speak of

    Smitty
     
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  16. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Short on time long on information.

    How much time you got?

    More productive ways.

    1. Grow a real garden and do this year round. This cost some bucks and a lot of effort that can net you food for the rest of your life without depending on the petro chemicals but is more efficent and more reproducable than Chemicals not around in bad times. Build a Green House, raised beds, and keep records of rotation and crops produced.

    2. If you already grow a garden then do you test your soil and know what's missing? This also takes time and a decent kit, of course good organics and a compost pile are also time consuming but needed and well served.

    In short, Hydroponics consume a large supply of non organic items and cost a heavy toll as a carbon foot print. Most are missing trace elements and the balance of elements the human body needs.

    Invest the excess money you might have spent on Hydro for education on the balances needed and find out why others have failed.

    There ain't no free lunch, the Beer just cost more.

    HK
     
    chelloveck likes this.
  17. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Originally Posted by Smitty [​IMG]
    Pretty sure a lot has changed since then but please do elaborate on the more productive ways you speak of

    Smitty


    Hydro
    Things have changed?

    Plants need balanced food to grow.

    Chemicals still needed to grow Hydro.

    Structure, testing gear, light water, pumps electricity still needed.

    Cost to do Hydro has gone up as Oil has.

    Hydro still subject to infestation that can wipe out all crops in a growing area or a loss of electricity.

    I place Hydro in the same light as multi ton processed hamburger. All it takes is a lot of people in a long supply chain.

    HK
     
  18. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

     
  19. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I stand corrected

     
  20. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Every system has advantages and disadvantages....

    Every system has advantages and disadvantages....strengths and weaknesses, the relativities need to be examined in different contexts... one solution rarely fits all circumstances.

     
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