Anyone else get overwhelmed by the myriad ways to do this?

olddaddy(zone 9 Florida)October 15, 2012

I've been reading and trying to learn enough about the incredible variety of hydro gardens to make a good choice. I attended a short intro class at a local garden center last Saturday. I left the class thinking I had it all figured out.....then I saw the prices of the parts to build towers like those I saw there! Well, back to square one. I mean, I can come up with a reservoir, pump, lines etc, but those stacking boxes are outrageous. Is there a way for a new person to sit down and figure out a workable system and get started? I've got space, time etc, but need a simple workable plan.

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there are an abundance of ways to build a system / systems.
What do you want to grow and how much do you want to grow.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:22AM
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lol, welcome to hydro. If you want to save money, you have to use materials that were not meant to be hydro systems.

I haven't build a stackable drip system before, but I think it could be done with styrofoam sheeting, fiberglass mesh drywall tape, lots of silicon, and probably a 2x4 frame to support the weight. They are still kind of gimmicky, though. You can make a tower garden in a lot of ways. Pvc pipe would be easier if you want to fill a larger space.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:30PM
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If you go to The Dark Garden you can see a simple method using recycled soda bottles and buckets. There's also a section in Photobucket/ChristianWarlock that shows pictures of everything and how to put them together. Nearly everything comes from recycling and is Sustainable. That means no waste products as in regular Hydroponics.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Welcome to hydroponics and the massive amount of information you get to immerse yourself in!!!

Bite it off in chunks. Start with what you intend on growing and possibly in the future, and try and match an easy and efficient system for your environment.

Consider how much time you wish to spend.

Consider how much money you wish to spend.

Read everything you can get your hands on by growers. Save the sales pitches for later...they will be educational as well, but only after you decide what you need.

Best of success!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydroponic Adventure Journal

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:23PM
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DWC(Deep Water Culture) is the easiest system to use and
you can simply make it with a home depot/lowes paint
bucket, air pump/tubes, and a net pot. All for very cheap.
I am sure others will disagreebut I think that it is best
to start out simple with hydro and gain a good
understanding of it. Making the system is one thing but
growing the plants and learning the standard items or media
that we use to grow hydroponically can take a grow or even
a couple of grows in a simple system to solidify the

i.e. you've got to learn how to deal with pH, watering,
maintaining a nutrient concentration, how to change a
reservoir efficiently, keeping the rez clean of algae, etc.

My 2 cents

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:38AM
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Agreed......Deep Water Culture.

Build it yourself to save a few bucks or buy one "ready to go". Either way, they are the simplest of systems.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydroponic Adventure

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Try not to overthink hydro, it's really rather simple.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:18AM
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olddaddy(zone 9 Florida)

Well fate intervened and made my plans for me. My daughter's school set up a hydroponic garden and pointed me to a class at a local u-pick. They use the Vertigro stack pots and a few days after I took the class a local farm closed down and I bought some of their pots. So far I have stack pots, reservoiirs, nutrient and mist lines plus some half barrels for the bottom grow boxes. It suits me as it is an assembly process from parts I understand. My container garden is putting out some very happy plants that will transplant into the grow pots shortly.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I bought these stacks used off of Craigslist.
Got this entire system for less than the price on one stack retail.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Vertigro System

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:55AM
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I learned a big thing about hydroponics- it not for me. I like the easy to grow in soil that has a way higher buffer for ph so no ph swings. Hydroponics save water and fertilizer, I have plenty of that, I will stay with soil. :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:42PM
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