I really need some help

pic_it_up2005(Zone 6 Ohio Valley)November 30, 2008

Hydroponic Gardening on the cheap?

I am trying to build a hydroponic growing system with a rubbermaid container. I'm not and never will try to grow anything that is not legal. I don't have alot of money to spend on this, but do have a good pump, the container and the pvc that I need. I was looking at an areoponic like setup with the misters plugs in the pvc. I can't find anyplace close to where I live that carry the misters though, is there anything that anyone can suggest to do. without the misters I can't get the cups to fill with water. I am also using the red party cups as grow cups with a hole cut in the bottom and on the sides for the mist to get to the roots, I filled the cups with gravel. The problem I'm running into is, wihtout the misters it's like jets of water and they just hit the outside rocks, and the inside rocks (where the seeds will be) never get touched by the water.

please help, what can I do?

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derek-grow

you could biuld a active drip system easier than what you are trying to do. that is what i started out with years ago in a rubbermaid container. your plastic party cups are going just to cheap to me. why not buy some small 3 inch plastic flower pots and drill holes through them. you'll need a bunch of holes, but my first set up i just used the factory holes in the bottum. rocks will work cause i used them before in my first set up. try not to be to cheap. go to ebay and you can buy hydro bubble ponics kits for $29.00 if you truely have nothing to hide. they will come with net pots, hydroton, nutrients, rockwool, a air pump and air stone. you can get them in 2 pot kits all the way up to 15 pot kits. all of them for $29.00. give it a look.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:49PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

If you're heart is set on using the Rubbermaid container and the pump you have, all you really need is a lawn-type sprinkler or holes drilled in the outlet pipe from the pump -- just anything that will scatter the water around the inside top of the container.

Start your seeds in sand or soil first, then transplant the "seedlings" into perlite inside net pots. You can drill the lid to the Rubbermaid container the right size using a hole saw and a drill motor, then just plop the net pots into the holes, add the seedlings and plant nutrient and let 'er rip!

I use a similar setup in my "cloners". I merely direct the outlet spray from the pump to the underside of the lid and drill holes all along the edge of the plastic lid into which I drop my net pots. The net pots contain perlite and one seedling each. The water from the pump hits the lid and sprays in a circular pattern wetting each of the net pots.

Use whatever size pot you think will accommodate your particular plant. Run the pump 24/7 if cloning or at least once every hour or so for regular growing. Just don't let the net pots actually dry out. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 1:39AM
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pic_it_up2005(Zone 6 Ohio Valley)

Thankyou guys for all the help. I'm only 21 and I own my own business. In this economy I have to save every dime I have. I got the pump from my old man, and the pvc from a neighbor who was tossing it. I really can't afford to pay for anything at the moment but LOVE hydroponic gardening, or at least the 300 youtube video's I have watched on it. Does anyone know anyway I can build net pots that are efective. It was afore mentioned about drilling holes into plastic flower pots, I think I can dig some of those out. Will that work with this water jet like system I have now? at some point in the next day or so I'll take some pictures of my system now, and that may help.

I'm looking into go back to school for a botany degree because I didn't realize how much I love this stuff, I guess I got to get this system up and going first though.

Do you have any tips on how to get seeds? I don't have any to trade or anything with the local gardeners, and I can't find any in stores this time of year in ohio. Should I just go buy some strawberries or a tomato and figure out how to get seeds from them?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 2:45AM
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pic_it_up2005(Zone 6 Ohio Valley)

Thankyou guys for all the help. I'm only 21 and I own my own business. In this economy I have to save every dime I have. I got the pump from my old man, and the pvc from a neighbor who was tossing it. I really can't afford to pay for anything at the moment but LOVE hydroponic gardening, or at least the 300 youtube video's I have watched on it. Does anyone know anyway I can build net pots that are efective. It was afore mentioned about drilling holes into plastic flower pots, I think I can dig some of those out. Will that work with this water jet like system I have now? at some point in the next day or so I'll take some pictures of my system now, and that may help.

I'm looking into go back to school for a botany degree because I didn't realize how much I love this stuff, I guess I got to get this system up and going first though.

Do you have any tips on how to get seeds? I don't have any to trade or anything with the local gardeners, and I can't find any in stores this time of year in ohio. Should I just go buy some strawberries or a tomato and figure out how to get seeds from them?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 3:00AM
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grizzman

I believe you can buy mister heads at the Lowecal hardware store for around 10 for $3USD. drill the holes in your pvc pipe then screw them in. I like to use a little teflon tape on the threads to make a better seal.
To solve your moisture problem, cut more holes in your cups. But seriously 2" netpots are about a quarter a piece. Heck shoot me an email and I'll drop a few to you in the post.
Also, you may want to mix either a little perlite or vermiculite in with your gravel. that'll help wick the water towards the interior stones. not to much, maybe 20% by volume.
Be careful not to put the horizontal line (that the misters come out of) too high above the pump. most pumps, if not specifically bought with high output in mind, can't handle the head loss. (loss of pressure with increase in height) More than 7 or 8 inches of rise will often cause the pressure to drop too much to run the misters.
A more simple bubble or raft system may be the way to go. What are you trying to grow anyhow?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 8:51PM
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pic_it_up2005(Zone 6 Ohio Valley)

What is your email adress there grizzman? I'm trying to just get a system built first. I want to grow strawberries on a large scale after I get this all figured out to be honest. We had a local strawberry farmer who just got out of the farming game and I would like to grow a bunch of plants and take his spot at our local friday morning farmers market in town. I could really use the extra income, and I hope to turn it around and build me a nice greenhouse by this time next year.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:32PM
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rube32(6)

Please keep in mind that growing Hydroponically isn't cheap in the least. The majority of your money will be spent on nutrients, additives, and pesticides. You should also have spare or back up components in case your air pump or nutrient pumps go down, you may blow a light bulb or one of your fans may quit on you. With that said I'm not trying to discourage you, but when I started I had no idea how much money this new found love would cost me. $2,000 and counting and that has only been over the last six months. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:45PM
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