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new hydroponics set-up

Posted by mhemingwm none (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 29, 12 at 20:33

My husband and I would like to start a hydroponics garden as an addition to our existing garden. We have done some research, but still have a few questions. Our plan is to build a wall mounted cascading system that will be outdoors on our fence. we plan on using 4 pieces of 10ft. section of PVC for where the plants grow, but are not sure about the bet way to the attach each piece together. should there be a curved piece between each, or a each piece capped at each end, with a hole in the bottom where we could attach another hose to go to the next pipe?

Also, how much water do you need to have in the pipe at all times? we are planning on having continuous flow, we just need to know how much water do we need have in there at one time. enough to touch the roots, or enough to cover the roots?

Lastly, we don't really have any great local resources for this, so does anyone have any books they would recommend that are a good resource for hydroponics outdoors. thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: new hydroponics set-up

I have a few hints..
First, use a large 15+ gal tub for the nutrients. Since it will be in the sun, dig a hole so you can bury most of it in the ground - that will keep it cool and also help block light. Put a T tap just outside the container supply line and hook a bit of hose to it. When its time to change your nutrients, just open the tap and use the discharge from the tap to supplement your regular garden.

A NFT system in the sun will get hot, so the faster you can get the nutrients through the system and back into the tank to cool down, the better off you will be - and the bigger the tank the cooler it will be.


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RE: new hydroponics set-up

If you're using NFT (it sounds like you are, but you didn't say)only requires a thin film of nutrient on the bottom of the channel. thus the "f" in nft.
Personally, I would cap the ends and connect each pipe with a short piece of pipe to allow the film to waterfall into the next section of channel. This will help aerate the nutrient as it works its way back to the rez.
As Robo pointed out, the nature of NFT will cause the nutrient to run warm. make sure to paint the channels black then white. Black ot block out sun, then white to reflect it. Alternatively, you could glue some aluminum foil to them. If it still gets too hot, a two liter bottle about 2/3 full frozen will help cool the rez. just replace it once its melted.
Make sure the roots of your plants are coming out of the net pots so they'll reach the nutrient film or its a lost cause.
as for literature, most of what I've read on paper spout a lot of the same thing. (there's lots of good stuff online though) the best way is to jump in there and have a go at it.


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RE: new hydroponics set-up

I have compiled a growing list of good books on hydroponics:

(1) Hydroponic Food Production-Sixth Edition (by Howard Resh)
(2) Hydroponic Home Food Gardens (by Howard Resh)
(3) Hydroponic Tomatoes (by Howard Resh)
(4) Hydroponic Questions & Answers (by Howard Resh)
(5) Hobby Hydroponics (by Howard Resh)
(6) Hydroponic Strawberry Production (by Dr Lynette Morgan)
(7) Hydroponic Capsicum Production (by Dr Lynette Morgan)
(8) Hydroponic Lettuce Production (by Dr Lynette Morgan)
(9) Fresh Culinary Herb Production: A Technical Guide to the Hydroponic and Organic Production of Commercial Fresh Gourmet Herb Crops (by Dr Lynette Morgan)
(10) Hydroponic Tomato Crop Production (by Dr. Lynette Morgan PhD)

I also have hundreds of good articles saved in text files and pdf. on my computer. Obviously way to many links to post without knowing more details and/or type of plants etc. to narrow down the list. But I must say I completely agree with grizzman 100%, the best way to learn about hydroponics is to just jump in feet first and have a go at it. I couldn't agree more with that statement.


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