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indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

Posted by daryl z3-4ID (northern) (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 13:50

I would like to start organic hydroponic gardening in our finished basement. I'm thinking peppers in 1.5 gallon (formerly frosting) buckets (aka dutch bucket system). Also wanting to do lots of small lettuce, kale, spinach, chard (about 4 to 5 inches tall at harvest). I've looked at the raft systems and really wonder how safe Styrofoam is when it sits on the water full time. I raise hydroponic barley fodder for animals currently. What methods do you suggest for a beginner to raise gobs of small greens? And are 1.5 gallon buckets suitable for peppers? Thanks for your help.


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

You should check out the Kratky Method: Non-circulation, non-electric hydroponic system. No pumps or aeration required. When used with Styrofoam sheets the sheets are suspended above the water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kratky Method: Non-circulation, non-electric hydroponic system


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

  • Posted by daryl z3-4ID (northern) (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 18:26

Thank you, boreal wormer. Have you done this type of hydroponics? It looks super cool.


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

I haven't tried it yet. Thought I'd try the one gallon version first

Here is a link that might be useful: A Simple Hydroponic Growing Kit for Short-Term Vegetables


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

  • Posted by daryl z3-4ID (northern) (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 23:04

Wow! Thank you. I'm totally ready to try it. North Idaho just got dumped on with snow and I'm thinking indoor garden here I come! I so appreciate these ideas, boreal wormer!


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

Hi daryl. Styrofoam is actually the blue insulation sheets that is a higher density than foamed polystyrene, which is the material disposable white coffee cups are made from.

There is normally no ambiguity when people call the food safe foamed polystyrene cups, "styrofoam". But for rafts both materials are possible.

You mention "organic" hydroponics is what you'd like. I just thought I was alert you that there is/was a controversy going on whether real (blue) styrofoam was generally a good thing to be using in rafts, and this by the organic and chemically averse crowds. The scandal I believe somewhere in SoCal specifically about the use of the blue stuff for rafts, as the manufacturer officially said it was not recommended.

On the other hand, I may be wrong but the foamed polystyrene (popularly misunderstood to be also called styrofoam) has not had such a scandal that I'm aware of.

There is a difference in material properties and formulation, as well as extent to waterlog. I personally do no hold an opinion as to whether Dow is simply being a pain in the butt, or whether the large "wholesome food" operation that got caught up in the scandal is somewhat deluding themselves about the use of the blue product they originally claim the company said was ok. I do use the blue stuff in one project where I wanted a stronger capacity and less crumbling.

Both materials have their pluses and minuses and both can be used for Kratky or raft. For floating though, if you wanted to buy the blue stuff, check out on Google what I'm talking about just to make sure you get the material that makes you happy.

Best luck!

This post was edited by PupillaCharites on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 5:52


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

  • Posted by daryl z3-4ID (northern) (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 14:26

Thank you, PupillaCharites. You're doing a great job of educating me. I appreciate all the info.


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

Thanks. If you are bored and looking for excitement some rainy day, check out this thread: And all I asked was how to start organic hydroponic gardening ... ;-)


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RE: indoor hydroponics--newby, need suggestions please

Yuzu and other citrus (kaffir) are very difficult to import into my home state. I have over 20 Yuzu sprouts that are growing from seeds.
I want to learn.


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