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Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

Posted by gardenpet (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 28, 04 at 15:35

Hello all. I'm an indoor gardener who is very interested in gardening hydroponically.

I want to grow lettuce, Red Robin tomatoes (to start, they're a small determinate), peppers, other veggies, and herbs.

I'm not asking for how to do it, just a recommendation on what you think the best system for me would be. What worked well for you? I do not want to sacrifice quality to save pennies but I also know I cannot afford the more expensive systems.

I have read about pot culture but I've also read that mold can be a big problem. I don't want to accidentally make anyone in my family sick, I just want to move away from store-bought produce. Plus, I love gardening indoors (no land, so to speak) and this would help me maximize my space.

If someone knows of a particularly good book or website, I would love to hear about it. My local library is really small so I'd have to order it (the book) on Amazon and that makes it difficult to choose one.

Also, have any of you grown organically while growing hydroponically? I know I


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 2, 04 at 0:14

I think mold might be due to the media used. I have grown tomatoes with the Dutch pot method with Perlite as a media & had an algae problem due to the Perlite. I have also grown peppers with the Pot method with sphagnum peat as a media & they have done quite well. I have had some of my peppers in the same peat for over a year & they still keep producing peppers. I also have had no mold with the peat.

I have also had very good luck with sugar cane & apple seedlings in the sphagnum peat – much better than soil.

I personally think it is better to build your own system - you learn in the process. Some of the commercial ones in my opinion are too expensive. If you do a search of the forum on "plans" you will find plans posted by some of the members.


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

Hi Baci,

I have lots of peat moss but I know there's two different kinds. Or, well, I know, at least, that they have two different textures. There's the one that looks like very dry bits of straw and is often used in those hanging pots. The one I have, though, is like soil, brown and very fine, I use it for my potting mixes and seed starting. Is that the kind of peat you're talking about?

I am looking into building my own system, thank you for the encouragment :) I will do that search too.

I have been looking further into building my own system and I am considering a water culture system. My first hydroponic project is going to be growing lettuce. I think I've got most of it figured out, I just have to find and understand the nutrients better. I called the local stores but none of them carry hydroponic supplies so I'm searching the net. Anyways, thanks again :)


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

Gardenpet, You can find some plans and other hydroponic growing info at:

http://members.mailaka.net/norm34/


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 3, 04 at 17:08

It may be Sphagnum peat, which is what I use. The other may be coconut peat.

There may be other media & better methods than what I use. I had many interruptions this winter & noticed the peppers did well in the sphagnum pots with little maintenance. There are other pepper growers on forum that may have better methods, however. If you live in a warmer area of CA they will over winter. The tree varieties are nice – my neighbor grows hers as an ornamental.


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

Hi Norm34,
I just wanted to say thank you for the link, your site is really informative. All those pictures really helped me to get a clearer image in my mind about how things are done. I'm sorry I couldn't reply earlier.

Baci,
The part of Northern California I'm in isn't so bad weather-wise, it's just really unstable. The temperatures rise and fall by an extreme amount of degrees and go back and forth during the seasons. The rain/hail/wind just make it that much harder too, they come so unexpectedly. I don't have any outdoor space of my own right now, but even at a my family's home it'd be very difficult. Still, I do try, and I appreciate the info :)


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

I've tried both DWC and aeroponics. Both are easy to build, with DWC being the cheapest and easiest. Aeroponics, at least so far, seems to produce the fastest growth.

IMO, the value of "hydro" nuits is vastly overrated. I'm having great success using Tomato-tone and Blood Meal. $21 worth of these things will last me for probably two years - and that's for growing more than 70 plants!

YMMV,

Mike


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

I like the emily's garden. I have some tomatoes growing well in it and I just planted some peppers (which haven't sprouted yet)

Here is a picture from my webcam: http://www.mysimplehomegarden.com/garden/?page_id=102
The emily's garden is the top picture. The bottom one is of where I had a baby banana tree that died ;P

The green bucket partially hidden by the stairs is where i'm starting a watermelon. It is just one bucket inside the other with the inner bucket having holes for drainage (so i can change water if need be. It has hydroton with the watermelon seed in a 1 inch rockwool cube.

I've done hydroponics a bunch of different ways. So far the Emily's garden has been the easiest and gives you the most bang for the buck (6 growing areas)

Previously I had a squash, tomato, pepper, zucchini, cucumber, and strawberries in the same Emily's garden at the same time. Of course I had to put in 2 gallons of water a day as they would drain the reservoir dry (cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes all at once and they are all pretty good feeders. I was also able to grow one tiny watermelon in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Webcam


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RE: Recommendations for a hydro newbie who wants to grow veggies?

Stumbled on this site a while back. Bought the book and it has been an incredible resource. http://www.howardresh.com/home.html

Try to find a used copy if you can and save a few bucks.

For the veggies you are planning to grow, bubble buckets will have enough media to support the larger plants. That is the route I am lookinmg at. For herbs and lettuce, look a DWC/raft. Maybe a 28 quart sterilite like I used in this ebb and flow (on my blog). http://frugalhydroponics.blogspot.com/
I am new to hydroponics, but sharing the massive research I have done and started to experiment with.

Best of success!!!


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