Hydroponics The Growing Wave Of The Future, Now!!
Forget Seasons,Soil, Weather
Hydroponics is an exciting way to grow plants without soil, but it's not new. It has been used in Holland and Europe for many years. It is just now catching on in the US.
You will see hydroponic systems described under a number of names, some of the are even patented and trade marked. Descriptions such as ebb and flow,bubbleponics, and aeroponics are all descriptions of different types of systems for growing plants without soil.
My first hydroponic system was a simple ebb and flow system that was made of 2 ten foot pieces of schedule 40 plastic pipe 4" in diameter and fastened together in a U shape with similar fittings. I left one end open and capped one end. I drilled (20) 2" holes on the pipe along the top. I set these on cinder blocks in a manner that when water was applied at the closed end it flowed by gravity around the bend and back to the supply tank. I used a Rubbermaid tub of about ten gallons in size as the supply basin and a small $10.00 fountain pump and a $5.00 timer, set to run 5 mins. every two hours. After everything else was in place , I filled the pipe with washed pea gravel because it was cheap and I was experimenting.
I transplanted spinach and tomatoes in this setup,because I couldn't germinate seeds in this media. The tomatoes quickly outgrew the root space and caused the system to overflow. Once they were removed, the spinach provided enough fresh spinach for two families for several months.
For a limited time, share your experiences for FREE seeds. See form at the bottom of this page.
Enter The AeroGrow System
I had been researching and studying the AeroGrow system for 6 months or so, but my wife was just not sold on the idea of growing plants in our music/entertainment room. After all , our guests would see my latest experiment. Well,I finally couldn't take it any longer and ordered it.
When the Aerogrow Vegetable Pro arrived, it took about 20 mins. to set it up and I called my wife. She was amazed at the beauty of the system and started planning how to arrange the funiture to showcase this new toy.
We sat down and watched the 30 min video that came with it. At the end of the video she suggested that we needed two more units to grow all the things she wanted. I asked if she would get me one for Christmas,and she replied ,"I would like one myself for Christmas."
So now we have three units that are growing tomatoes,lettuce, herbs and flowers in our music room. It's quite a conversation piece.
More Systems and Supplies
Stealth Hydro Systems sells a dozen or so different systems of all sizes. They also have 8 pages of printable PDF files on their customer service page. A partial reprint appears below.
Growing Information and Tips:WATER
The best waters to use are spring, distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water. If you can get access to these many issues that plague growers can be bypassed. However, most household water is also fine to use. If you have city supplied water you can use it directly from your faucets inside your home or apartment.Or, if your house has a well and softener system, you will want to take your water from a faucet that supplies water straight from the well; i.e. water that has not been through the softener system. Softener systems add salts to the water that are harmful to plants. Note that well watercan potentially cause mineral build up and blockages, so regular cleaning is required. The faucets in your yard generally supply un-softened water; and there should also be one right next to your softener system that also supplies water that has not been through the system yet.If you have a Reverse Osmosis System, you should use the RO filtered water as it is close to the quality of spring and distilled water.
USING THE NUTRIENTS
• Full strength (i.e. one bag) should only be given to plants that are at least 6-8 inches tall.
• DO NOT use BLOOM and GROW together.
• Apply Micro to water first and then apply either BLOOM or GROW fertilizer.
• A nutrient reservoir’s duration is dependant on the size of the plants.
• Once one third of the nutrient solution has been used up, top the reservoir up with water (no nutrients).
• Let the reservoir level drop until a couple of inches above the water pump.
• Drain the remaining nutrients and replace with a fresh tank.
• Repeat as needed.
• If you have fully rooted seedlings or cuttings, add one third of a feeding packet of Stealth Micro, and mix into the water.
• If you have rooted seedlings or cuttings, add one third of a feeding packet of Stealth Growto the micro mix. Mix well.
NUTRIENT ANALYSIS STARTING SEEDS IN THE ROCKWOOL
• If you have the Stealth Hydro seedling/cutting starter greenhouse and have your started seedlings ready, place the seedling rockwool cubes into the Hydroton, make sure to bury them at least one half inch deep into the Hydroton, having them stick out of the pot just slightly.
• It is also possible to start seeds directly in the bubbleponic system.
• Place seed(s) into center of cube, working them into the cube fibers.
• Ensure that the rockwool cube is buried at least one inch deep into the Hydroton.
• Do not use any nutrients until cuttings have rooted, or seedlings appear (roughly 1-2 weeks).
• The first nutrient application should be ¼ strength, gradually building to full strength when plants are 8 to 10 inches tall.
• Once 1/3 of the reservoir has been used, top it up with water (no nutrients).
• When the water level gets to a few inches above the pump, drain and replace the nutrient solution and repeat cycle.
Tell Everyone About Your Experiences With Hydroponics
Did you build your own system? Do you have a favorite commercial system? What were the results of your efforts? We love pictures, so send them as well. We are also interested in regular contributors if you are interested. Quality submissions will be published on their own page.
For a limited time,all published submissions will receive your choice of 5 packets (Or 2 Bulk Packs)of Kwik Brand seeds from our eBay store. (A $10 Value)
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