Home built hodroponics

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by wy_white_wolf, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Messages:
    6,133
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    They had a little right up on this in Farm Show Mag. and I guess on in Backwoods Mag last January

    http://www.papaduckswaterfarm.com/

    Has anyone her ordered his info book? Tryed what he did? Just trying to find more out about it.
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Have you done a web search on it? I was interested in this a couple of yrs back and found lots on the web for free. I don't have the info to hand any more tho.
     

  3. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    OK,I have experimented with this,this is what I did.

    Got a kids hard plastic swimming pool,filled with pea gravel.Set it on a table.Bought the powder of nourishment stuff,mixed it in a big bucket.Couple times a day had my pump on a timer turn on and flood pool,had a big drain on side of pool near top so it didnt overflow,and a small hole in bottom of pool to slowly drain water back out over an hour or so.

    You can pack plants in as tight as they will fit,root systems are very small as they dont need to go hunting for food and water.

    Mine died out when pump did,that was my weak spot.Until then it absolutely thrived.Really works.

    I will try it again someday,its a cool idea,I would like to get into using some kind of liquid fertilizer feed.

    Agreed,info for this is all over the web

    BooBoo
     
  4. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Where do the water to flood the pool come from and where did it go to?
     
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    The water comes from and drains into the same bucket at ground level,the growing bed is elevated above the hieght of the bucket.Pump water from bucket into garden bed.Just make the bed drain on bottom slower than pump capacity,and bed overflow drain on side at gravel top level larger than pump capacity so you cant overfill it,but can fill bed fully before it slowly drains back into bucket.Do it a couple times a day,depending,enough to keep plants from drying out.Dont suffocate the roots with too much standing water.Pretty simple really.
    BooBoo
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    I was thinking of doing this at one time using an evaporative cooler pump. Cheapest pump going and made to work long hours as long as it doesn't run dry. I think at the time they were about 15$ at the local hardware. If you set up a series of 5 gal buckets that could drain into each other and the last one into the catch basin, you would only need the one pump and put it on a timer.
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Also no pump system.You drain it into bucket,then to water you raise bucket above bed and hang on hook,then put it on floor and drain it.Sounds like a lot of remembering, though folks have done it that way.
    BooBoo
     
  8. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Messages:
    11,076
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Kansas
    For those of you that have tried growing hydroponically, what crop/crops did you grow?

    At Epcot center it appeared that cucumbers and summer squash were about the most productive, therefore most cost effective.
     
  10. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL

    I was at Epcot in November. It was amazing. All those roots just hanging in the air. They were using a system where the plants just dangled from a type of conveyer that moved the plants along a track suspended from the ceiling and passed through a "spray-booth" where the roots were saturated. It really was amazing.

    I had a very small hydroponic system set up about a year ago. I didn't really grow any crops. I had golden pothos and peace lilies. I started it as a vegetative filter for an aquarium. It was a 75 gallon tank that is 18 inches front to back and 48 inches side to side. I built a tray from acrylic that sat on top that was 48 inches long and 8 inches from front to back. I put vermiculite in it and pumped water from the tank into one end and it drained back into the tank on the other end. Never before had the water quality been better for the oscar fish. We took it all down when we moved.

    We're moving again this spring. I hope to build a lean-to greenhouse against the Souther side of the new house and try something similar. We have two of the 75 gallon aquariums and one 125 gallon aquarium that is 72 inches long. We want to raise tilapia in the big one and some of Cowgirlone's freshwater shrimp in the other two. If we pack them in tight and feed them well, there will be plenty of nutrients in the water to feed the plants.

    Before, with the oscar and houseplants, the pump pushed water constantly. We'll need to cycle the water to grow things like tomatoes and cucumbers.
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Lettuce did really well.Did several varieties,all did well.In fact,I put in a hodgepod of veggies,they all did well until system failure.Plants per size of growing bed is astounding.

    BooBoo
     
  12. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL

    At what stage of growth did you plant your system? Did you start seeds in peat pellets or just scatter some seeds in the tub?
     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    I used plants that came in the starter packs from a nursery.It was just an experiment to see if the principle worked,and when it died I let the project go.So I didnt get deep into it beyond proving to myself that it works.Should have followed up in retrospect.Maybe next year after the move I will start getting back into it.Forgot all about it actually,glad the thread reminded me.

    Im still impressed by the concept,food growing at waist high level,no weeds,VERY compact.Now if I could recycle pond water or make my own liquid fertilizer-manure mix,it would just be ideal.

    HOPEFULLY we will be doing something like this in an Earthship( www.earthship.com/index.php ),with greenhouse windows and planters along the whole south front,integral with the house living area, and utilizing grey water as the growth liquid,heard of very good results with that system.

    The neat thing I liked was how the plant didnt waste its time making roots,all the growth was above ground,so to speak.I think the lettuce made a thick one inch long root,like thumb sized,that was it.Now, I THINK that was the lettuce,it was 25 years or so ago,might've been something else but I remember some short,thick,very compact roots.I planted the plants so after growing a bit they were touching,thats how tight they can be packed,a little experimentation would be in line to get it just right.And that lettuce was very tasty too.

    Give it a shot,its really simple,as someone said search the web,all kinds of systems for the do it yourselfer.Simple,not difficult at all.

    BooBoo
     
  14. Several years ago I bought plans from Hollister's Hydroponics using empty pop bottles and pvc pipe. The system works great except for human errors. I had mine setup and was growing 24 tomato vines that had little marble size green tomatoes on them. Then human error hit. I left a aluminum ladder standing close by and the wind blew it over crushing one of my pop bottles. The next time the timer turned the pump on all the water was pumped out on the ground through the crushed bottle. Apparently the accident happened soon after I had left the ladder standing nearby cause when I came in from work late the next evening I checked on the tomato plants and every one of them was wilted severely. I replaced the bottle with a new one and refilled the solution tank and tried to revive the plants but they never came out of their shock.

    I haven't tried it since although I keep dreaming about it. Maybe this summer if I have more time. Anyway try a google search on Hollister's Hydroponic for a web address. It seems to me the plans only cost around $7 and building the system was fairly reasonable. The biggest expense is the timer and the pump which is probably half the cost of the whole system.