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🌼🌼🌼 DIY Hydroponics. Self-sufficiency on a shoestring? ...


webtrekker

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First off - I'm NOT a gardener in any way, shape or form! My wife loves looking after the garden and I just do the heavy lifting when required.

 

Saying that, I've lately started looking into Hydroponics as a possible means of food production requiring very little space or soil (ie. no actual 'garden' required) and can be done cheaply with readily available materials from your local DIY outlets.

 

So I've added this thread to encourage the opinions of both expert gardeners and non-gardeners in the hope that we can, together, list some practical Hydroponics solutions to the problem of growing food without having access to a conventional garden.

 

There are loads of youtube videos on this but for the moment, not being an expert myself,  I'll hold back and let you lot chirp in with what I'm hoping will be some amazing ideas and solutions.

 

Over to you ...

 

👍

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1 hour ago, webtrekker said:

First off - I'm NOT a gardener in any way, shape or form! My wife loves looking after the garden and I just do the heavy lifting when required.

 

Saying that, I've lately started looking into Hydroponics as a possible means of food production requiring very little space or soil (ie. no actual 'garden' required) and can be done cheaply with readily available materials from your local DIY outlets.

 

So I've added this thread to encourage the opinions of both expert gardeners and non-gardeners in the hope that we can, together, list some practical Hydroponics solutions to the problem of growing food without having access to a conventional garden.

 

There are loads of youtube videos on this but for the moment, not being an expert myself,  I'll hold back and let you lot chirp in with what I'm hoping will be some amazing ideas and solutions.

 

Over to you ...

 

👍

Well done Trek, practical solutions are what’s needed. 
 

Personally I’ve never grown hydroponically, but I know an awful lot about it. 
Hydroponics means ‘water in motion/action’. 
Basically instead of letting your plants grow in soil, you’ll grow them in a moving water source adding fertiliser that will mimic the minerals and nutrients found in soil. 

Its less labour intensive, cleaner and more efficient than buggering about with massive amounts of soil and pots. 
 

There are many different types of hydro, like top feed dripper systems, DWC (deep water culture), NFT (nutrient film technique), aeroponics (growing in essentially- mist vapour), flood and drain systems, passive wick systems and variations of these. 
 

Basically, the simplest hydro is passive wick, followed by top feed dripper systems, followed by flood and drain. 
 

For passive wick, all you’ll need is a pot filled with absorbent medium like coco coir, peat, even foam! Thread some nylon cord through the holes at the bottom of your pots and place on a mesh grill positioned above a reservoir, a bucket or a deep tray will do.

The nylon cord dangles in the water and soaks up the water, providing your plant with a constant supply of water. It has to be nylon, with plenty of fine strands, otherwise it won’t work. 
 

Will explain some more about the other techniques later, or just do the easy thing and Google them or watch a YouTube vid on it. 👍

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1 hour ago, LastOneLeftInTheCounty said:

Well done Trek, practical solutions are what’s needed. 
 

Personally I’ve never grown hydroponically, but I know an awful lot about it. 
Hydroponics means ‘water in motion/action’. 
Basically instead of letting your plants grow in soil, you’ll grow them in a moving water source adding fertiliser that will mimic the minerals and nutrients found in soil. 

Its less labour intensive, cleaner and more efficient than buggering about with massive amounts of soil and pots. 
 

There are many different types of hydro, like top feed dripper systems, DWC (deep water culture), NFT (nutrient film technique), aeroponics (growing in essentially- mist vapour), flood and drain systems, passive wick systems and variations of these. 
 

Basically, the simplest hydro is passive wick, followed by top feed dripper systems, followed by flood and drain. 
 

For passive wick, all you’ll need is a pot filled with absorbent medium like coco coir, peat, even foam! Thread some nylon cord through the holes at the bottom of your pots and place on a mesh grill positioned above a reservoir, a bucket or a deep tray will do.

The nylon cord dangles in the water and soaks up the water, providing your plant with a constant supply of water. It has to be nylon, with plenty of fine strands, otherwise it won’t work. 
 

Will explain some more about the other techniques later, or just do the easy thing and Google them or watch a YouTube vid on it. 👍

 

Wow! Very informative! Thanks for that LastOne. Looks like we're off to a good start. At least this is something practical that anyone can tackle and beats sitting around worrying what will happen once all the modRNA food hits the shops.

 

 

 

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The thing about hydroponics is that you can’t just have your plants sitting in still stagnant water otherwise they’ll rot and die. 
 

The water has to be moving, either through gravity or a pump or using an aquarium air stone to oxygenate the water. 
 

An air stone is usually used in passive wick and deep water culture. 
 

Nutrition is also a key factor, as you won’t grow much using just plain water, unless your plants are in a soil or soilless mix already containing nutrients. 
 

Simply setting small pots filled with compost into shallow guttering being slowly drip fed from a roof or high reservoir is literally hydroponics, and would be simple and easy start. 
 

The top row of guttering will be on an incline, feeding the row below, repeat as many times as you like! An entire wall of plants kept watered and healthy using gravity and a tank or reservoir of rainwater high up. 

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