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Anyone tried the cheap hydroponic setup?


I'm trying the cheap man's hydroponic setup as seen on Southern Garden tv show.

for every gallon of water mix in 2 tsp of water soluable plant food(miracle grow) and 1 tsp of epsom salt. Stir well.

get a 2" piece of styrofoam; make a circle just big enough to allow the hydro pot or a styrofoam cup with slits made in the bottom to allow the roots to go through. The hole should only allow the pot to stick out the bottom of the styrofoam an 1/8 of an inch. place the plant in the pot, stick thru the foam. the nutrients in the water will feed the plant for between 80-90 days. When you go to change it, simple pour the used water over some of your yard plants to feed them.

I did it myself when I first started. There weren't any grow shops in my area that I knew of, so I used M/G. The PH swings are huge. You add PH adjuster and 6 hours later they're back to where they were. Try Botanicare Pro Series. I've tried them all General Hydo,Humbolt,Dutch Nutrient. Botanicare Pro is certified organic. The stuff works great! Easy to mix. I'm telling ya they're the best I've tried & cheap too! I've been growing hydro for 10 years. You could also try a wick system too. Real easy to build.

This system was pioneered by Gordon Creaser. You can google him.

This type of growing system works fairly well for lettuce and that sort of thing.

In fact, Creaser set up a system where a warehouse was set up to grow angel fish in channels and use the angel fish waste automatically as a Nitrogen source for growing lettuce.

On a small scale, it is OK. You absolutely need a fish bubbler in the nutrient tank to prevent the hydroponic solution from growing "stale".

For beginning systems, you might try googling "waterfarm buckets". This is a good beginner's system and you can buy them complete or just parts or even make your own from plans on the internet.

You can also google "flood and drain starter system" or "build your own flood and drain" to see easy ways to build simple flood & drain hydroponics starter systems.

General Hydroponics FloraSeries work a lot better than Miracle Grow--but Miracle Grow can work.

this works and is known as a deep water culture. Peter's, or something with micro-nutrients works better than MG. Adding an airstone is important as plants need O2 in the rootzone. Also, hydroponics systems of all styles generally need to be drained and refilled with new nutrient sol'n. every week or two. pH is extremely important and there is a narrow window for it's maintenance; too low and macro-nutes are locked out, too high and the micros get locked out. Anywhere from 5.5.-6.5 will work for most plants, but 5.8-6.2 is prob a better range. As such, a pH meter or test kit of some sort is of paramount importance.Your design should block light from the nutrient resevoir to prevent algae from growing. There is an old and popular design for a top-fed, re-cicrulating DWC. A company called general hydroponics sells this product, but you can build your own with items from the hardware store. Hydroponics is never a cheap hobby, but theses style systems are the cheapest. Good Luck. Cheers

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