Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time to get going ...

Well I've been sitting around doing not much for a while now so far as hydroponics is concerned. But now that exams are finished, grades are in, and all the 2009 graduates march on Sunday at the college I teach at, I'm quickly running out of excuses not to get to work on my hydroponics system for the Summer.
I've mentioned that it's going to be a passive system, probably several passive systems so I can compare them to see how relatively effective they are. I'm planning to do maybe 1) a smart valve system, 2) a wick system, 3) some kind of float system and put pretty much the same plant varieties in each. That way I'll be able to compare the system effectiveness. I was also thinking about doing some nutrient experiments.
Some years ago when there was a pretty active hydroponics listserv on the web, there was a fellow in California I think who was always trying to grow hydroponically with a mixture of Miracle Grow and Epson Salts. I thought it might be fun to experiment with that as a nutrient system too, just for the fun of it. Generally though I've been really happy with TotalGro's Steiner mix. I think I talked about that in an earlier post.
The last day to expect frost here in the Shenandoah Valley is May 17th which just happens to be the day our new graduates walk. So I'm expecting to get really serious next week.


Red Icculus said...

Smartvalves are great. You have to use a wicking medium like coco or a perlite and hydroton mix. If you don't they get wet feet or the top dries out.

I have also used Miracle Grow/epsom salts in a pinch in my garden. I only used it for a couple weeks until I could afford real hydro nutrients again:

Ray Schneider said...

Checked out your link today (June 14th) Impressed with your systems. Very nice! You got off to a nice early start. I'm taking the leisurely track this year. Should be interesting. Beautiful pictures.