I have always been wary of hydroponics. Frankly, I do not like that it takes extra space and equipment to accomplish the same thing you can do by dropping a seed in the dirt.
However, clearly there are advantages. There are those with space in their homes, but no dirt to speak of. Also, growing out of the dirt can separate you from leaf and root eating bugs.
And, of course, the bountifulness of plants grown hydroponically cannot be denied.
When he made the offer he said I would just need a container to put them in and water. As it so happened, I also had the lighting that is required.
While I expect my lighting will be sufficient, I have no doubt it could be better.
Preparing the Seeds
The rockwool is soaked and allowed to saturate in water. Nothing fancy here, just regular old water. We happen to be using tap water from our rural water association.
We put the rockwool directly into the net cups for the entire project so we did not have to worry about transferring them later.
Then we dropped two seeds in to each rockwool. If both germinate, we will pull one of them as soon as we can.
The net cup, containing the rockwool and the seeds, are then placed inside of a clear seed start tray to germinate the seeds. The container helps retain the moisture.
The container is then placed directly under light – in our case this is an old re-purposed aquarium light. The light is suspended from a hook in the ceiling above the container so adjustments to height can be made, if needed.
Ideally we would have a better lighting system with a better adjustment system and more bulbs. However, the point at this moment is to not incur extra expenses.
After the seedlings have established their true leaves we will move the net cups into the hydroponic setup. The setup is nothing more than a plastic storage container with holes in the lid which will support the net cups.
The container will be filled with fertilized water, using a mix that was provided by MHPGardener. It is a “Hobby Mix”, to which we will add a little Epsom Salt.
Check back for the next update where we will show how the container is constructed and how we mix the fertilizer.
J&J Acres buys supplies from Growers Supply:
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Watch our How-To video for Hydroponics for Beginners by clicking the link, or by watching below: