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Where To Set Up?
What’s one of the major advantages of hydroponics?
You can put it anywhere! Outside… inside… a closet or dark
basement… even in a space station, if you’ve got one of those!
It's time now to give some thought to
where you're going to put your new garden. Is it going inside or
outside? At the end of this page, we'll provide more information to
help you decide. But first consider these options for your home
- An inside garden (with moderate to good window lighting)
- A closet or small grow-room (few or no windows)
- A patio garden
- A hydroponic greenhouse (sweet!)
If you are just beginning your "water
gardening" journey, we suggest you start with a fairly small indoor
unit. This way, you can get your feet wet, learn the basics, experiment a
little, and decide whether you want to continue with home hydroponics.
You can always grow your operation to fit your passion. Hydroponics
lends itself well to modular expansion.
Once you see how fascinating and productive hydroponics really is, my guess is you'll be hooked, just like me.
Points About Garden Placement
Plants with any fruit or flowers require 4-6 hours of direct sunlight and at least 12-14 hours of very bright light per day.
unless you have a sunny south-facing bay window or patio in full
sunlight part of the day, you'll have to provide a special lamp (HID)
for your unit. Fluorescent "Gro-lites" are fine for philodendrons and
wandering jew, but not for producing tomatoes and green beans.
lamp may well be the most expensive part of your whole setup
($120-200+). Just so you know this up front. And those lights put out heat! You'll need a fan to keep your plants cooled off.
if you do need supplemental lighting, try to put your home hydroponics
garden near a bright window, or position it for direct sunlight if at
all possible. Can't beat nature's ultimate grow light!
plants need a temperature range of 65-80 degrees. Can you provide that?
Do you have enough heating or air conditioning to create the proper
atmosphere? One of the major mistakes beginners make is in overlooking
this one very important requirement.
You cannot grow tomatoes in a 40 degree basement or lettuce on a 90 degree patio. It just doesn't work!
nutrient solution must be kept cool... between 60-75 degrees. This
means you can't keep the vat out on a hot patio without providing
insulation or some other means of keeping it cool. There are other ways
to do this (water chillers) but they are expensive.
hydroponics setup can't be directly out in the rain, as it will dilute
and overflow your system and get the electrical equipment wet. Bad
Knowing these important climate requirements may help you decide where your Hydro Pod should go. And keep you alive...
your first unit think small, at least at first. You'll be amazed at
just how much produce you can harvest from a 4X4' footprint.
little thought and planning, you can keep a constant rotation of
seedlings started and mature plants ripening. If you replace a head of
lettuce with a new seedling as you harvest, your home hydroponics setup
will truly be a continuous "food factory".
For your first gardens, use only bush,
patio or miniature varieties of the big vining crops (tomatoes, cukes,
squash, and green beans). As your skill grows, you can experiment with
trellising and other creative crop management techniques. But remember,
with an indoor unit, your plants can only go as high as your lights.
A small garden can be placed anywhere it will fit, even in a closet!
The Best of Both Worlds
last thought. If you have a sunny porch or patio, you might consider an
indoor-outdoor garden. Keep it indoor under lights during the harsh
winter months, and move it to your patio in the spring, when the last
frost is past.
How could you do this? Put your unit on wheels. Or, just
break it down and reassemble on the porch. Simple.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of which spot in your home would be best for your garden.
But before you decide, you may want to explore a little further:
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.