This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission. Please read my full disclosure policy for details.
|Back to Back Issues Page
Urban Farmer: * Aeroponics Issue * Hoops go dormant
July 01, 2016
Volume 3, Episode 11
July 1, 2016
Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant
~ Orson Scott Card
Hydroponic Water Test Kit-
Check out your tap water before you get started!
What This Kit Tests For
So what this kit comes with is various supplies which can be used to test for 6
different factors that, if they aren’t up to par, can
inhibit growth of your
hydroponic plants. It is one time use and only really needs to be performed on
your tap water once unless for some reason you expect that the quality of your
tap has changed drastically since the last test.
Highlights of this product:
Detects six common growth inhibitors
Get professional lab results on the spot
No wet chemistry
The kit itself test for these factors:
ROCKWOOL- POPULAR AND
VERSATILE GROWING MEDIUM
One of the easiest growing mediums to garden with
hydroponically, rockwool is a
favorite growing medium among commercial
hydroponic installations. Rockwool or stone-wool is a material made from melted
volcanic rock and spun into a sponge like material which the roots grow into.
With this material, all nutrients (fertilizer) must be supplied with hydroponic
nutrients like the Dutch Nutrient Formula.
Rockwool is very versatile and can be hand watered, set on a drip system or a
flood and drain table for automated watering.
Here is a commercial tomato garden using rockwool. You will notice the dripper
lines to deliver nutrient solution.
AutoPots: The Ultimate Lazy Man’s
are patented, manufactured planting pots that are essentially “selffeeders”.
Nutrient solution is automatically fed on demand via “Smart Valves”, and smart,
they are. This clever system can be gravity fed, so it does not depend on pumps
or timers for feeding. It could be considered a passive wick system, and is
often used for automatic feeding of long-term specimen plants, such as potted
ivy or philodendrons in a doctor’s office.
Here’s how it works: Auto Pots, like the ebb and flow system, mimic the natural
rainfall cycle. The units consist of a saucer that holds 2 plant pots and
contains the “smart valve”. Solution is gravity fed into the holding trays, not
the pots, so it’s actually “sub-irrigation”. The growing medium then wicks up
the fluid to the plant’s roots. As the medium starts
to dry out, the valve opens
up, flooding the saucer once again to a depth of 1”. There is a large reservoir
to hold nutrient solution, but the fluid is not captured and reused.
Valve opens and refills Valve stays shut ‘til pot dries out
As with Dutch buckets, any medium can be used with these nifty pots: coco coir,
perlite, vermiculite or even gravel. The system is flexible; great for a custom
Build or buy your own stand to hold them, no specialized stand is necessary. We
have set AutoPots up with our HydroPad® though, and it works very well. In fact,
you can set up a full 16 pot garden in a compact 4’ X 4’ PVC stand.
There are even entire greenhouses filled with nothing but rows and rows of
Autopots, and they claim lush, impressive crop growth.
expensive. But, once you have ’em, you’re done……. forever. Buy
them at Amazon or Ebay.
Many indoor gardeners like to start small so we’ve created these simple
birds-eye diagrams of how our AutoPot systems can best utilize limited space.
Below on the left is a dual tray system that has a 2′ x 2′ footprint, perfect
for using with a
250W HID lighting system.
its right is a larger garden with six trays in a 3′ x 4′ footprint ideal for a
400W HID lighting system when growing indoors.
8 Tray AutoPot
Shown below is layout that fits in a 4′ x 4′ area. As with any AutoPot system,
be arranged to your liking, and at any time during the garden season
thanks to the remote reservoir and their removeable pots. Many gardeners will
start plants off with trays close together and move them farther apart as plants
grow to prevent over-crowding and maximize the space they need to grow to their
fullest.We found this layout to work best under a
600W HID lamp when growing indoors.
15 Tray AutoPot Layout
Shown below is layout that fits in a 5′ x 6′ area. Of course trays can be
arranged to your liking and your plants requirements, we just found this to work
best under a
1000W HID lamp
when growing indoors.
TIP OF THE MONTH: Want to jump start your plants and
save money? Learn how to CLONE here:
Thanks for subscribing and for reading our ezine.
Happy farming Ya’ll!
|Back to Back Issues Page