Urban Farmer: * Pay attention * Kratzky * Critters!

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Urban Farmer: * Pay attention * Kratzky * Critters!
September 02, 2014


The Urban Farmer, Issue #075 * Watch Your Garden * Kratzky * Critters!





   “A garden always has a point.”

~Elizabeth Hoyt, The Raven Prince


Pros & Cons of Hydroponics

Found this really cool article which should add to

your Hydro game plan:

Hyrdoponics: Benefits

To some,

hydroponics could be considered the ultimate realization of an idea that started

in agriculture nearly 200 years ago, hatched in the minds of millions of farmers

during the birth of the Industrial Revolution. The final combination of man and

machine that graces him with the food he needs to feed his family, and the

excess to provide for the rest of the community around him.

Of course,

now we live in an era where corn that’s picked one morning in Iowa can be on a

kitchen table in California by dinner, and the idea of locality has been thrown

out the window in favor of interstate trucking and the excessive burning of

fossil fuels. That doesn’t mean all progress is bad though, and out of

modernization has come an entirely new method for sustaining crops that attempts

to reach beyond the very limits of what organic life is capable of.


on the route you take, hydroponics can provide incredibly high levels of control

over nearly every part of the growing process; from germination of the seeds to

seasoning the vegetables right before they hit the grill.

Levels of

specific nutrients, increased yield, reusable water sources, the overall health

of root masses, and the potential to cure disease are just a few of the many

different areas that hydroponic growers have the advantage over soil…but all

this transparency and yield boosting does come at a somewhat difficult to manage


Hydroponics: Drawbacks

The same

technological advancements that give hydroponic enthusiasts the control


depend on to blow soil harvests out of their pots, can also be responsible for

the complexity and fragility that scare many dirt growers off from making that

big leap of faith.

If any

piece of the system malfunctions while you aren’t home to catch it, you can lose

an entire crop within a matter of hours, so often a backup power supply or

constant monitoring programs are required in order to ensure eventual success.

In recent years however, this garden-killer has become less of an issue, as more

advanced toys are being released which can actually text the gardener’s cell

phone about any alerts triggered from sudden changes in the system, at which

point he can switch over to the webcam feed and assess the damage from wherever

he might be in the world.

But before

you rush out to the local shop and grab a couple buckets or a pump, these peace

of mind luxuries do not come anywhere close to cheap, and unless you’re planning

to fill a 30′x30 space with 200 potential sites the initial investment of these

devices can far outweigh their benefit for anyone who plans on keeping things

humble in their closet department.

No matter

which direction you eventually choose, it’s obvious that there are many

different factors to consider before entering into the world of growing your own

food indoors. If simplicity and consistency sound more appealing than high

yields or wild infusions of cutting-edge nutrient combinations, soil is the way

to go.

And if

you’re someone like me who enjoys tinkering with intricate systems and advanced

feeding methods in order to achieve the biggest, bushiest plants around, then

hydroponics could be the proper path for you.


side of the fence you eventually land on, the wonders of creating your own

produce at home is an always an exciting adventure to embark on, and who needs

to be right as long as everyone’s having fun?




Spectrum King SK450

(full-spectrum) with a new tomato plant. This is what it looks like at day

#47 (we have tomatoes!):



2. Hoops of Hope (Our original Hydroponic SURVIVAL GREENHOUSE)

4 complete hydroponics setups in the our greenhouse are still going crazy! [top drip Bato

buckets, Ebb & Flow, lettuce raft, and 5 gallon bubbler bucket].  This is

what the crops look like this week, giant cucumbers and that is a baby

canteloupe supported by old panty hose.


Video of the Month:

Off the grid hydroponics: the Kratky method



Hydro Tip of the Month- 


Have you found any insects in your garden (crawling, flying)? Identify and treat

them by visiting our  Pests



We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing…


~Stella and Simon from



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