Blue hose left-bottom drain.It has a adjustable valve to let water drain at about 10% of pump fill speed.So as it pumps fluid in,a small amt. drains.When pump turns off fluid will slowly drain back into tub.
Green hose-overflow.its in the side about 1.5 inches from top.As pump fills bed when it reaches overflow excess just flows back into tub,keeps tub from running dry and overflowing bed.
Blue hose right-that goes to submersible aquarium pump.It has enough flow to fill bed in about 10 minutes.Pump will go on a timer and probably run 15 minutes 3 times a day.
Black hose-ignore,thats just garden hose filling tank. -----------------------------------------------------
This is 12 peas and 6 bean plants....
This is 16 lettuce.May have to move them about as they grow,will trim constantly all season.
What we have so far,going to add tomato,bell pepper and cabbage yet.
I started out with vermiculite as a medium.It floated and it turned into powder,clogging return valve.Then thought pea gravel but waaaaay too heavy,so got cedar mulch at the local garden ACE.That seems to be working.The plastic is to keep evaporation down,we will see how that works.
This shows the plumbing better,left to right,bottom drain,overflow and pump line.
Left and right side of bed...Can see the cabbage and bell peppers and tomatoes (Roma,yellow pear and sweet 100)
Close up of the bell peppers and tomato and next pic the lettuces and spinach
So I added today 2 lettuce,5 cabbage,8 spinach,4 bell peppers,3 tomatoes.Thats a LOT of stuff planted in just 5 Cubic Feet of 'soil' ! I will have to move em around as they grow to keep em from getting too cramped but you can move em like checkers on a board,they never know the difference when they are moved,no shock or anything.
BTW,the plants for hydro were 1.69 for 4 packs,2.29 for 6 packs (Only a couple of those),the lettuce 4 packs were 1.69 with 20 % off because they were small and a little ragged looking,just perfect for hydro! The smaller they are the faster they adapt and take off growing.
Im flushing with clear water right now,in a couple days will mix the commercial powder and start feeding em.Water still knd of dirty with the bark.But getting clearer.It may affect my ability to use the total dissolved solids meter for nutrient strength,if so I will replace every 10 days.
Going to do 6 weeks growth mix with 20-10-20 fertilizer,then 6 weeks of a bloom mix I think.
Ph 7.2 this AM,added a little ph down to water.Reading cedar bark is about 6.8,so mine is a little high or meter is a smidgen off?Anywho the plants prefer 6.0 to 6.5 mostly so Im doing ok.Overcast today,plants look great.
Been through some problems,including some snow! So was looking REALLY ragged,set plants back but they have all survived.However pics arent so hot.
BUT this last week has seen another growth spurt.Nutrient is now up to 100% strength,and today I went from one watering cycle to 3 a day,each 15 minutes.Im learning here too,the biggie this year is nutrient strength and PH control,and then see what grows well.
The standout is the peas.The bottom leaves have browned,but the tops look great and have peas! Wow,this is good!
Cabbage has a great growth spurt...
Spinach,also a grow spurt but some is a little ragged yet,the lettuce around it being kept for seeds...
Lettuce wasn't growing but again,its picked back up,tomatoes were hit HARD in snow,but came back strong and growing and even some flowers...
So thats it,some bad,some good,and the learning continues.I can see this under lights this winter!
Changed the bark to the clay ball medium.Had tp transplant everything. Moved everything around.
The Bark medium kept returning my nutrient at ph 7.0 or greater after feeding,I really want it about 6. I think that may be why the peas have wilted leaves at bottom,the ph too high to utilize the nutrient fully.
Heres the peas,crummy pic but need for reference
Tomatoes,still doing well...
Lettuce doing well...
Spinach really perking up...
The garden being fed...
This may set me back but long term its the right thing to do,Im tired of adjusting ph every day and the bark is the cause,the clay balls are inert and wont affect ph,saving costs on buying ph down solution,and time daily,and harming the plants with a constantly wrong ph.
EDIT-Went out at 8pm and plants looked really good.Amazing how well things transplant in hydro,its like they werent even touched!
Next year will set up a second garden for lettuce and spinach and herbs in the shadier spot,cant believe lettuce could survive this late into season.
Also learned about proper chemical strength and ph and medium and watering times.Dont transplant large plants from 'soil',root structure is all wrong,start with small plants,younger the better so it develops the proper style hydroponic root.Im just thrilled at the knowledge base from this years garden.
We also hope to move garden indoors and try plants during the winter in a window with artificial lighting,hope that plan comes off.
Wow spuds this is great!!Have you tried basil?? Where did you get the clay balls? Is the fertilizer organic?
Seen your posts,busy days at the immediate moment,will reply asap when I get some time......the float with fish fertilizer sounds like a great plan.its very trial and error to make work but when you hit the combo you are really good to go.
Post by Garden Happy on Apr 3, 2012 19:50:35 GMT -6
:)thank you so much spuds!! i did go and watch the video.I think we may start off with 6 designs and see from there which work out the best.This will be a wonderful science project for my boys and if all goes well the community gardens this fall. Yes, that is the foam just like i seen floating on the kiddie pools.