New Project Hydroponics

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Martin Alonzo, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    There is a Facebook page for Aerogarden. Actually a group. It is called Xtreme Aerogardeners , and they have some information on there, and might be faster to answer questions.
    I have some tomatoes started in mine now, and they are growing really fast. I just ordered a kit from Amazon that has 70 grow sponges and a bottle of nutrients.
    If you have the little plastic baskets and the domes, all you need is more of the grow sponges to start growing anything you want in there.
    It was $18 for 50 grow sponges, or $25 for 70+the nutrients, so I got that larger one since you always need the nutrients anyway.
    We set ours to go off at 10pm and back on around 5am, and they recommend about 17 hours of light for best growing. Mine also popped up a little indicator that had growing tips on it.

    Here is one short video that explains a little about how the Aerogarden works, and it looks like YouTube has a whole lot of them that should cover any questions you have.
    If I can help answer questions, just send me a PM, and ask away.

     
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  2. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    I have everything but the instructions. How do you set the light to come on and go off at certain times? I have the seed starting tray. I'm just wanting to get the seeds started to plant outside later.

    I was on the aerogarden facebook page. I go no response from them.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

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    I think that once you get the Aerogarden up and going, you will really enjoy watching your seedlings growing in there, @Sheldon Scott . I was not very specific about the Facebook group for Aerogardeners, and it is different from the regular Aerogarden Facebook page.
    The one that I am a member of is actually made up of people who have Aerogardens , and some of them have other varieties of similar hydroponic growing systems. They post information about what does or does not work for them, pictures of things they are growing, and ask and answer questions with each other. You have to search for that specific group, and then join the group to be able to see it and post on there.
    My new growing sponges should be here tomorrow, and I can add a few more seeds to sprout. Right now, we have a few beefsteak tomatoes growing, and they already have 2-3 sets of leaves, and you can see them looking bigger each day.
    Once they have a good start, I will re-pot them and put them in a sunny window and let them continue growing there until they can be set outside. We want to start some of the black krim and Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes also.
    I am wishing that I had several of these, and will watch for any of them that go on clearance sales or maybe on Craigslist .
     
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  4. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    I planted some seeds even before I knew what I was doing. I planted three kinds of peppers and some broccoli. The broccoli sprouted on the forth day. Pepper seeds are always slow to germinate so I don't expect them to come up very quick. Brooke planted some flower seeds yesterday. I want to get cabbage seeds next trip to town.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

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    Well, today, my new grow sponges arrived. Bobby helped me (maybe more like I helped him ?) and we rearranged the dining area , which we never use for eating in any case.
    This is just a little part of the kitchen, but it has a nice big window that opens out to the back yard and catches the afternoon sun. Until we get the heat of summer, it is good having the sunshine coming in, and we have tied the curtains back to let the sun shine in on the plants.
    We went to Walmart and got another of the plastic shelving units, and have it set up in front of the window, and Bobby is going to hang up a grow light up above it for extra light to help things grow.
    In another day or so, I can transplant the baby tomatoes into regular little pots, and set them on the shelves to keep growing, and start some more seeds in the Aerogarden.
    I planted some acorn squash in the empty spaces that I had; so now all seven of the grow-pods have seeds or plants in them.
    As the veggies grow, I can just move them into larger pots until it is warm enough to put them outside in the sunshine.
     
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  6. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    The reason I ordered the seed starting tray is so I can start lots of seeds at once. There are 50 spaces instead of 7. I started with 6 each of Tabasco peppers, jalapeno peppers, red Marconi peppers and broccoli.
    Then my wife started 6 flower seeds (columbine)
    The broccoli can go right to the garden when it comes from the starting tray while the peppers will have to go into pots until warmer weather.
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

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    I guess that it is time for me to make a serious personal confession, Guys.
    I have become an Aerogarden-oholic. I LOVE the Aerogarden !
    I talk to the tomatoes as I pass by , and tell them how nicely they are growing. I read all of the ads on Amazon to see if there are any close outs on the containers or the supplies.

    Well....... Last night, I got into my "mad money" and ordered one of the little Sprout Aerogardens that was on sale for $39 on Amazon.
    Now I can grow even more plants. Plus, the Sprout can also have one of the little seed-sprouter trays so I can do like you are doing @Sheldon Scott , and just start plants for transfer.
    That will cost another $20, so I have to do lots of online surveys and get more Amazon points, and then I can order one of those, too.
    It does not hold as many as the larger one that you got; but I think that it will start 10-20 seedlings, which is fine with me.
    We do not have a large garden plot anyway, and I just mostly grow things out in the yard in the larger planter pots. The clay here is so hard packed that it is almost impossible to rototill, so I just dig where I can, and use growing containers everywhere else.
     
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  8. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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  9. Yvonne Smith

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    I did check out the page (and also sent you a friend request), and it looks like these people have a great hydroponics system.
    We have that old Intex swimming pool out in the back yard, and @Bobby Cole and I have discussed the possibility of turning it into a fish tank for catfish or tilapia, and then connecting it with the greenhouse that he is building back behind the garage (in the same area of the back yard).
    I think that we could have a good aquaponics system and grow both veggies and fish if we did this; but we would have to do a lot of studying to see how to do that. I think that will be Bobby's decision to make, since he is much better at designing these kinds of things than I am.

    My new Aerogarden Sprout arrived last night, and we set it up in the back office where it can also help add light to some of the "summer plants" that we are wintering over inside the house. I really like that little Sprout ! It is small enough that I can carry it, and easy to fill and operate. It came with the herb garden seeds in it, and I have one of the seed starter trays on back order from Amazon that is supposed to be here by the first part of next month.
    The Beefsteak tomatoes are about 5" tall now,and doing well in their little pots, and we are waiting for the acorn squash and the sugar-baby watermelon to sprout next.

    image.jpeg
     
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  10. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    Happy to have a new facebook friend. I finally got dome cabbage and put 6 in the aerogarden yesterday. I got an email from aerogarden saying they are having a 20% off sale. I don't need anything right now.
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

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    I received the 20% off sale, too; but I am not getting anything else either. I think that the squash seeds were not any good because they have not germinated, and the watermelons are already starting to sprout.
    The watermelons were planted after the squash, and the germination time for both is about the same.
    I am going to open one of the little sponges and see if it looks like the squash are starting to sprout, and if they are not, then I will start something else in there instead.

    I love hollyhocks, and I used to have some when I lived in Idaho.
    Once you have them, they come back each year (and seed prolifically), but they are expensive to buy when you get the started plants. I found some hollyhock seeds at Walmart; so I am going to plant those next and see if they will grow here in Alabama.
    Does anyone else that lives here in the South have hollyhocks ?
    It seems like some of the things that we grew up north do not do as well here (such as rhubarb); but on the other hand, some things do much better down here with the milder climate.
     
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  12. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    Talk about fast. I put six cabbage seeds in the aerogarden Thursday morning, two of them are up this morning. I'll hafta till the beds soon, the broccoli has it's true leaves already.

    I've been planning where to put things in the garden. Since the broccoli and cabbage prefer cool weather and peppers like hot weather I'll just plant the peppers in those beds after broccoli and cabbage are done.
    The potatoes will be done in time to plant a fall crop of cabbages, hopefully to make kraut this year.

    I make good plans.:) Too bad they quite often don't work out as planned.:oops:

    I forgot to mention Yvonne, My wife has hollyhocks growing around the "outhouse"
     
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  13. Yvonne Smith

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    I just watched this short video, and it looks like a fairly easy way to grow veggies hydroponically. It would take a while to set everything up, and some money to buy all of the buckets and rain gutters; but once you had it connect together, you can always add more units, it looks like.
    This system can either be connected directly to an outside faucet, or to a rainbarrle if you do not want to keep the outside water connected.
    Since we just have that hard-packed clay that the plants have trouble growing in, we have been growing almost everything in pots anyway, and this would make sure that they had water and I would not have to be outside watering every day once it was set up.
    I think that this might be a worthwhile system for you, too, @Ken Anderson , since you do not have good growing soil either. Maybe even for @Chrissy Cross and @Frank Sanoica , since you both live where the weather is so hot in the summer.

     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Thanks for the info, @Yvonne Smith but I don't plan on living here too long.


    Also, what would be my water source in Fresno? Filling a barrel with water @Yvonne Smith .

    I tagged you again because I added a question after you liked my post.
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

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    I think that you can either fill a barrel with water and then it slowly seeps out to keep the drip line filled for the growing system, or you can connect a hose to it and just leave it on low. The system has a small storage tank with a float, and when the water gets low in the storage tank, then it would activate the float and refill the storage tank. It is not a total hydroponics system since you fill the growing buckets with potting soil and the rain-gutter are underneath and keep the potting soil moist.
    I think that this would be a great system for your area, since it would not take very much water to keep the plants growing like it would if you planted them in the ground and then tried to water them every day. In the heat of summer, I water twice a day for the flowers and veggies, but most of that just bakes out of the hot clay.
    With this system, the plants are growing in 5 gallon buckets and with a top on the bucket, and just a hole for the plant to grow through; so most of the water would be kept inside the buckets, and just siphoned up from the raingutter system as it need more water.
    I wish that we had more of an area with sunshine here. This system would be awesome once it was set up, and a person could add to it when/if they wanted to, and it would keep the plants from drying out and baking in the ground.
    If you use your hose for watering , then you would want to use a 55 gallon barrel and just refill that when it got low, which should not be very often. If you do not use the hose to water, then you could just connect the hose to the storage tank and it would automatically let more water in when the float went down, just like a toilet does when you flush it.
    This system could actually be moved when you move if you wanted to take it along, although it would require a good sized truck or trailer to move it because the pieces are long.If you made a small system, then moving it would not be hard.
    There is a facebook group for this that I just joined, and if you are interested, I can add you to the group, @Chrissy Cross .
     
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