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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone grown hydroponics? what medium did you use, if any?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i'm trying to grow in perlite(medium)
 

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I've started seeds in vermiculite, but I've never tried to take it the whole way.

I have also seen "soiless mixes" at the nursery - basically, the bag contains everything except dirt, I guess (!), but I don't know if that would work for you, or if you want to go pure hydroponics.
 

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has anyone grown hydroponics? what medium did you use, if any?
Hydroponics are utilized when there are extreme outdoor climates. It is a poor attempt to simulate typical growing conditions. There is nothing to recommend the procedure except as an academic exercise.

In Canada, the propagation utilizing hydroponic methods produces stores full of lousy tomatoes, during the Winter season. Some insipid lettuce is also grown.

Plants need; heat, nutrients, light, and a support substrate usually supplied by the soil. If it is necessary to supply these artificially much expense is incurred.

From my experience it is hard to improve on what nature supplies, which can be modified in some cases for maximum plant growth.
 

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Hydroponics are utilized when there are extreme outdoor climates. It is a poor attempt to simulate typical growing conditions. There is nothing to recommend the procedure except as an academic exercise.
Aquaponics, however have many advantages - especially for those in extreme climates. Advantages such as:



miserly water use - the water is used very efficiently to grow two crops - fish & plants

small environmental impact - no nutrient-rich waste-water discharge, the fish food is used to its maximum potential (to grow fish & plants)


two crops from the one input - the fish feed entering the system supports the growth of both fish and plants


small footprint/high density - because of their compact nature, aquaponic set ups take up little space, can be located closer to the end user - saving nutrients (which get lost over time for travel) and gas for transportation

In addition, pesticides and herbicides cannot be used to treat the plants, as these would effect the fish, so the plant crops cannot contain any harmful chemical residues.
 

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TSOO, it might be too late to help you with your Jan challenge, but I have a hydroponics store about six miles from my house. If I get the chance this week, I'll swing by and ask about substrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TSOO, it might be too late to help you with your Jan challenge, but I have a hydroponics store about six miles from my house. If I get the chance this week, I'll swing by and ask about substrates.
thx so much. that'll really help out
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
rockwool would be my first choice but i had perlite handy and i'm broke
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the perlite doesnt seem to be working so i'm going to try vermiculite. the bag says 'start seeds' so i'm hoping for better results then i had with the perlite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
both seem to be working. took longer then soil, or at least it felt longer.

but i'm happy to see the little sprouts
 

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i use ebb and flow with gravel as my substrate. It filters the water headed back to the fish pretty well.
 

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I tried growing some peppers, tomatoes and lettuce with aeroponics before. I think that's what it's called, suspended in net pots in solution with airstones beneath each plant for oxygenation. For the net pots, I read somewhere that you can take an old bodywash scrunchie (if that's what they are called) and cut the little cord that ties it all up into a ball. What you are left with is a long mesh tube. I cut these into the appropriate lengths, tied a knot in the bottom end and the top end was tied to the mouth of an inverted pop bottle that was cut to make a "funnel". I hope that makes sense. Then I just used some washed gravel to fill the pots, and suspended them in holes cut in the lid of a big rubbermaid tub. The tub was filled with water and nutrient, with an air pump feeding air stones beneath each pot.

It worked quite well, but I didn't really have a good set up for changing out the nutrient, so it got to be a big pain in the butt to lift the lid and syphon out all of the water/nutrient once the plants had grown to a substantial size. I also found I wasn't dedicated enough to constantly monitor it, so I just went back to growing in soil and compost.
 

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Aerogardens work very well, but are not cheap. However, the homebrew rigs are a lot less expensive. Click here, then search for 'homebrew rig' and you'll get some threads discussing how to build them and showing the results. AG uses a peat sponge in a small, open plastic basket as a growing medium.

We currently have tomatoes and peppers growing in a couple of ours AGs. The middle garden is an herb garden just planted.

Contrary to claims in previous posts in this thread, the veggies our AGs produce are wonderfully tasty, fresh, and organic. Growing them is easy, because Aerogardens are the total package in that they provide everything the plants need including full-spectrum light and nutrients.

We just bought a third tall garden so we can grow peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers next winter.

For us, growing in AGs is worth it even if it's not cost-effective, because to have things green and growing in the dead of winter here is amazing and wonderful. We have other AGs with beautiful flowers. My office smelled like a florist shop all last winter due to the scented flowers blooming in the AG I have in my office.

I think, if it's done right, an AG can pay for itself for people who use a lot of fresh herbs. It's much cheaper than buying herbs at the grocery store, and of course you can't get them any fresher than picking them right before serving them. The other crops aren't as cost-effective, but IMO the emotional and psychological lift of seeing vegetables producing and flowers growing during the dark days of winter is priceless.
 
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