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New and Undecided on Type of System


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Old 12-17-2012, 02:40 PM
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Smile New and Undecided on Type of System

Hi, I am new to hydroponics but not new to gardening. I want to grow vegetables for juicing, starting with cucumbers, indoors to have my juicing veggies.

I read few books on hydroponics and on different systems but I am not sure which one would be the best for me. It seems that ready-made ones are very expensive and I would need to roll up my sleeves and make it myself.

I have a sun-room where I could set up my pots. I would like to start small and expand as all goes well.

Can you recommend type of system that would be good for what I want to do?

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:37 AM
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Hello Blade,
Home made systems are easy to build and well worth the time and effort. What hydroponic system is best for you is a lot like which potting soil grows the best plants. There is no clearly specific answer that fits every situation.

What is best for you is really your decision to make. Some of the factors you will want to take into consideration are things like:

1. What type of budget do you have to work with?
2. What materials (within your budget) do you have access to to build your systems with?
3. What specifically are you going to grow in the system/s, and how many plants are you planing to grow?
4. Are you going to try and grow many crops in the same system, or are you only planing on gowning one crop to start with?
5. Are you planing on growing inside or outside?
6. What space do you have to work with? Not only taking into consideration the layout of the space and the hydroponic systems in it, but also things like the placement of the reservoir, heating and cooling, even air circulation and humidity if growing inside etc. etc. etc..
7. Lighting, and what budget you have for that if growing inside. As well as venting the heat from the lights in that inside space.


But the most important consideration to consider is the type of plants that will be in the system, as well as how many of them there will be. If all you are going to be growing to start is cucumbers, you still need to decide how many you plan to grow before designing the system for them. But for plants that grow large like that you need a good amount of root space. And cucumbers are vines so if you don't want the vines growing on the floor, you will need to consider building a trellis.

I prefer to use a bucket type of drip systems for large plants myself. And for large plants like cucumbers in a drip system, I wouldn't want to use anything less than 5 gallons (buckets) of root space for them.

You'll still need to know how many plants you will be growing before you can decide what size reservoir to go with.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:49 PM
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Default Thank you

Thank you for reply.

I think I want to start small and if I do well, then expand. Start with few cucumber plants and few celery, and lettuce plants.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:47 AM
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Hello Blade,
If it were me I would probably use a system like this Third system or this First of four new systems for larger plants like the cucumbers. And for lettuce I like using a setup like this Forth System. I have never grown celery and don't really know how big the root system gets, and how big they get on top. But I do know there is a celery root-ball that is also sold for food, so I would guess it could probably be substantial. My first thought is using a system like First of four new systems but using 3 gallon buckets.

However celery is fairly cheep and I don't know if I could justify the cost of growing media to fill each bucket unless you could get many celery plants in each bucket. Because of that, I would probably find out how big the root systems get, and build a trough to grow them close together in long row, instead of individual buckets. Building the trough large enough, but not bigger than really needed to accommodate the root systems. I would also probably do the same as I did with the buckets, and fill the bottom with a good amount of rock to take up space so I wouldn't need as much growing media. and instead of coco fiber/chips I might even try experimenting with using pine shavings as the growing media. It's way cheaper than coco fiber, but still has much of the same property. However I would experiment with using the pine shavings on a smaller scale first because the quality of the source could be an issue.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:09 AM
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I did some celery in the same system I did the zuchinni in. A 55 gallon barrel cut inhalf and filled with pea gravel in a flood and drain system. Worked well with some extra pillow filling around the drain so the roots didn't clog the drain. Should be some picts of the set up in my pictures. Let me know if you have any questions!

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