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Help, just getting started


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Old 02-22-2010, 02:35 PM
Wade Wade is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eastern Idaho
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Default Help, just getting started

I was first introduced to hydroponics in "76" and have spent the last month trying to get caught up, WOW. I have read a lot of conflicting info online. I would sure appreciate so help. I will be building 3 new different systems for my dad, son and myself; a 5 gallon DWC, An ebb and flow using 5 gallon pots, and a hybrid ebb and drip.
Questions:
1. Using mesh bucket lid pots, what size would you use for tomatoes, cucs, squash, pumpkins, and peppers?
2. Using hydroton, use coco in it or not?
3. Would using a coco pot liner with 1/2 perlite and 1/2 coco as good as hydroton?

I usually over build and over think things so I would enjoy your feed back. Thanks, Wade

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Old 02-22-2010, 06:42 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
1. Using mesh bucket lid pots, what size would you use for tomatoes, cucs, squash, pumpkins, and peppers?
Well a lot would depend on how big you wanted your plants. In general hydroponicly grown plants need less root space, because they don't need to stretch/search out to find the nutrients in the soil. But you should still take into consideration the size of the full grown plant when deciding how much root space you give it. I have seen tomato's growing in two liter bottles, but they were not very big plants compared to how big they can get. I have some in 2 gallon buckets, but I am concerned to weather that will be enough for what I want. Ultimately I would use 5 gallon buckets for tomato's.

I am not sure how big cucumbers get. Although all forms of squash are fairly large plants, I wouldn't consider anything less than 2 gallons of root space for them. but would prefer 4 gallons of root space. Although because I can get 5 gallon buckets for $2.50 ea, I would probably just use them (the 2 gallon buckets cost more than that). If you don't want to fill the whole bucket with growing medium like me because of cost, you can fill the bottom portion of the bucket with rock to take up the space but still allow drainage (just clean and sanitize it first).

As for peppers, I had some in 2 litter bottles that did well. Although the roots did grow down into the P.V.C. tubing when they got larger. I built my system so the bottles were removable, so I just cut the roots as they began to go down into the P.V.C.. I would prefer to have at least twice that size (about 1 gallon) for root space for peppers. I plan to grow some to sell at the farmers market, so I want large plants with lots of produce. I will probably go with the 2 gallon buckets for them.
Quote:
2. Using hydroton, use coco in it or not?
Coco cor, or coco chips? chips are larger and wont go through the holes in the baskets very easily. Hydroton (also known as grow rocks) is reusable but coco cor/chips are not. If you add the coco chips to the hydroton, it will hold onto moisture better. But when it comes to clean and reuse the hydroton it can be a nightmare to separate them. Otherwise it works fine, I did that with my peppers.
Quote:
3. Would using a coco pot liner with 1/2 perlite and 1/2 coco as good as hydroton?
Hydroton will probably give you better aeration to the roots, especially if using coco cor instead of coco chips. Perlite is not actuality porous so it wont hold any air. It has very small indentations on a rough uneven surface that hold onto the moisture. Also Perlite will float so it's not realy a good choice for a ebb-flow (flood & drain) type system.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:41 PM
Wade Wade is offline
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Default Thanks

Thanks for the quick reply! Hydroponics Online has been a great help in learning from those who have been in the trenches.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:13 PM
Kizmet Kizmet is offline
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Default Just getting started and am completely lost...

Im just getting started with hydroponics. I am wondering the best set up in general ffor a wide variety of plants. For large plants what's the size bucket/tote/whatever one should use? I have these 10 gallon bucket shaped things, but are they too big? If anyone has a site or knows of a site that shows how to set up a system in.. well simple terms, I would greatly appreciate it. Every time I read a different article or check out a different site, it just gets more confusing. Do I need to start the plants BEFORE they are placed into the medium? So, thanks in advance to anyone that can help me figure out the best way and set up.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:13 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I am wondering the best set up in general ffor a wide variety of plants. For large plants what's the size bucket/tote/whatever one should use?
You should build your system/s with the peculiar plants in mind, as well as for the particular location. I also want to build mine in a way that makes maintenance as easy as possible. I also try to keep in mind what I would reuse the system for in the future. Some times it is much better to build more smaller systems than one larger one when considering different crops.

Do you have a list of plants you plan to grow as well as how many of each? Also a description of the location, as well as inside or outside? A system can be built out of just about anything. There are 6 types of hydroponic systems, all with advantages, and disadvantages. Just like shoes there is no one size fits all. So it really comes down to what you want to grow, location, and how many you plan to grow as the best way to go about building the system/s.
Quote:
Do I need to start the plants BEFORE they are placed into the medium?
No not necessarily, but it's usually much better and easier that way (depending on your setup). I just start seeds in a small Tupperware container on a wet towel or sponge, then when they sprout I put them in a small amount of growing medium with a very diluted nutrient solution until they get a few inches tall, then transplant them into the system. That way I don't need to waist nutrients and electricity running a system for seeds, also I will start many more seeds that I need, and only transplant the most healthy ones.

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