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Slipster

Hydroponics... our way forward

Dianne has spent hours researching hydroponic growing systems, now I am back at work and Dianne working full time we are soon going to find that the polytunnel will suffer and so She has been looking at time saving. We visited a shop in Doncaster yesterday that supply and stock all types of systems. For ease we have opted for an autopot system. It is quite expensive to start out but from what research Dianne has done the results can be fantastic. We have purchased six units and today im going to section an area off inside the tunnel. Pics to follow  
Digindeep

Never really looked into it, but will be very interested in your pics and how you both get on, look forward to your posts and the feed back.
rhino

Curious to see the set up, I knew a lad that dealt in them and he was saying that he'd used a lot to grow chinese vegetables and he couldn't grow them fast enough to sell to restaurants.
Carnach

For a number of years a lady near us has had a hydroponic system and used it to grow mainly watercress (easy) and clove pinks (difficult as very labour intensive to keep them in flower).  She has now stopped growing the flowers for restaurants which was a good earner in its time and uses the space for a wide range of tomato varieties.

Good luck with your new venture!
Border

Have you purchased a static or a continuous flow solution culture  set up?

What substrates will you be using?
Slipster

After spending most of the day in the tunnel (apart from feeding the sheep)


This is the spot for our first system


This is where our tomatoes where last year


Transformed new Hydro area



And the first growing containers in place




Oh and this is me being a Darlek



Its very exciting....im so looking forward to filling with tomatoes  
sod

We have thought about doing it BUT I cant get my head around buying chemicals to grow and set up costs when we have great soil and compost   This is not a put down to you just my thinking Plus we have a long growing season
LadySlip

Re: Hydroponics... our way forward

Slipster wrote:
Dianne has spent hours researching hydroponic growing systems, now I am back at work and Dianne working full time we are soon going to find that the polytunnel will suffer and so She has been looking at time saving.


Hello Sod.........as per the original post the main reason for trying  growing this way was the time and labour factors.........the reported results are outstanding once the set up is right and we really do want to maximise our space and crops in the tunnel with a view to a long term project......having bought a 30 x100 second hand commercial frame....which won't go up for some time yet but we do have it       unlike you we are not blessed with great soil (chalk) compost.....nor a particularly long growing season   though it is nicely extended with the use of the polytunnel

Border........we will be experimenting with a couple of options  60/40 hydrocoir   and clay pebbles with compost/perlite mix
sod

I'm not saying I disagree with you at all, Iread the first post and it brought back to mind how we thought about doing it years ago(no diging over, no weeding   lot less bugs quick growth   most of year growing   less work not out in bad weather and others When you pick veges they are clean   Now for the bad   Still think it isa great idea. The idea we looked at using plastic pipping on a frame and flowing down in steps  with pump up to top then flow down into tank for clean rebuild and back around again
goodlife

I am not knocking the system I have seen tomatoe plants growing 8ft tall crammed full of healthy trusses growing with hydroponics But they are expensive tomatoes
a water barrel set up outside on legs and a drip timer switch on the hose would have still saved you time at no extra cost the labour time is still there pinching out side shoots just my opinion  
LadySlip

Well that's the rug firmly pulled then.
Slipster

goodlife wrote:
I am not knocking the system I have seen tomatoe plants growing 8ft tall crammed full of healthy trusses growing with hydroponics But they are expensive tomatoes
a water barrel set up outside on legs and a drip timer switch on the hose would have still saved you time at no extra cost the labour time is still there pinching out side shoots just my opinion  


Shut up     Im off bye
Border

Whats going on here.  

I thought forums were to swap ideas and pass opinions weather it be for or against.

Beats me why people get the hump, because of what someone else has written on a forum, it matters very Little in one's real life.  
sod

NO WEEDING No putting fert on and watering in I love all that as I look out the window at our garden that needs many hours work to catch up as been tooooooo tied up in URGENT!!!!! jobs   Hope you do go ahead we would love to keep up with it.
LadySlip

[quote="Border:313941"

Beats me why people get the hump, because of what someone else has written on a forum, it matters very Little in one's real life.  [/quote]


perhaps bodger would like to answer that!!


Sharing ideas/interests is why we joined......I doubt you will see many scathing critisisms from Slipster anywhere.........I doubt many post to have their notions however ridiculous they may seem to another....ripped to pieces by A.N.Other that assumes they know better/differently....any idiot can criticise......constructive criticism is a bit harder to come by....there are aspects of the system I'm struggling to make my way around without it being too costly......but i'll keep those to myself.
I was under the impression that Bodger desperately wanted input to keep his once thriving and friendly forum alive ..................negativity can be wearing   which I guess is why there are such a lot of non posters
You are absolutely right Border when you say 'It matters very little in ones real life'    ....so in that case ...I would say what's the point!!
Digindeep

Digindeep wrote:
Never really looked into it, but will be very interested in your pics and how you both get on, look forward to your posts and the feed back.


Not quite the posts I expected.....reguardless...I'm still interested in the outcome.

Life is to short for out else....lets get back on track and enjoy your posts and final outcome....that's the real point.....

Border

I hope you will continue your hydroponic venture  thread, I for one would like to hear your findings.

Diane you have a PM.
goodlife

I apologise if my comments upset some people certainly not meant to but my answer was to the topic subject
Hello Sod.........as per the original post the main reason for trying  growing this way was the time and labour factors.........the reported results are outstanding once the set up is right and we really do want to maximise our space and crops in the tunnel with a view to a long term

I have grown hundereds of crops using hydroponics it is a great system although as I said slightly more expensive  
cold comfort farm

I have been growing Hydroponic salad and tomato for a few years now very well.  I use 1 12v pump which pumps upto 3 2m gutters on a bench this then dribbles back into a barrel.  A second pipe is fed off to the tomato plants and the plants are in small buckets with a small amout of soil / compost.  This is watered 3 -4 times per day when the salad is watered.  I work away a lot so I now know its watered every day.

I now have 230v in the greenhouse so my next installment will be a 230v pond pump to get more water upto the plants. I will post a pic in the next week or so when I have altered it.   Its really cheap to build and saves you loads of money as there is only one setup cost.   The salad comes faster than I can eat it and grows approx 50% faster than in soil or outside.  

Stephen
midlandsman

I would love to have more details.

MM
sod

I'm very interested in all this as it is great to hear how it all goes and the reasons for doing it.
cold comfort farm

What more do you need to know midlands man
midlandsman

Thanks. I really need a full 'idiots guide'. Is there a website anywhere that you'd recommend with 'the whole  caboodle' from containers and set-up to chemicals?

MM
cold comfort farm

well there are many ways to grow it but if you care to look at how they grow green herbs you smoke then it will give you a spot on idea how to grow chillies salad tomatoes etc.  I only use tom food for a while during growing.  I have used the expensive nutrients but its a waste of money to be honest.  My setup cost about £50 for all the kit.  I am in Chesterfield if you fancy popping over some time assuming you are middlands based.  I need to clean my system this next week so will take lots of pics and post it for you.  

Youtube has loads of helpful hints.  I grew my toms in soil as the water didnot soak away quickly and worked very well.  I had others just in clay balls but it didnt do as well.
cold comfort farm

Hydroponic pics

OK this is the setup I have.  Three gutters filled with clay pebbles.  The gutters are stopped off at the ends and holes drilled in one end as a drain.
[img][URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/user/coldcomfortfarm/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/AA082606-E1A3-4606-BB36-9CE9EFDF7035.jpg.html]
At the top (white bit) is where the water comes out.



The drain outlet.  I have put some 22mm dia pipe over the outlet as the clay balls block the hole otherwise
[img][URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/user/coldcomfortfarm/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/79DCF245-A266-4667-974E-E12D2A1E8A63.jpg.html]

The bucket with the pump in it.
[img][URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/user/coldcomfortfarm/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/6B3B1255-04DE-40D3-BBC0-031661798F52.jpg.html]

Hope this helps.  All seeds set so I will photograph it in a few weeks.
The pump comes on for a few mis several times per day.  If you dont have 230v then you can use a 12v pump and 12v timer.
Dave C

Good topic slipster looking forward to reading your results  
cold comfort farm

Sprouting

Ok Its been just about a week now and we have sprouting and some very small leaves.  I will post a pic hopefully next week.  

Happy Growing.
woodbutcher

why is no-one doing aquaponics?

its a win win -meat from the fish, and fresh veg / fruit too

I hope to get mine up and running this autumn when I find a live fish supp;ier of talapia

K
sod

Thanks for the photos  
cold comfort farm

Disaster.

OK I went away last weekend and due to the heat I cooked the seedlings and lost everything. :=(   Time to start again.
midlandsman

Sorry to hear that - how long will your system go for without attention?

MM
cold comfort farm

Length without intervention

It should go for weeks however the auto window vent was not working and someone turned the power off to the greenhouses.   So overheating and no water spells disaster and an upset me.   I replace the water every two weeks but it could be longer.  It really does not seem to matter.     Stephen.
Border

That's a bit of a bummer, as I was looking forward to seeing what is happening with your hydroponics.  

Onwards and upwards.
cold comfort farm

The Plan

I have put a sticker on the breaker and ordered a new window opener.  
I set some more seeds on sun night so will take weekly photos again.  :-)

I have finished all the crop spraying, firtilizing I can now start tinkerin again.
cold comfort farm

Week one

Week one  Hi all sorry for the late posts.  I had a few problems pumping too much water (with teh new pump) and flushing the seeds away I think.  well apart from the one big plant on the left everythin was panted a week ago.  I will take another snap at the weekend.


Click to see full size image
sod

Thank you will be waitting for next photos, they looking good for 1week  

We are almost into winter and can still plant outside in garden so that shows how much easier it is here. Makes it so right for you to be doing it your way there
midlandsman

Yes, thanks. I also look forward to reading more.

MM
cold comfort farm

week two
cold comfort farm

Week two.   Still no feed just water.  Sorry about no photos in last post.  I think at this rate week three will be on a plate.  I am getting a little green slime on the pebbles which was not there last year so I may look at a chemical to help prevent it.  


Click to see full size image


Click to see full size image
cold comfort farm

Mid week update.  I have now thinned and re planted the bunched up salad and added some tomato food to the water.  


Click to see full size image
cold comfort farm

update

Hi all,
I have been having a few problems with algae bloom.  I think the new pump has been flooding the system to much and causing water to stand too long and its gone green.  The algae then feeds on the food in the water and blocks the oxygen from the water causing the plants to wilt.  I will now add an air bubbler stone into the tank to increase O2 as its possible that there is more CO2 in the water than O2 which can cause algae bloom.  I have run for about three years and this is the first time I have had problems.  

I will keep you posted.
sod

Hope that fixes the problem as that is a real killer of a one
cold comfort farm

I will keep you posted.  Its good for things to go wrong from time to time or you dont learn.
Digindeep

cold comfort farm wrote:
I will keep you posted.  Its good for things to go wrong from time to time or you dont learn.


Totally agree...learning curve..are the best lessons...x years on I'm still learning...boy can I make real mistakes....
cold comfort farm

Yeah I put some food safe cleaner in the water and they have wilted.  learner No 5  dont put chemicals in the water even if they say safe and all natural.  so is crude oil I guess.

Grrr.  I have had such a good time with loads of veg and now its all pear shaped.  
cold comfort farm

update

I have had little sucsess with the lants after the safe cleaner went in so I have cleaned everything out and starting all over again.  I must stress I have never had this problem and always had a bumper crop.

How is yours coming on Slipster.

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