New hydro unit - help please!

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Beth11
Beth11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2009-01-21 20:51
New hydro unit - help please!
Hi All,
 
  Well, I've acquired a small hydroponic DWC unit (emily's garden by hydrofarm).  I plan on growing just one full size bell pepper plant (or two) because I want to take it next month to do a hydroponic show-and-tell at the  Maryland Master Gardener training class.  So, can I start the seedlings in the ag sponge and transplant?  I think you guys have done that.  Help please?
 
Also, for the demonstration, I plan on bringing a few examples of hydroponics - a philodendron cutting rooted in plain water, a mustard grren plant in a water bottle with an airstone, the work ag with the pump (NFT - right?) and the DWC hydrofarm unit.  Will also bring nutes, EC meter, pH meter, pH test kit and info on lighting (except for LED- don't have enough experience to remotely talk about that)!.  Anything else you can think of for a basic introductory presentation?
 
Thanks,
Beth
0
No votes yet
Beth11
Beth11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2009-01-21 20:51
Hi All,   So, in prep for the

Hi All,

  So, in prep for the hydro demonstration, I took the day off of work, loaded all the display materials into the car, had the plants all ready for transport.  Picked out my clothes and set my alarm early.  We had sleet last night which made the roads slippery.  Library opened two hours late.  We missed our meeting slot.  Meeting cancelled.  Sigh.  I just unpacked the car and schlepped everything back downstairs....

Beth

 

 

 

 

Ginger
Ginger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2008-06-23 15:55
Hi, Beth, Very cool

Hi, Beth,

Very cool preparations. The sherriff's office is just too funny. Though I think you need HID for that crop! No doubt the sherriff's staff could comment knowledgeably.

I only did the obvious with the rockwool. Put plantlets in when they didn't have much root out to hurt, gently laid 'em in. With peppers, you can probably scootch some smaller pebbles on top of the sponge to keep light off it. The pebbles are kinda multi-size.

I think our way into hydroponics - the Aerogarden - worked well for us. Not so terribly expensive anymore, either. And all newbies welcome here!

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Beth11
Beth11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2009-01-21 20:51
Hi Gisette,   I've got two

Hi Gisette,

  I've got two Ace Bell peppers started in the AG for transplant to the hydro.  They've sprouted and have roots thru the sponges so I think I'll try tranplanting into the hydro. Any suggestions for transplanting to clay pellets is much appreciated since I don't have a clue what I'm doing!! Only going to do two plants until I get the hang of things. Will stick with the shop light setup. 

  Date for the show and tell is Feb 22.  Figure I'll bring a cutting rooted in water to show basic concept, bottle with an airstone (mustard greens), the ag with the pump and the hydro unit with baby pepper plants.  In addition, my EC and pH meter, sample nutes, rockwool, pH up/down and some sort of presentaion with the four major components (nutes, oxygen for healthy roots, support/media and light).  May bring my computer to show plantcam video of the cuc timelapse in the ag.  Can't bring samples of light so will talk about alternatives.  I figure this will be a dry run of sorts to see if anyone is interested in the topic.  Follow-on is the tour of the hydroponic greenhouse which will probably be delayed until May (they're modifying equipment in the greenhouse to go to all lettuce/herbs. Guess it is like kitchen remodeling - behind schedule!)

  The meeting is going to be held in the local Sheriff office conference room - which made me chuckle since we all know hydroponics is the favored way to grow a certain illegal plant.  I may get more attention than is necessary for this little display!

  Any suggestions welcome. You guys are the experts and this is a chance to get newbies excited about growing with hydro!  Peat - can I print out your guide as a handout?  Any other web resources I can cite (besides this one of course).  These are newbies to hydro so basic info only.

Thanks,

Beth

 

 

 

 

Ginger
Ginger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2008-06-23 15:55
Beth - how's your show&tell

Beth - how's your show&tell prep coming along? Pleased with Emily's Garden?

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Ginger
Ginger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2008-06-23 15:55
Hi, Beth, Sure, the peppers

Hi, Beth,

Sure, the peppers will transfer from AG to pellets with no problem, until much bigger than 4 weeks. Bigger is just a physics problem in getting them to stand upright. The clay pellets were a problem with lettuce, because lettuce leaves flop down onto the clay, and dry out very easily. Bell peppers keep their leaves aloft.

Definitely staying inside... brrrrrrrrr. Heading below zero tonight here, with a daytime high tomorrow of about 13°F. Well. That oughta kill the aphids.

I'm impressed even with my 2-tube 64W T-8 shoplight. Not enough for fruiting, but more than enough for growing anything to seedling size. My CFL spots were almost-enough for peppers and tomatoes, and definitely look like enough for cukes. (As in, half of the lights weren't enough to ripen full-size peppers and tomatoes, but all the lights together are enough for cukes...)  And I get to live in the same room. Those HID lights are damaging, even before they set the house on fire - eyes, carpets, upholstery, artwork, walls... Suitable only for lighting dungeons. At high operating expense. Dunno about Maryland, but Connecticut has about the most expensive power in the US. And a 450W growlight takes more than half as much power as I normally use for the whole household.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Beth11
Beth11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2009-01-21 20:51
Hi Gisette,   I want to start

Hi Gisette,

  I want to start the peppers in the ag and transplant to the hydro with the clay pellets - not soil - I can do that right?  I recall you and peat doing something like that and something about making sure the clay pellets don't dry the plant out.  I didn't pay much attention because I didn't have one.

Oh yes, the container in container is a good idea for demo.  Need to see what room I'll have.  Lighting will be a big discussion.  HID's are efficient but I still don't want to invest.  Hydrofarm has a compact fluorescent fixture that is cool but pricey.  I'm really impressed with my cheapo T-8 three fixture fluorescent light output.  Good enough for cucumbers, swiss chard and potted tomato and no chance if setting the basement on fire!  If you think of anything else, let me know.

Stay warm!

Beth

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger
Ginger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2008-06-23 15:55
Hi, Beth, Ooh, sounds very

Hi, Beth,

Ooh, sounds very cool!

Yes, I've started peppers in the AG. I haven't transplanted them to soil from the AG... unless they were very small. Or did you mean transfer it from AG to EG? At any rate, a 4 week pepper grown in an AG ought to still be small enough to move anywhere (with a timing setback going to soil, probably, but no worse than that).

Pump or airstone, the AG is deep water culture, I believe.

I think the lighting stuff is very interesting. It was all news to me - what T12 vs. T8 vs. T5 means, 6500K vs 4200K, light density falloff with distance from lights. What you can and cannot accomplish with simple shop lights vs. the expensive, power-hungry, and eye-searing high intensity lights (not suitable for human-inhabited spaces). How many hours a day of light. On LEDs, I'd just warn them away - lot of hype and not many success stories out there.

The cheapest way to start hydroponics is the manual method - two nesting containers, one with holes in the bottom, and do the drain-and-sink twice a day for manual aeration - "passive hydroponics" as in my outriders. Dunno if you want to demo that. They're a nuisance to maintain after a while. But it probably shows very clearly what the technology needs to do. Mustard should work. I grew komatsuna and KRC lettuce successfully.

If I had an excuse to spend money on it, I'd also want an Autopot system.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.