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Old 04-09-17, 02:07 PM   #1
sunspot
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Default hydroponic first steps

It was a blustery day for a launch but the lettuce rafts are adrift!





Inspired by comments from jeff5may and natethebrown in this thread - http://ecorenovator.org/forum/lawn-g...ing-shelf.html - I've been trying to learn a bit about hydroponics. As a tentative first experiment I decided to try lettuce rafts in our small pond (puddle?). The 1" x 4" are 6' long with 2" holes spaced 12" apart. I think I could go much denser but I'll see how this works out before making any changes. 2" net cups will hold the individual plants.

Lettuce started on the seedling shelf indoors are being hardened off and I hope to get a few into their new digs in a couple of days.

See what you guys have started! I'm not allowed any more projects lol.

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Old 04-11-17, 01:23 PM   #2
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I was extolling the virtues of hydroponics to my sister explaining how the battle with slugs would finally be over. She showed her cruel side when she said the lettuce rafts could become slug ferries and sent this:

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Old 05-13-17, 09:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisawurtzbach View Post
I'm now collecting information about hydroponics since I am very interested. Some experts claim that it's important to start with hydroponic seeds than seedling because you will be somewhat in control of what you grow. At start you will be needing 4 main factors such as oxygen, water, light and temperature.
For new gardeners, it is usually much more productive to obtain seedlings than to start with seeds. With some fast-growing annuals (beans, lettuce, basil, cucumber, etc.) this is not such an issue, but many popular plants are nearly impossible for a beginner to have anything resembling a high level of success starting from seed. In most cases, a month or more can be shaved off of the process by procuring seedlings and eliminating the germination phase. Starting with healthy seedlings eliminates a whole lot of uncertainty from the very beginning.

The only material difference between homegrown seeds and commercially started seeds is the media that the seeds are germinated in. Different species start best in different media, with different levels of moisture, at different temperatures, usually in some sort of unique logical sequence of events. The commercial growers have these factors all figured out. They use what media and method works best for each species, as their business depends on it.

Many beginning gardeners are oblivious to the facts, and must go through the trial and error process before the hard truth is revealed. Selection of the proper starting media is not always obvious, and the abundance of conflicting information on the internet only serves to confuse the well-intentioned. I can tell you from experience that it is super disappointing when only 1 seed out of 15 or more germinates after tending the batch for over a month. For an experienced grower, the challenge can be part of the reward, especially with perennial varieties that are exotic and expensive to purchase as seedlings (if they can be found). For a novice, low germination rate can destroy confidence and interest in the whole process before it has a chance to proceed.
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Old 07-10-17, 09:21 AM   #4
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Unfortunately the photos don not work! :/
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To want to is to be able to.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:54 AM   #5
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Oh no! They used to.

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