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slow2cool
03-20-2008, 03:14 PM
I am thinking about starting a hydroponics garden. I want to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce. Thinking about a ebb and flow system, with 8 stations for plants.

1. I am planning to have the system in a screened in porch. How much direct sunlight will the plants needs in order to have a harvest?

2. After I set up the basic system, can anyone tell me about how much it will cost me a month???

3. I know the plants need to be feed X number of times a day, but does the air stone need to run 24/7 or just when the feeding takes place???

4. I have looked at a ton of threads on this site, and I must say it is over whelming. I see things like ppm, and all this other stuff. All I want to do is have some veggies. Will I need to have all these testing things, water purifiers, reverse osmosis??? It's looking like it would be cheaper just to go to the store and buy the veggies.

I hope it's not as bad as I am thinking.
Thanks for your help.
Joe

PepperJunkie
05-27-2008, 04:05 PM
I was and still am in the same boat as your regarding hydroponics. All this stuff about electrical conductivity and ph, bah... I just went ahead and built my own system using 2 tupperware type containers, some vinyl tubing, and and aquarium water pump. I have mostly peppers growing and some basil. Even the fertilizer I bought isn't exactly for hydroponics but its working pretty well. As far as bubblers and an ebb and flow system, I don't think it's required at all. The act of the falling water spilling over from the flood tray back into the reservoir should create enough aeration. Also, as long as you use the right pots, either store bought or homemade, your plants' roots will get further aeration as the water level drops down past the roots after the cycle. A regular flood/drain cycle shouldn't be set long enough to damage or starve you plants of air anyway. My cycle is 15 minutes every 3.5 hours. The only thing I see you having a problem with is the size of some of the plants you want to grow. Tomatoes and cucumbers need a lot of space. If you choose the right peppers that grow small you should be ok. I have Habanero, Serrano, Jalapeno, Spanish Spice hybrid, and Poblano peppers. All are growing in pumice with a thin layer of pea gravel on top to help the plant stay standing straight up. Another problem you may get if transplanting store bought started plants is root rot. I happen to work with someone who used to study this stuff and I was told that a certain chemical found in one of my aquarium fish medications was actually effective agains the fungus that causes it. I'll get back to you on that specific chemical when I get home. Check out my system and the constant changes I've made to it here (http://myhydroponics.blogspot.com).

slow2cool
05-29-2008, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the info, it has been a great help. I did check out your page and will check back often. I just got most of my parts, hope to get things up and running soon.

PepperJunkie
05-31-2008, 12:38 AM
No prob. Like I said, I'm in the same boat as you but I believe there's only so much research you can do. I'd rather jump in after learning basics and formulate my own success plan.