Organic Hydroponics in Koh Samui Thailand .....

by lecras eric

I am Eric, and I want to start a small business here in Thailand Koh Samui. Just wonder if it is possible to do it here? We have many hydroponics here, but no organic hydroponics. Maybe you have contact or you know how to organize it? And can you tell me the cost to supply about 30 guest hotel and restaurant? I also want to do vegetables- tomato and avocado and maybe some strawberry too....what will be my investment? Thank you for your help and comment, Eric.

Answer: Eric- it is possible to do organic hydroponics anywhere in the world. The key to a healthy organic garden is compost, and the key to healthy organic hydroponics (one way, at least) is compost tea. Properly made compost is loaded with living, beneficial micro-organisms, readily available nutrients, humic acids and fulvic acids, as well as many other beneficial substances. Compost tea can be made from compost, with additions of worm castings and seaweed (or kelp meal).

You can place one or two cups of compost into an old sock or pillow case, and suspend it in 5 gallons of room temperature water. Place an air bubbler into the solution to keep it aerated. Also add 1/4 cup of kelp meal (or liquid seaweed, like Maxicrop) and 1/4 cup of un-Sulfured molasses. Let brew for 24-48 hours before using. The tea will have to be diluted before using. Small amounts of other substances, such as high Nitrogen bat guano or high Phosphorus bat guano, can be added to the compost tea to make more suitable fertilizers for the veg stage or flowering stage.

Your investment costs are partly dependent on how quickly your crops grow. Supplying a 30 guest restaurant with varieties of lettuce and herbs would be a relatively small investment. This is true for a number of reasons. First, lettuce, herbs, and spinach all produce edible parts while in the vegetative stage of plant growth. This means they can be grown using less powerful lights (fluorescents) and with fewer fertilizers. They also grow very quickly- some varieties of lettuce in as little as 14 days! Because of the quick turnover, you can supply a 30 person restaurant with lettuce day after day from only two or three medium sized hydroponic systems.

Tomatoes and avocados, on the other hand, require more powerful lights in order to fruit properly. Also, they take several weeks of vegetative growth followed by several weeks of flowering (fruiting) before they begin to produce the tomatoes and avocados. This requires much more fertilizer and more electricity. Also, due to the long production time, you will need many hydroponic systems in different stages of production in order to produce a steady supply of tomatoes and avocados to a 30 guest restaurant.

I cannot tell you exactly what your investment would be....but based on the comparison above, you should be able to begin to assemble lists of the equipment you will need, how much space you may require, how much fertilizer you will need, how much electric you will use, and basically how much it will cost to produce these different products on a regular basis. Start by figuring out how much of each product you will need to produce in order to supply the 30 guest restaurant on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Compare this to your yield per plant (and consider how quickly the crop grows), and you will begin to get an idea of how much equipment you will require.

You may want to start with a contract to supply salad greens, spinach, and fresh herbs (since this can be set up quickly and produce quickly), and allow this to pay for the set-up of the tomato and avocado production. Strawberries grow quickly, some varieties produce constantly, and they are easy to grow....they may also be a good crop to start out with. I hope this helps you out Eric, and Happy Growing!

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Mar 02, 2014
avocado NEW
by: Anonymous

avocado.... interesting....they are a large tree, so I'd love to see the hydro system that is used. :)

Apr 24, 2012
organic fertilizer for hydroponic NEW
by: JUl

Do you have your phone number for contact about how to make the organic fertilizer in Samui?

Aug 16, 2011
by: Anonymous

This is hesam kasraei from Iran.I am specialist in hydroponic and aeroponic systems.I like to work in this field in thailand.if you would like please email me. (
have a nice day
Hesam kasraei

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Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...

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I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...

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And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

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