Choosing a Hydroponic System

by Peter

I am trying to decide on the best way to start growing tomatoes the Dr. recommended me do. However, there are so many options to choose from, and I narrowed it down to 3 options, now before I ask, I just wanted to let you know that the veg box is about 2' x 2' x 48 inches high, and the flower area will be about a 2' x 4' area. Now the choices (beginner with some grow knowledge and a little experience)

1. organic soil mix that you eventually feed (from your site) hydro- soiless mix and hand water using the maxsea specs

3. Hempy bucket (perlite vermiculite) feeding maxsea program

Can't make up my mind, what would you do knowing what you do now, and if you can go back in time and have one of the 3 above choices as a beginner? Thought I will ask, Thank you, Peter

Answer: Peter- I would go with the Hempy bucket method hands down. Both of the first two methods will require much more maintenance and attention. Both of the first two methods are hand-watering methods, which will require your attention likely every other day (and more time the more plants you have). Hempy buckets, on the other hand, you simply check (and adjust) the nutrient solution once a day (and do a complete nutrient solution change every two weeks) and that is all the maintenance you ever need to worry about....the buckets are self-watering.

Sounds like you will probably be a little tight on space, so you may want to keep your garden plants on the small side. You may want to start your seeds (or clones) in Rapid Rooter plugs and keep them in a hydroponic cloner type of container until they are about 6 inches tall. A compact version of this cloner (which can fit 40 clones in the top) can be made from a 16 quart clear plastic storage container from The Dollar Store. When made from the 16 quart container, the cloner measures about 12' x 18'. Be sure to check out my how to grow hydro page for more detailed information on how to properly maintain your nutrient solution (the key to success when using a hydroponic system). Hope this helps you out Peter, and Happy Growing!

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Mar 11, 2013
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RVF Garden Supply is the source for all of your indoor gardening needs. We can cover you from start to finish, from containers and growing mediums such as high quality soil or hydroponic systems, to PH testers, Grow Lights and Portable Grow Tents- all items specifically offered with the home grower in mind.

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(10 week update below)

Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

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...

Epic Nutrient Change

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)...

Homemade Cloner

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.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...

High Efficiency

The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->


Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!

The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!

If you've found this site helpful at all, I would really appreciate it