Hydroponics

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by craigb, 20/8/18.

  1. craigb

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    Given the size of this community, there has to be some people into growing vegetables hydroponically...

    I'm dipping my toes in, going to try some lettuce and chilli's, but struggling to pin down exactly what nutrients to use and to find a good place to shop from (who's the BLCK and SirVape of the Hydroponics community)
     
  2. haruspex

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  6. craigb

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    At the moment I'm just doing plain old back yard enthusiast stuff. I just want to get something working.

    The simplified plan is to hack together some coke bottles, block the light out, fill with nutrient water and grow using the Kratky method
    I'm after any result, not the best result.

    With that in mind, would some Margaret Roberts Super Charger suffice, or would this EHG Bundle be a better idea?

    As a basic POC, should I be overly concerned about PH? @Dietz , you've lived out this side, do you have any ideas on this one?

    This is another rabbit hole I really look forward to going down, but want to go about it in a slow, piecemeal manner.
     
  7. Caramia

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    @craigb - you should defo look at Tilapia (the legal ones), they grow pretty big, very edible and thus also viable as income.
     
  8. Warlock

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    @craigb I also use https://hydroponic.co.za/ . Best prices on Autopots. I tried pure hydroponics and bubbleponics but eventually settled on the Autopots as they are more intuitive for me. It’s basically a wicking system.

    Hydroponics.co.za also sell a good selection of nutrients. I use a product they sell called Hortimix Nutrient (A,B and MPK). Relatively inexpensive and works well. If you dig deep enough on the site you will find a good list of plant nutrient requirements as well. This is important when deciding what to grow. The Hortimix Nutrients also come with precise mixing instructions and nutrient requirements for each stage of the plant’s life.

    The most important thing you need to do before you start is to purchase a PH meter and a EC meter or you will lose your way very quickly. Yes, PH is very important. These instruments cost an arm and a leg in South Africa, but I bought online from Banggood, very good prices and they did eventually get here via the post office and they are perfectly good enough.

    Another important consideration is what you are going to grow. For instance, you can’t grow tomatoes and lettuce on the same line with the same nutrients, their requirements are vastly different.

    Hydroponics is not easy and things go wrong quickly if you’re not careful. We built a tunnel in June last year and, after a year of trial and error, I am only starting to learn something about it.

    But I have managed to grow sea lavender, cabbage, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, spanspek, spinach, beans and one watermelon.:)

    I also buy from Seeds for Africa and Living Seeds. Seeds for Africa give you very good germination instructions for the seeds you get from them. Living Seeds has a greater variety.

    I’m happy to help with any questions you have, if I can.
     
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  9. craigb

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    @Warlock , you sir are a gentleman and a scholar!

    Yeah, the Autopots do look like a really good place to start where i can go from playing* to serious. Thanks for the validation.

    I've kept looking at the Hortimix, but had no idea how to tell if was reasonable/right. Thanks for the guidance here.

    Noted. You know the whole 'we tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear' thing? This was it. For now while I'm playing* around I'm going to just make do with the simplest PH test kit, a proper PH and EC reader will be on the to buy list. If vaping has taught me anything, it's that I may as well plan and budget to do it properly first time - goed koop is deur koop and all that jazz.

    Fully understood on that one - but I'm of the opinion if I have the right nutrients (the hortimix) then it will be much easier for me to reasearch the needs of the plant/season/stage of growth and customise accordingly.

    That sounds really awesome. Terrifying and awesome. Terrosome? Aweriying?

    Just for fits of giggles, I really want to try and grow a watermelon in a DWC or kratky setup. Just because I can. Planning on starting with lettuce, hot peppers (nothing too exotic because I will not be doing much in the way of artificial lighting/temp control to start off with) and tomatoes. Probably not all at the same time, depends how many reservoirs I'm able/inclined to purchase/otherwise obtain.

    *why I refer to it as playing*
    That's how I learn best. Get in and do stuff. Make mistakes. I'm a data professional and just about all of my knowledge has been gained by just trying stuff for the fun of it - I'm still in IT after almost 20 years so I must be doing something right (despite a coupe of serious doosies). I've toyed with hydro/non soil gardening before, but now I'm intending to start my first proper 'Hello World' project.

    Once I've got the first couple under my belt, then I'll have a clearer idea what I want to do, what I need to do to achieve what I want and what I'll have to get to do what I need to achieve what I want. With the right goals chosen with an appropriate difficulty jump in between them, I'll be showing off charts of PH and EC readings in an animated PowerBI dashboard, detailing growth and harvest rates in no time.

    And yes, help and comment will be greatly appreciated - the safest shortcuts to knowledge come from the people that had to take the long way round themselves and have the emotional scars to show for it.

    Again, thank you for the effort you put into your reply, it is really much appreciated :campeon:
     
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  10. RainstormZA

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    My mom and I bought a bunch of seeds from Seeds for Africa - I've been successfully growing their asparagus seeds and we had 6 months of free asparagus after a year. They were really delicious, even raw.
     
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  11. blujeenz

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    Start saving rainwater its usually 11 ~ 15 on the ppm meter and far better than the 200 ppm odd chlorine smelling tap water.
     
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  12. RoyceM89

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    I've started some kratky hydroponics in the last month
     
  13. RoyceM89

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    best to YouTube khang starr he knows what he's doing in the hydroponics field
     
  14. craigb

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    khang starr and Jeb Gardens are my go to's.
     
  15. vaporize.co.za

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  16. blujeenz

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    A bit pricey for R2000, probably get a better deal from plastics for africa for containers, stodels for LECA, tubing fittings etc, hortishop for nutes and aquarium place for air pump and airstones.
    Then if you're doing an indoors you still need to add lighting costs.
    Basically the 10L pot is size enough for 1 plant, otherwise you have to do fancy training of the branches if you want 3 or more plants.

    Compare to Hortishop's mini dwc unit for R750 which uses a 45L tub for 4 plants.

    https://hydroponic.co.za/hydroponics/mini-dwc-starter-kit/
    [​IMG]

    Biggest downside is Eskoms unreliable supply, a 2hr blackout might not kill the plants but will severely stunt growth.