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bobcatgardener May 8, 2018 03:43 PM

Hydroponic growing in my HT
Hey everyone. Things have been going good here on the farm. I figured I would start a new topic about it because I am not really building on the GH any more.

Anyway here are a couple videos I did today around the HT. The first will just be a walkthrough and the second will be a short video of the roots that formed in the trough system. Hope y'all enjoy any questions or suggestions are welcomed!

This one is the walk around. Gave the maters a haircut this morning.

This one is the roots from the trough. I had the solution off for about 3 days.

FourOaks May 8, 2018 09:02 PM

Holy crap, that my friend is a mat of roots. :lol:

So it looks like you built troughs, and lined with something like rubber shower liner? Or similar?

bobcatgardener May 8, 2018 09:05 PM

Yes that box was 12 inches wide 11 inches deep. 20 foot long. Put the plywood on top and drilled holes for the net cups every 12 inches.
They grew well, I just ended up with a hole that started leaking. I had patched it and the roots actually got under the patch and pushed up.

FourOaks May 9, 2018 05:24 PM

So, I watched your videos, but am having some audio issues on my end. Are you going the DWC route, or ebb and flow, or something along the lines of a Dutch Bucket sort-of setup?

Also what nutrients? I personally have used MasterBlend, with good results on maters. Not so good on other veggies.

Rajun Gardener May 9, 2018 05:50 PM

Yes, he's using masterblend and it's set up to constantly flow over the roots in the net cups. Each trough has a shutoff valve and he uses that to control the flow. He has a 250 gallon tote buried in the ground and it all gravity feeds back to the main tank. He fills that tank with another 250 gallon tote in the main greenhouse that also fills the reservoir for all the dutch buckets. The liner is thick black plastic but he's looking for something thicker.

He's a Buddy of mine and I was there yesterday bumming drip tape parts from him and stealing cucumbers. Thanks Danny!

bobcatgardener May 9, 2018 05:56 PM

First the nutrients, I am using master blend. It has worked great on everything I have put it to. Even blackberry cuttings that were put in the buckets. The only issue I seem to have is with bell peppers, they seem to need more shade with the solution. Same plants in the field as in the HT and if their not shaded in the HT they get scorched.

As for as the set up I have different types. In the middle section, it's the Dutch bucket set up, again running master blend along with the nitro, and Epsom salt. Pump runs 4 times a day for 30 mins each at this time of year. Drunk g the heat of the summer I will add 3 more 15 min cycles In between while the sun is out. Even with shade cloth with 6 hrs between cycles the plants show signs of stress.

Now on the lean too on the side of the HT. I call it a trough system. The plants in it are just placed in a net cup with clay pebbles.
When I started I had drip emmiters that would run all the time slowly running water over the stems and roots in the net cups. I would hold about 2 inches of solution in the bottom or each trough. But that caused a problem as the small tubings would move with the temp changes. Even with them being secured down with straps. And then would run water across the tops of the plywood and down to the ground wasting it. So then we ran a pipe to the far end of the trough and would just circulate the solution from the far end to the drain end. Both worked fine but not losing the solution was a big pulse for me. Again at this point we were still only holding about 2 inches of solution in the bottom of the troughs.
I had some plants die and wanted to replace but at this point we had replaced the drippers with hard piping and the roots were barely long enough to get to the bottom of the net cup. So watch I did then was cut a piece of pipe and raise it to the point where the roots were in the solution. These took a bit longer to get established that with the drippers. But it has worked and worked well from what I can see. No matter how the trough is set up the water constantly runs.

After all that to answer your question. I am really not sure what to call it. I guess DWC would be a good call. The reason I built the troughs was I had a bunch of that OSB plywood laying around for way too long. So long that when I bought it, I paid less than 3 dollars a sheet for it.

Finally the audio... I am from south louisiana so I don't speak great all the time haha!

Thanks for the questions you have any suggestions?

FourOaks May 9, 2018 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by bobcatgardener (Post 699262)
Thanks for the questions you have any suggestions?

I cant say that I have any suggestions. I have previously attempted a re-circulation system, but couldn't keep the nutrient cool enough. I was far more successful with a drain to waste system using grow bags. I tried to dial it in so that I had very little run off.

Now days im focusing my efforts on going organic. My customers want it. Im happy to at least oblige. At my previous Farmers Market, over 3 years, I could count on one hand how many sells I lost to the organic vs. synthetic. At my new Market, things are different. Way different.

But, I do like the trough idea.

bobcatgardener May 9, 2018 08:56 PM

I have not had much issues yet with the temps. I have a 250 ibc tote burried almost 6 feet in the ground. Drying the winter the coolest it got was 70. We have been having highs in the high 80s and have touched the low 90s the last few days and the solution gets up to about 74. We do have a cover over the tote and that helps. Very little sun reaches it. It's not easy to check the amount in it. But it's worth the trouble to keep the heat out. Gonna see in the next couple months when the heat really kicks up how hot it gets.

Good luck with your new market. Hope things go your way there!

FourOaks May 9, 2018 09:21 PM

Yep, the ol IBC tote makes a fine mix tank. I use mine for plain water now. I had considered putting the tank in my storage building, but the distance involved, my pump just couldnt pull it off. Even using drip irrigation, too much of a pressure loss.

bobcatgardener May 9, 2018 09:25 PM

I am using a 4500 gallon hour pond pump from HF. It's working great so far. And I still have plenty room to add more. I have to open the bypass so I don't run excess pressure.

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