Ask a Question forum: Hydroponics/Organic

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Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
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cathyweid
Sep 8, 2014 5:06 AM CST
Hi
Was wondering if you could tell me if hydroponics is an organic way to grow vegetables. Excuse the ignorance.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 8, 2014 5:46 AM CST
It can be done, but it requires dedication.

If you Google the question, the answers are very long and complicated.
http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=45

It basically comes down to the nutrients and fertilizers that are used.

Fertilizers that work in soil are different than those that work in water.


Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
Keeps Horses
cathyweid
Sep 8, 2014 5:55 AM CST
Thank you for the information. Thank You!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 8, 2014 1:54 PM CST
Cathy, have you looked at growing veggies in Earth Boxes? They are a sort of semi-hydroponic system using what amounts to a large window-box type container with a big water reservoir in the bottom. [url=www.earthbox.com]www.earthbox.com[/url] Very neat and tidy, and would work great in a greenhouse, if you don't live in the South.

I now grow all my veggies in Earth Boxes since my soil is mostly sand, and also infested with nematodes. (that's Florida for ya) The box itself is made from recycled plastic, and if you fill it with organic potting mix, and use an organic fertilizer, (the Earth Box folks offer a good one) you have a neat, uncomplicated organic growing system. Relatively inexpensive compared to a hydroponic set-up, too.

I even water mine with rain water on an automated timer system, so it's really 'natural' AND I can go away on a trip and not worry about things getting the right amount of water. Grows fabulous vegetables, too. The system is extremely water-efficient as well which also appeals to me, since rainwater can be hard to come by especially here in the winter, our veggie season.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
Keeps Horses
cathyweid
Sep 9, 2014 3:17 AM CST
That sounds just what I need, didn't want to go the hydroponics route but we also have sandy soil and water just does not stay in the soil, so thought that hydroponics would be the solution but wasn't sure that it would be chemical free. I also feel vegetables should grow in soil, giving us nutrients from the earth. Thanks to Greene's answer I checked it out and wasn't happy with what I read. Here we have a product called Nitrosol, which is a liquid organic fertilizer, I can use that in the containers.

Thanks so much, getting excited about my vegetables I'm going to grow already. Our summer veggie season is starting now so will be able to begin straight away. Thank You!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 9, 2014 9:08 AM CST
For an idea of planting dates for your area, look in the blue area on the left of the screen to find 'Goodies', from there go to the planting calendar and punch in your zip code/postal code (I don't know your location). Good luck and happy gardening. Remember to take tons of photos. We love photos.
http://garden.org/apps/calendar/
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Sep 9, 2014 1:58 PM CST
And for the record, Earth Boxes are wonderful, if a bit expensive (there are directions out there for making your own, but I've never tried it). I've grown the best tomatoes in them and was even able to grow one of the shorter varieties of corn one year.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 9, 2014 8:43 PM CST
@cathyweid

Here's another option, you can make these yourself. Sort of making earth boxes only they will be round.
The thread "Make an eBucket!" in Vegetables and Fruit forum
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
Keeps Horses
cathyweid
Sep 10, 2014 12:33 AM CST
Thank you all for your help, you've all given me wonderful ideas. Thank You!
Name: Terry Layman
Natalia, TX. 78059
ab
Gardens in Buckets
ThunderBear
Dec 20, 2014 6:36 AM CST
cathyweid said:Hi
Was wondering if you could tell me if hydroponics is an organic way to grow vegetables. Excuse the ignorance.


Organic growing by Hydroponics has been used by mankind for 1,000's of years, even way before the Greeks came up with the word "Hydro".

The water gardens of Babylon, mentioned in the Bible were actually Wick Hydroponic systems.

The Egyptians grew massive amounts of food, using Wick Hydroponics and they still do it today.

A lot of third world countries use Wick Hydroponic systems to grow food.

I've been designing and building Wick Hydroponic systems for over 20 years, from using 5 gl buckets that can grow from 5 to 7 plants.

Thumb of 2014-12-20/ThunderBear/7b7536

or my 25 gl Re-Cycled Molasses tubs that can grow 10-16 plants per tub.

Thumb of 2014-12-20/ThunderBear/cf4bef

Thumb of 2014-12-20/ThunderBear/bf1e8f

Terry Layman
c/o Herbs Mint 4-U
Natalia, TX. 78059
Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
Keeps Horses
cathyweid
Jan 13, 2015 11:10 AM CST
That looks very interesting. Do the containers stand in water? That would solve the problem of our very drying winds we have. I have to water almost twice a day. Thank you for the information.
Name: Terry Layman
Natalia, TX. 78059
ab
Gardens in Buckets
ThunderBear
Jan 17, 2015 8:31 AM CST
cathyweid said:That looks very interesting. Do the containers stand in water? That would solve the problem of our very drying winds we have. I have to water almost twice a day. Thank you for the information.


No the containers have their own water reservoir built into the planters bottom. On the larger containers, they are 25 gl re-cycled Molasses tubs, the reservoirs are 6" deep and hold 7 gl's. of water. There are 4 ea. Polyester wicks that bring up the water into the media chamber by capillary action.

The SIP planters in the pictures above have 8 vertical planting holes in the side, and are great for growing herbs with a sprawling growth pattern, But in mine they were planted with Bell Peppers and Japanese Eggplants. They were trained to grow out and them let to grow vertical, increasing the plant production per planter. In the top were planted 2 Tomato plants. The peppers and eggplants were planted Mar 1, 2014 and lasted to the first freeze in Dec. The tomato’s were planted twice last year Mar.1 and
Sep 1.

What you don’t see in the pictures is that the reservoirs are hooked together by 1/2” drip lines. The reservoirs are then kept full of water 24/7 by a gravity flow Horizontal Float Valve bucket. Just hook it to a dedicated water spigot. Turn on the spigot 1/2 to 1 full turn and never have hand water again.

Or hook up the Float Valve bucket to a Rain Barrel, and gravity takes over from there. Also if you use a Rain Barrel, you can blend in your own "Tea" brews at a low concentration, then the plants get growing nutrients the same time they drink the water.
Terry Layman
c/o Herbs Mint 4-U
Natalia, TX. 78059
Name: Cat
West Coast, South Africa (Zone 12a)
Keeps Horses
cathyweid
Jan 18, 2015 4:38 PM CST
Thank you for your all your information I will definitely look into changing my system. If I get it right I will post some photos later on. Thanks again.
Name: JamesHST
United States
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jameshst44
Feb 19, 2016 3:08 AM CST
This article talk about hydroponics http://easyponic.com/en/which-is-the-best-hydroponic-system-...

Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 19, 2016 11:21 AM CST
My daughter grows organic veggies hydroponically. She has 15 gallon reservoirs filled with pea gravel and a 100 gallon reservoirs filled with fish. The gravel filled reservoirs are higher than the fish one. Using a bilge pump, she pumps fish water up to the veggies and gravity feeds it back into the tank of fish. The theory is the fish water feeds the plants and the gravel purifies the fish water. She chose koi for her fish but a lot of people raise tilapia this way.

Right now she is growing leafy greens, peas and a lot of herbs. This whole setup is in a temperate greenhouse (the temps fall to near freezing before the heat comes on). She plans to add summer veggies with too long growing seasons this spring.

Daisy

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