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Hydroponics

My basement is not only a basement. It houses my internal hydroponic garden.  In this garden, I run 2 different types of systems.

Deep Water Culture

First is called a “DWC” system (Deep Water Culture) This is pictured below in the plastic totes) This method involves  taking a plant and suspending it over a water rich nutrient solution. This solution has exactly what nutrients are needed for that plant to sustain life.  In this system you will also have an air stone and an air pump (Same as an aquarium). This aerates the nutrient rich water and allows the roots of the plant absorb the oxygen. 

Roots grow and suck up the water. As the water level gets lower you have more oxygen in the system. Water levels will drop and you must remix the water solution to replace it. Healthy plants will have larger amounts of white roots. If you find the roots are brown in color, you could have a water issue, or the plant is starting to age. 

Kratky Method

The other method I used is called the “Kratky” method. This method, named after Dr. Kratky, is the simplest method and requires very little attention and equipment. You can use the Kratky method in almost any container including plastic or glass. (Pictured in the mason jars below) In this system no air stone is required.

The mason jars have basil plants and as you can see, the roots are just starting to come out the bottom of the net pot. Note that they are white and healthy.

Nursery

In my hydroponic rack the bottom is the nursery. This is where I grow the plants from seed. Once they are ready, I move them up to the grow area. The time they will be in the nursery will depend on the type of plant. 

Currently I am growing 2 types of lettuce and about 20 basil plants. The lighting is basic led shop lights. They are 64k or 6400 Kelvin which represents the color temperature. For the hydroponic solution I use Master blend which is a 3 part nutrient pack that you can measure as per the amount of water needed. Once you start researching more you will find hundreds of different available nutrient solutions.

As a result of both hydroponic method you can easily build, grow and produce fresh vegetables and herbs in your home, garage or shed. Do not think that this is above your ability. Once you break it down you will quickly realize you can also do this.

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