DIY Hydroponics

Have you made something and want to show it off? This is the place for your photos or just talk about the things that you have made or would like to make. All crafts from knitting and crochet to woodwork, in fact anything that you have made!
User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274387 Odsox
Tue May 28, 2013 10:55 am

As some of you will know, I've been planning and talking about setting up an hydroponic system in my greenhouse for a few years now.
Well this year I finally found the time and energy to actually get around to building it. It's been great fun and made me scratch my head many times trying to work out the best way to achieve what I had in mind.
I have a two pipe system, one of which has now been running for just over 4 weeks, and today I filled the second pipe ready to get going as I have filled the first one (or overfilled)
This is what it looked like in early April ........

Empty pipe.jpg
Empty pipe.jpg (99.73 KiB) Viewed 3976 times


And this is what it looked like semi planted up and running on the 22nd of April .........

One pipe.jpg
One pipe.jpg (110.87 KiB) Viewed 5435 times



I have been experimenting to see which plants will grow well hydroponically by just planting one or two plants of everything I have at the time, mostly planting one in the hydro and the rest in either the greenhouse border or the polytunnel. That way I can easily compare and ignore the effects of this crap weather.
So far everything is doing well except a pepper which looks a bit sick in the hydro but is better in the soil border.

This is what it looked like last Sunday .......

New pipe.jpg
New pipe.jpg (109.73 KiB) Viewed 3976 times


It's planted up with carrots, 2 calabrese, 2 cauliflowers, a lettuce, a melon, a cucumber, a pepper, an aubergine, a few radishes, one tomato, an onion, a pinch of turnips, a pinch of beetroot, a pinch of spring onions and a strawberry.
The calabrese and cauliflowers look very happy and are twice the size of the ones planted in soil, the carrots are the "ball" type as there is no depth for regular ones and will be interesting as all gardening books tell you NOT to fertilise carrots and these are fertilised three times every day. The cucumber is suffering a bit from the cold nights but is streets ahead of the one a few feet behind it in the soil border.

Greens.jpg
Greens.jpg (107.02 KiB) Viewed 5435 times


Finally, these are radishes that were sown in situ 3 weeks ago and are just ready to pull. Also the cucumber in the foreground starting to flower, this is a miniature variety with 3" long fruit, so I should be able to start cutting them in a week or so.

Radish.jpg
Radish.jpg (74.47 KiB) Viewed 3976 times
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
southeast-isher
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:41 pm
Location: Great Britain

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274396 southeast-isher
Tue May 28, 2013 2:55 pm

WOW that's cool.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274397 oldjerry
Tue May 28, 2013 3:12 pm

So many questions..First anyhow,it looks great Tony.Is your medium some sort of vermiculite?(looks a bit like it)Where does the water drain off? basically more detail of the structure and less of the showing off how good your veg is!(OK,it's pretty good!).Top stuff cutting the drainpipes,some sort of jigsaw?

More details PLEASE. Seriously well done,how long from conception to fruition? what not to do...I've this burning thing about a bit of aquaponics here at OJ Towers,I'd be pleased if the plant side of it turned out half as good as that.

User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1769
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274399 diggernotdreamer
Tue May 28, 2013 3:30 pm

oldjerry wrote:So many questions..First anyhow,it looks great Tony.Is your medium some sort of vermiculite?(looks a bit like it)Where does the water drain off? basically more detail of the structure and less of the showing off how good your veg is!(OK,it's pretty good!).Top stuff cutting the drainpipes,some sort of jigsaw?

More details PLEASE. Seriously well done,how long from conception to fruition? what not to do...I've this burning thing about a bit of aquaponics here at OJ Towers,I'd be pleased if the plant side of it turned out half as good as that.


Yeah what he said, more info

User avatar
doofaloofa
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:50 am
Location: Wesht Cark, RoI

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274402 doofaloofa
Tue May 28, 2013 3:48 pm

southeast-isher wrote:WOW that's cool.


That is cool
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274407 Odsox
Tue May 28, 2013 6:56 pm

oldjerry wrote:More details PLEASE.

Well ..... I got the ideas from searching online what others had done and it seems this way is popular in Australia.

The pipes are ordinary 6" soil pipes, cut with a jig saw, with bridges left in to stop it all spreading, and a stop end at both ends.
There is a kind of sump at the far end with a bog standard brass tank connector (I'll photograph it if you're really interested) and 22mm copper pipes draining to the black dustbin you can see.
In the dustbin is a submersible pump (from Lidl) which is connected to the black pipe running along the soil pipe, this pipe has holes drilled every 3" which sprays/drips the water onto the surface. The pump is controlled by a time switch which runs the pump for 5 minutes 3 times a day. The pipes are filled with a 50/50 mixture of perlite and vermiculite.

The "sump" has a 4" piece of plastic electrical conduit which sits loosely in the "wrong side" of the tank connector. The pump sprays nutrient and slowly fills the soil pipe to just level with the surface of the perlite, which overflows down the conduit until the pump stops and then slowly drains it all back to the tank. The way it works is the roots gets flooded with nutrient and then as the nutrient drains it draws oxygen down leaving a moist aerated medium (ebb & flood)

I am in the process of modifying the pump cycle as I have a problem. The dustbin holds 60 litres (it's an 80l dustbin but I drilled holes in the side for the return pipes, reducing the capacity) and 60 litres isn't enough for 2 soil pipes. Rather than double the size of the tank using double the amount of nutrient and clogging up my floor space, I am fitting an ex-washing machine double solenoid valve (one inlet, two outlets)... the one that controls the hot or cold feed. Then the pump will run on each soil pipe in sequence, i.e soil pipe (a) will fill at 8:00 and drain, the soil pipe (b) will run at 10:00 and will have drained before pipe (a) needs to run again.
All good (clean) fun. :iconbiggrin:

Sorry about the epistle, but you did ask. :iconbiggrin:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274413 oldjerry
Tue May 28, 2013 9:31 pm

Thanks Tony,bit hammered at present,will get back to you when things level up ,you have to be more simplistic for a simplistic bloke.I know it's a pain,but you put it up.I've looked again, and you've answered a lot, but asked some too. 1)what's the nutrient?...Again,apols, brilliant set up. BWs.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274416 Odsox
Tue May 28, 2013 10:34 pm

oldjerry wrote:what's the nutrient?

No probs OJ, nutrient is the water with a mixture of fertilizer added.

I shall be away for a couple of days so it will give you plenty of time to make a big list. :iconbiggrin:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274661 oldjerry
Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:44 pm

I shall be away for a couple of days so it will give you plenty of time to make a big list. :iconbiggrin:[/quote]

I wasn't THAT hammered,!What I meant was what d'you use as a nutrient!

Also what site did you peruse in oz,or is that a secret.? What do you think is a max/min size for the set up?


Hope you had a good break,thanks Tony.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274663 Odsox
Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:06 pm

Sorry OJ, I misunderstood ... a bit keen to get away maybe, we had three days away in our little camper van while the sun was still in a good mood and before the 2 dozen eggs in the incubator start hatching

The nutrient is bog standard readymix, the actual one I use is this one (which is about 2 year's supply for my setup) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NL-Evolution- ... 27cb268dfb

The main site that gave me the ideas was http://www.home.aone.net.au/~hydroponics/index.html , although he uses sand and I'm not sure what any pump would think about pumping sandy water. I basically read the site from cover to cover, thought about it for a couple of years and then did my own thing.
Regarding minimum size hydro unit, if I asked you how big would you recommend a greenhouse or polytunnel should be, perhaps you get the idea. I built the two 18' units (as you can see) but only had one running to start with, now the second one is running as well and I have plans to build a third (wider) one next winter. I guess if you just want to try it out, you could build a small 6 foot one.

Let me know if there is anything you want a close up photo of or any other info.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274666 oldjerry
Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:31 pm

thanks mate.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274815 Odsox
Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:17 pm

A bit of an update.
The calabrese are ready to cut (and one will be tomorrow), I'm very pleased with them and so I have planted some more. These were from seed sown on the 7th of March and planted in the hydro on 14th of April, 9 weeks ago.

calabrese.jpg
calabrese.jpg (99.69 KiB) Viewed 3764 times


The cauliflowers will be ready in probably another week to ten days, depending on the weather or more precisely the temperatures. As you can see, they suffered from leaf tip burn and when I noticed it I added some Epsom Salts to the nutrient, which appears to have cured it.
It's very satisfying to diagnose a problem, attempt to cure it and see the results almost immediately.

cauliflower.jpg
cauliflower.jpg (76.24 KiB) Viewed 5223 times


Finally, what the greenhouse looks like today, with the front pipe being planted up, compared to 3 weeks ago. The cucumber in the middle has almost got to the roof and is smothered in fruit, only 3"-4" long but enough to cut one every day.

today.jpg
today.jpg (119.86 KiB) Viewed 3764 times


Still all good clean fun, and you get to eat the results.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274816 oldjerry
Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:01 pm

I've been looking at the Oz site you mention,it's all good motivating stuff,and your results speak for themselves.
I've got hold of a second hand lean to,which will go on the side of the garage in the coming winter, and I'll rig up some extra lighting.Cos it aint the biggest GH the world's ever seen,I'll put the fish tanks outside.
Effectively it's growing without a garden,at a height that most people can deal with,whatever their age.With lights you could do it in your bedroom.......... Ladies and Gentlemen, the Future.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4840
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274822 Odsox
Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:28 pm

oldjerry wrote:Effectively it's growing without a garden,at a height that most people can deal with,whatever their age

Indeed, that is a big benefit, the growing surface of mine is the same height as a kitchen worktop. Also there are no slugs, no root fly larvae, no weevils, no woodlice, no caterpillars, no soil born diseases and no weeds.

oldjerry wrote:With lights you could do it in your bedroom

Err, I think some people have thought of that, bedrooms, wardrobes, attics, but maybe not growing cauliflowers. :lol:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
doofaloofa
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:50 am
Location: Wesht Cark, RoI

Re: DIY Hydroponics

Post: #274827 doofaloofa
Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:54 pm

Nice looking veg

Will slugs and disease, etc find the pipes eventually?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln


Return to “Looks like we made it”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests