Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pocket Hydroponics

Ok... I have an Aerogarden, which is about the coolest thing on earth... It's gotten me hooked on hydroponics. The Aerogarden is actually aeroponics, which means that some of the roots are suspended above the waterline and some below, allowing the plants to self regulate their air/water needs. The system I built this morning is known as an "ebb and flow" or "flood and drain" hydroponics. There is a small fountain pump in the bucket which will run for about 5 minutes every half hour and will fill the "planters" with a nutrient mix (shown by the red food coloring) When the pump goes off, the nutrients will drain back into the bucket. The lights on a second timer will run ~16 a day. The planters are 2-liter pop bottles (although the one front left is only a 1 liter bottle) The bottles can be changed out and the system is pretty much infinitely expandable and can be put outdoors without lights. At least, thats the theory. I'll get some planting media and nutrients when I'm downtown this evening. Then I'll get something planted tomorrow!

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