When starting out with hydroponic gardening, it’s great to be able to set up a cheap system that is easy to maintain and hardy. The one shown in this video is perfect for the beginning hydroponic gardener.

Growing lettuce is perhaps the easiest in a hydroponic garden. It requires very little space, it can tolerate a wide range of conditions such as pH, nutrient concentration, light, and temperature. This means that the beginner gardener can afford to make a few mistakes without catastrophic effects on the crop.

As seen from the video, the hydroponic system is a series of pipes from which lettuce are growing in very close proximity. There is a large reservoir at one end of the system. A water fountain pump is used to pump the hydroponic nutrients to the opposite side of the growing pipes. There it is fed into the growing pipes and passes back to the nutrient reservoir. On its way it passes each lettuce plant, making contact with the plant’s roots. The plant is able to extract all of the water and nutrients it requires from the fluid as it passes the plant.

The great aspect of this system is its cheap setup costs (around $100 for all parts), its ease of maintenance, and the ability to expand it cheaply and easily. Expansion is just a matter of adding as many additional pipes as needed.

The builder of this system says it is very well suited to growing lettuce, strawberries, and herbs, and one could use it to grow produce to sell to local greengrocers, restaurants, and markets.

In hydroponic lingo this type of system is based on the “nutrient film technique”, which is where a steady stream of nutrients are passed over the plant roots as they grow. The downside to this type of system is its dependence on continual water flow. If the pump were to fail or if there were a significant power failure for a period of hours, the plants would be susceptible to drying out. Nonetheless a fantastic system for gardeners wanting to get their feet wet with hydroponics, or for school projects.

Filed under: Grow Hydroponically

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