Solar Powered Hydroponics

[Dan Bowen] describes the construction of a backyard hydroponics set-up in an angry third person tirade. While his friends assume more nefarious, breaking, and bad purposes behind [Dan]’s interest in hydroponics; he’d just like some herbs to mix into the occasional pasta sauce.

Feel particularly inspired one day after work, he stopped by the local hardware store and hydroponics supply. He purchases some PVC piping, hoses, fittings, pumps, accessories, and most importantly, a deck box to hide all the ugly stuff from his wife.

The design is pretty neat. He has an open vertical spot that gets a lot of light on his fence. So he placed three lengths of PVC on a slant. This way the water flows quickly and aerates as it goes. The top of the pipes have holes cut in them to accept net baskets.

The deck box contains a practically industrial array of sensors and equipment. The standard procedure for small-scale hydroponics is just to throw the water out on your garden and replace the nutrient solution every week or so. The hacker’s solution is to make a rubbermaid tote bristle with more sensors than the ISS.

We hope his hydroponics set-up approaches Hanging Gardens of Babylon soon.

15 thoughts on “Solar Powered Hydroponics

        1. So I guess this set up is what they would refer to as an “ebb and flow” system? Like you would pump more fluid in than the pipe can drain via the drain ports, short of it coming out over the net baskets, and then stop the pump and let it whole thing drain, and then some period later repeat the process? Am I getting that right? I can’t watch the video as streaming is restricted here on the inside.

          I know there are ebb and flow systems, which I think this may be, mist or spray type systems where you spray a mist of solution on the roots, and bubbler or aeration type systems where the roots are submerged, but have enough air being bubbled over the roots to effectively keep them from drowning. Are there any other types?

          I know hydroponically grown gardens are nice because of the lack of dirt and all the weeding and bugs and things that go with it, but never got a system going because of like [Dan Bowen]’s friends, the harmful associations of growing illegal stuff is pretty popular. And though I have absolutely nothing to hide, I just don’t like attention I don’t need nor deserve. And I’ve heard that the local hydroponics business, which has been around for decades now is a popular surveillance spot for LE (This was actually told to me by a leo…) .

  1. This looks way better that I thought it would.
    I’m glad that at least some people here make their own pasta sauce instead of dumping in the cheapo crap. I want to try something like this next year!

  2. Impressive system with a website that was fun to read.I’m wondering if this project would pass the WAF (wife acceptance factor) in our garden… The deck box was a very good idea and certainly improves the chances of success regarding the WAF.

    1. Since you have full control of the nutrients, you know what’s going into your plants. You can also gear the nutrients to the plants needs, which has the effect of giving better yields. You don’t have to tear up your yard, you don’t have to weed around the plants and so on. There are a lot of advantages to hydroponic veggie gardens vs. dirt.

      1. Some plants don’t grow well with saturated root systems. Also, some plants require nutrients that are not easily water soluble.

        This is also a good way to transfer disease between plants, something that could be more easily subverted were they in the ground… where they should be.

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