Taking An Active Role In Growing What We Eat
Understanding A Hydroponic Setup
Eric finds it nostalgic to step back into a greenhouse. His 1st job was in an old, glass greenhouse. Those greenhouses just had benches, some of the fancier had rolling benches. Even so a lot of good memories. This is a lot fancier, it doesn't have wooden sashes. Eric knows this is Nathan's work home, where he spends his day-to day activities, running and maintaining the college greenhouse system. And, this is a somewhat non-traditional situation. And, is pretty elaborate, it has a hydroponic setup. Many may not have seen a hydroponic setup and may not understand what hydroponics are. Hydroponics boiled down is growing a plant without the use of soil. One uses materials other than soil as a substrate, primarily with water flowing through. How might one start their own little hydroponic situation? Nathan and Eric breakdown the materials used and how the system works. They talk about the medium 1st. In most cases that is perlite, or some kind of volcanic rock. Here they use a rockwool plug, which is a volcanic product. It is totally inert. They take a seed and plant that seed directly into the rockwool plug. The plant will then live its entire life in that plug in the system. It doesn't have soil thus are delivering nutrients to the plant via an ebb and flow type of water system. Water is pumped in with all the necessary nutrients and that then must be drained out at some point ensuring they don't create an anaerobic growing environment. The system produces and regulates the water PH as well as the nutrient content. Lettuce, like they have here, has a low nutrient content. The system automatically regulates the amount of nutrients in the water and will adjust as needed.
Could one build something like this at home? Sure. The system here looks like little gutters with a cap on them and a hole. It's really as simple as that. It's a low tech system - gutters and a simple aquarium pump in a 5 gallon bucket, to supply nutrition, would be all that should be required for a small homeowner. It's simple and that's the beauty of the system. It may look elaborate but in essence it's pretty simple.
This year GardenSMART embarks on one of our most exciting adventures ever and we'd love to have you join us! We are partnering with Alki Tours and spending 10 days visiting some of the most amazing sites in Holland and Belgium. Many of these gardens are my favorite horticultural destinations in the world. If you are a plant lover, this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jump into Spring with savings up to $2200 on this Exclusive Cruise of the Rivers of Holland & Belgium with Eric Johnson Host of GardenSMART from PBS
Sail right into the pages of a storybook on our European garden tour through Holland and Belgium.
MAY 6-16, 2018
As low as $3799 per person/do, Price includes airfare from New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago. CALL FOR OTHER CITIES THROUGHOUT THE USA
Watch filming and be part of the fun, telling your favorite...and not so favorite Dirty Tales.
2 Nights Amsterdam & 7 Nights River. Visit Amsterdam, Holland, Belgium, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Bruges, Keukenhof Gardens, Rotterdam and More!
This Exclusive, Five-Star, Cruise & Garden Tours Vacation Includes:
2 nights in Amsterdam including gorgeous hotel, wonderful tours and daily breakfast
7 nights on the new, flagship Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship
Incredible excursions in Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Utrecht
All of your meals on board the ship, including wine with dinner