Friday, March 26, 2010

Automated hydroponic planter- Update!!

I could not resist sharing the pictures of my babies growing so nicely in the hydroponic planter that I had created sometime back.

In my previous post, I had explained about the system and shown pictures of 15 day old plants. Have a look at the latest pictures. These are 25 day old plants (32 days from seed).

The plants are growing vigorously, much faster than the that in soil. This growth is remarkable since this hydroponic planter is kept in the open (on my terrace) and the temperature is hovering around 32 deg. C.  Lettuce is not bolting, Chinese cabbage and red ruby cabbage plants are not wilting because of heat.

In spite of the hot and dry weather, the feeding cycle is 15 days. The 25 litres of hydroponic nutrient solution which I pour into the system lasts for 15 days (It will drop to maybe 10 days or so as the plants grow bigger). What is remarkable is the efficient use of water and nutrients. No wastage at all.

I will keep you posted on further progress. If you would like to know more about hydroponic gardening  please visit Indian Hydroponics

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Automated hydroponic planter- No electricity needed!!

As I had mentioned in my previous posts, my constant endeavor is to continuously innovate and create a low maintenance and low cost soilless/ hydroponic gardening system. Well,  after years of experimenting with various types of systems I have created the first prototype of a automated hydroponic system which does not need electricity and other expensive equipment like pumps, timers etc. And it works wonderfully well!!

What you see in the picture does not have a good finish (I lack carpentery skills :)) I plan to get hold of a good carpenter to create a neat finished system which can be kept indoors, in the balcony or in the patio.

Anyways.. coming to the the features and benefits of this system:

1) A large planting area - I plan to create 3 different  sizes - 2' x 2', 3' x 1.5' and 4' x 1.5'. These sizes are much larger that the conventional planters available in the market.  A couple of these systems are enough to grow all your flowering plants, herbs and leafy veggies.

 (I have planted 3 watermelon plants, 12 lettuce plants, 8 ruby red cabbage plants and 3 Chinese cabbage plants in the 3' x 1.5' planter shown in the picture)

2) No daily watering needed - Depending upon the plant growth stage and the weather conditions, this  garden system would require nutrient solution only once or twice a month, you need to refill the system with our nutrient solution

3) Built-in nutrient level indicator - This system has a built-in nutrient solution level indicator, which will tell you when to refill the system with the nutrient solution

4) No water stress due to under-watering or flooding due to over-watering  -  The plants roots get the optimum supply of water and nutrients all the time throughout.
You fill the system once/ twice a month with the solution and the system takes care of dispensing the optimum supply of nutrients to plants.
5) No soil borne diseases - In this soil-less system, hydroponic media is sterile, hence there are no soil borne insects or pests which makes it an ideal indoor growing system

The planters will be designed keeping in mind the aesthetics of  the home interior. With attractive wooden laminate finishes and wheels, these planters will truly gel with your  living room or balcony furnishings.

For more information on hydroponic gardening, please visit Indian Hydroponics