Monday, September 14, 2009

Chilies in Hydroponics

I wanted to do away with daily watering and at the same time I did not want to use pumps, timers etc, so I experimented with a grow system sometime last year. I planted 7 chili plants in a small tub (18" L x 10" W x 10" H).

I filled the entire tub with sterile grow media (cocopeat). I used a 2 litre plastic bottle as a nutrient solution reservoir. I used a 1.5" PVC pipe with an end cap and an L joint to feed nutrients to the plants.

The system worked really well, as you can see in the picture (Plants loaded with chilies).

However, there were certain drawbacks - In the initial stages when the plants are small the nutrient requirement is low. The 2 litre bottle filled with nutrients would last for a week. As the plants grow bigger, the nutrient and water intake increased. Now, I need to refill the bottle at least once a day (sometimes twice a day)!!.

Also, lack of aeration in the root zone and salt build up in the grow media are some of the other issues with this system.

I have found a work around to this problem, I am working on a new system design which I will talk about in my next post.

In case you need to learn more about hydroponic gardening, please visit Indian Hydroponics

1 comment:

Devi said...

Hydroponics is very interesting. I have been growing houseplants using the hydroculture technique. Do you also carry stock of the expanded clay pellets etc? Good luck on your venture!