Syrian Refugees Hydroponics - A simple way ?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ricky101, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    On todays news there was a report of how some Syrian refugees in very poor makeshift camps, almost desert like conditions, were growing their own crops using a simple (?) hydroponics with old foam from matresses - inspiring !

    We have often though about growing by this method, but every time, the more you look into it, the more equipment like ph pens, additives, solutions for this that and the other, just make it seem like something too far from gardening.

    However, feel sure those refugee do not have all that stuff, so are we really being taken for a ride ? clearly it would apply to commercial growers, but in our back gardens ?

    We would love to try a simple method, if anyone can say how ?
     
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      Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      I've thought about it a few times. And you are right, just setting up costs big time and it seems you can't do a little at a time as money allows.
       
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      Just watched the video and it's got me thinking. I do have foam that I can play with. The PVC piping though, that could be expensive and then the water has got to circulate.. hmm, I do have water pumps and could maybe use one of my solar panels to run one. Still the piping is a bit of an expense. I'll have to look into it.
       
    • mazambo

      mazambo Total Gardener

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      This is going to be interesting :)
       
    • CarolineL

      CarolineL Super Gardener

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      Worth having a look at @hydrogardener blog. He does this a lot and seems to have found simple techniques
       
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      • WeeTam

        WeeTam Total Gardener

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        Saw this but cant think longterm exposure to the chems in the foam will safe. Rockwool must be safer.
        Read an article on the number of mattresses that go to land fill. The numbers are massive.
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Total Gardener

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          You don't have to use piping, simple trays on a slight slope will equally do as would any other typical medium/container for holding the plants - just that they have got all that foam to hand.

          It was more the nutrients needed and their monitoring that seems so complex when you look into things here, cannot see the refugees going to such lengths, feel sure they must be using a much simpler regime, but still getting good results.

          Though over here using hydroponics for toms seems a popular thing, but have read a few posts saying that the flavour of toms grown hydroponically can be very bland, yet many commercial growers seem to use this method.

          The Ebb and Flow system seems an equally simple method, like you have got plenty of small pumps and heater from the aquarium keeping.

          000043.jpg
           
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          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            Still doesn't look inexpensive to set up. Other than pump and foam, I don't have any of the supplies. @ricky101 since you were the first to ponder, how about I follow your lead and you start first? :)
             
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            • ricky101

              ricky101 Total Gardener

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              Might be a few months before we get to that stage, all our greenhouse floor space is currently benches for overwintering plants, cuttings and seedlings.
              Typically late April before the toms etc are placed in thier final tubs.

              Will be calling in at a local Hydroponics shop (aka 'pot' plant supplies) for some clay pebbles for the orchids, so will see if they can recommend a simple to use one bottle fertiliser solution, though not sure why we could not just use standard liquid tom fertiliser ?

              Don't mind changing the water once a week etc, but using ph pens etc and adjusting various parameters , its a bit more than we want to mess with for the sake of a couple of tom plants etc.

              Are you the same or have grander plans for lots more plants ?
               
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              • CanadianLori

                CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                I'm actually quite happy with my set up as is. I might have toyed with a one or two plant "trysie" but I don't even know what I would want to grow in it. An outdoor set up would only be useful in the summer as, for example, tonight our low will be -20c and certainly the expenses of heating any outdoor structure through winters would be ridiculous.

                My big fear with setting this type of grow zone indoors is the possibility of a leak or some other nasty water issue. I do have a cellar but the area near the drain is surrounded by furnace, water heater, etc. and not suitable. The set up I have down there uses traditional potting soil and capillary watering which works quite well.

                I did try a small pvc set up years ago. Got the water flowing nicely etc but is was only a couple of days before mosquitoes found a way into the water and having a pump running constantly 24/7 at a fairly high speed would be needed to discourage egg laying. Not very practical.

                @ricky101 when you get to experimenting, please keep us updated as you sound like someone who would sort the nonsense from the necessary. :)
                 
              • ricky101

                ricky101 Total Gardener

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