Category Archives: micro produX: hydroponics

hydroponic proposal

our proposal for the community garden using hydroponics.

created with valerie stevens and miranda rogers

 


researching hydrophonics

hydroponics involves growing plants without soil in a water-nutrient solution. this solution needs to be circulated– this could be done using gravity (one container distributes water to the plants and one collects ==> they could be raised and lowered to switch roles).

here’s a link to a texas a&m wibesite that talks about the details of hydroponics.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/hydroponics.html


examples of a hydroponic garden

this is more of a strictly farming garden, but it’s interesting to look at. they even have bees!

http://www.rabbitrunfarmllc.com/Rabbit_Run_Farm,_LLC./Home.html


getting involved

since the hydroponic systems are going to be a community garden in las lomas, i think its important to understand how to get the community involved.

1:  have people adopt specific areas. this could even be turned into a friendly competition of who can grow the best/biggest vegetables or the prettiest flowers. growing unusual varieties of plants could be a good way to market produce (see blog about “rabbit run”).

2: make it fun. the process of circulating the water-nutrient solution (using gravity as discussed) could be some sort of game for the children.

3: add some wildlife. have a butterfly garden area. plants grown for caterpillars to eat and adult butterflies. children would love taking care of them and watching them hatch. there are plenty native to texas.

4: create a usable garden. have spaces for people to sit and enjoy the garden, or have large gathering, including shady and sunny areas. people in the community should to want to be in the garden not only work in it.

 


starting the seeds……

seeds can be grown/germinated in just a moist paper towel! i remember doing this in elementary school with beans and i want to see if it works for any kind of seed.

the paper towel and seed can be placed in a small paper cup or a ziploc bag with holes in it (the seed needs oxygen). these should show signs of growth in ten days.

i’m going to choose seeds that my research said were good for hydroponic growth such as: lettuce, herbs, greens, tomatoes, cucumbers

i’m also going to try plants that attract butterflies/sustain caterpillars: fennel, parsely, dill, celery, sunflower, clover, black-eyed susan, morning glory


growing seeds in paper towel

 

i found different instances of seeds being grown in small plastic cups and ziploc bags with paper towel. i though i’d try both and see if there are any differences.

here is a quick diagram explaining what i did:

step one: cut paper towel into rough square shaped piece if not already.

step two: fold paper towel in half.

step three: moisten paper towel with water (don’t soak, but the whole paper towel should be damp).

step four: place seeds on paper towel.

step five: fold paper towel into thirds over seeds.

step six: place folded item into ziploc bag (leave it unzipped as seeds need oxygen) or small plastic cup.

 

this should help the seeds begin to germinate– the paper towel needs to remain moist, so check on it once or twice a day, adding more water if it’s dry.

hopefully soon we’ll be able to see the roots growing from the seeds. the seed packet should contain an estimated germination time: this can range from 1 week to 3 weeks or more! i labeled the cups and ziploc bags with the dates and names of plants so that i would know what to look out for.

 


things are growing!!!

it looks like the plastic bag + damp paper towel method is a winner! none of the seeds in the plastic cups have done anything– i think the plastic bag is like a greenhouse that helps keep the towel moist for the seeds. i did tape my ziploc bags onto a window on the second day so that they could get some natural light.

here’s what they looked like when i opened the bags up on day four:

 


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