It’s getting cold outside, so who wants to go and harvest in the rain for dinner? Not me.
The solution…an indoor hydro garden for the stuff we use the most.
Of course, we wanted an aquaponics setup to mirror the big, outdoor one but weren’t sure how the fish would go under artificial light at wavelengths dedicated to plant growth.
We didn’t have a pump small enough to recirculate in a system this sized either so I did a little research and came upon the Kratky method of hydroponics.
With this method, you put enough nutrient solution into a container and place your plant through the lid (I used net pots and perlite to keep them in position).
The plants grow roots that reach down as they grow. The nutrient solution and water used by the plants drop their level as the plant uses them. This leaves plenty of air around the roots for oxygen.
Of course, different plants use different amounts of resources to grow, so there must be some guides out there to tell us how much to use.
I guessed and used 6 litres per container. It sounded like overkill but I suppose I can reuse any left over. It’s only water and hydroponics nutrients.
The advantages are
- Sufficient nutrition always on hand
- 24 hour light
- Constant temperature above 8°C
- Isolation from pests
We have Swiss Chard, Wong Bok, Parsley, and Kangkong to start with. There are others of each of these growing both in the garden ground and the outdoor aquaponics. It’ll be interesting to compare.
Let’s see how it goes.