If you’ve just recently gotten interested in growing your own fresh food, you’re likely wondering which system will help you learn to be an awesome indoor gardener? There’s so many types of hydroponic systems to consider! Space and budget constraints can really put a damper on your garden-to-table vision too, so you want to make the right choices in the beginning. But you need to learn to walk before you can run. Even if you’ve been veggie gardening outdoors for years, bringing the garden inside presents you with a learning curve that is all about the plants – not the system.
If you are a regular reader of the print version of Garden Culture Magazine, you’ll get some great insights and indoor garden tips from seasoned growers. Like the best way to approach getting harvests that make the investment worth your while. So, today I’m going to share the wisdom of Sheldon with you from the very first GC issue to hit the street everywhere…
The principle most likely finds its origins in similar concepts such as:
- Albert Einstein’s maxim that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
- Mies Van Der Rohe’s “Less is more”
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s “It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
The acronym was coined by Clarence Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works (creators of the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, among many others). The principle is best exemplified by the story of Johnson handing a team of design engineers a handful of tools, with the challenge that the jet aircraft they were designing must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field under combat conditions with only these tools. Hence, the ‘stupid’ refers to the relationship between the way things break and the sophistication available to fix them.
What could this possibly have to do with gardening and the success or failure of your garden? When you need a new cellphone do you head down to your local electronics supplier and buy a bunch of microprocessors and resistors and head home to construct your new phone like the mad doctor did with Frankenstein on that stormy night? Of course not, you head over to the cell phone store or dial it up online and click buy, pay for it and then start texting your friends to boast of your new purchase. You don’t know how to wire or build a cell phone and for most of you new growers, your garden is no different.
You’ve spent hours researching online, head out to your local Hydro store or order online to acquire your new grow equipment, head home and start to assemble the puzzle of pots, trays, tubing, pumps, and then muster up the courage to mix up your first batch of feed solution. You’ve done all this with no experience growing a plant and no knowledge of how it should all work, why?
Your new garden is a like a new baby. Would you bring your new bundle of joy home, sit him in front of a giant NY prime steak, and expect him to eat – would you? You’ve got to take it slow, learn to walk before you run and K.I.S.S.
A new grower should start simple with one ore two lights, minimal number of plants, pots with soil, and a very basic nutrient feed solution. Hand water these new born babies, and spend time in your garden EVERY DAY!
Take the time to study your plants, study their reactions, what makes them happy and of course what makes them sad. As you get through your fist crop or two, you will begin to realize that there is more to indoor gardening then meets the eye, and only then can you begin to make the educated decisions needed to outfit your garden and progress into a more advanced, and automated grow system.
The simpler your first garden is, the more SUCCESSFUL you will be! There will come a time for the latest technology and all the bells and whistles, just think of the evolution of spy planes. Clarence Johnson said it right when he coined the phrase, Keep It Simple Stupid!