Diary of an Indoor Grower: Hydroponics Garden Evolution
May 28, 2017
The only thing that hasn’t changed in my hydroponics garden is its dimensions.
It is just over 70 Sq feet (6.6 X 11.2).with 8-foot ceilings. Otherwise, it is in a constant state of flux. Lights, systems, nutrients, fans, controllers, you name it I have changed it.
Part of the reason is that I have, especially in the past 4 years, received products to test. I won’t bore you with all the things I have tested and what I thought of them. Most I liked, some I didn’t. In the end, you are far more important than any product and as long as certain principles are followed you should have a successful hydroponics garden.
After all the years what I look for most in an indoor gardening product is simplicity and reliability. In other words, the product will do what it says it will do and operate the way it’s supposed to. I also need it to be as self-sufficient as possible. My two issues are time and time. One, I have none to spare, and finding time to get down in the garden is sometimes impossible. The other is that I travel, quite a bit. Yes, my wife tries her best, but when I’m gone she has even less time than normal which leaves her with exactly none. So, this garden has to be able to take care of itself for as long as 10 days sometimes.
My Hydroponics Garden
I have always been a huge fan of NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) I have since the beginning either built them or bought them (they were actually free, just to clarify that I didn’t build it or buy it. Nutriculture sent me one from the UK, and it has been running in my basement for the last 2 years.
My other preferred system and one that I will talk a lot about in the future is Autopot. I was first introduced to this little valve about 10 years ago and I loved it. The guy who was selling them basically stopped and so did my interest. Well, the product ownership had switched hands from Australia (where it originally came from) to a gentleman from the UK. He changed/improved the product design, and went to work. Slowly but surely Autopot became the UK’s #1 growing system. He had focused so much on the UK and Europe that we didn’t hear much about it. Thanks to the UK version of Garden Culture Magazine and some of my international galavanting I knew what was going on over there and got my hands on some of those little blue valves. It was love at first drip. Like any relationship there are the ups and downs, you hope for the ups to outweigh the downs. This is a gravity drip system. It needs to be set up properly and maintained. This requires very little effort at all but it is very important.
These are my 2 favorite methods for my hydroponics garden, but that doesn’t mean they are for you. How and what you grow in is inconsequential, all that matters is that you grow. For that, you need a space. If you have a spare room use it – if you don’t look into grow tents. They come in every size and I would say shape but they are square or rectangle. I believe HOMEbox has a small triangular tent that fits neatly into the corner of any room.