People can be pretty creative. Here’s a couple of videos on how to do Hydroponic gardening at home, without any special equipment. The basics are to start seeds in a small block of peat or rock wool, plop that into a perforated plastic cup (or old yogurt cup), which gets placed into a quart (or 3/4 quart) jar full of liquid plant food solution, which is darkened (either by spraying or warping in old newspapers). Set in the sun, harvest lettuce…
This first one looks like it does use some hydroponics “stuff”. The plant cups are premade, the liquid fertilizer looks like it might be made for this purpose, and then he drops little beads around the rock wool cube in the cup; said beads looking like a commercial “grow medium”. (The second one is all re-purposed junk ;-)
In the next one, the guy goes out of his way to NOT use anything that requires a trip to the hydroponics store. Since those are sometimes nowhere near; and if they are, can be watched a lot by paranoid police, this is a feature.
Sidebar on Pot and Paranoid Police:
The paranoid police statement is in reference to a Father & Son who who were growing tomatoes in the basement. They had gone to a hydroponics store and bought stuff to grow some simple tomato plants. Police decided they were going to grow pot, so raided them. Story here:
Kansas family growing hydro tomatoes raided in failed marijuana bust
By William Breathes on April 1, 2013
Apparently growing vegetables in your basement in Leawood, Kansas is reason enough for the local police to raid your house, hold you and your family at gunpoint and accuse your 13-year-old son of using marijuana. At least, that’s the message sent after Johnson County Sheriff deputies blew in the door of the Harte family home last year looking for marijuana.
The raid – conducted on 4/20 last year – is now the subject of a lawsuit by the family of former CIA employees, who wants to know why they were chosen when the only thing they were cultivating were a few immature squash and some tomato sprouts.
Around 7:30 in the morning last April 20, Robert and Adlynn Harte were startled awake by loud banging and yelling at their door. Her husband opened it to find armed police about to ram it down. They told him to lay down on the ground in his entryway and held him there at gunpoint while they rounded up the rest of the family, including their shocked and frightened 7- and 13-year-old children. The kids were then made to sit down in front of their father.
What they found was a legal hydroponic setup being used to grow perfectly legal plants. “They would have known in the first minute if they would have checked the equipment and seen the tomato plants,” Ceryl Pilate, the family’s attorney, told the Kansas City Star. “This was a hydroponic garden on the level of a school project, with just a few plants and inexpensive lights. It was nothing.”
So, IMHO, Yet Another “Use a legal technology go to prison have police raids” kind of story.
Bottom line is that while I’ve had an interest in hydroponics as a way to grow food in bad conditions or when using crap land in the middle of nowhere: I’m now unwilling to actually BUY any hydroponics equipment. You know, buy a beaker and pseudophed, you must be cooking meth? (Local science shop now must report purchases of beakers and glassware to the drug paranoids. My spouse must sign to buy her decongestants. If I buy a beaker will the two result in my door being broken down?) Do effective encryption and various TLAs will figure you for a spy? Want to spend cash for a new car, expect to be fingered as a criminal and you can have your cash taken WITHOUT OTHER CAUSE as it is now acceptable to do an “asset forfeiture” just for having more money than they think you ought to have. (It HAS happend. MANY times.)
Or, like Tallbloke, run a blog that is skeptical of Global Warming and have some random send you email: Get raided and all your computers taken. “Using computers while practicing Wrong Think” I suppose is the charge…
So I was pondering a DIY way for hydroponics, anyway. Then I ran into “other folks have done it already”. Oh Boy!
Back at the hydroponics
This guy doesn’t spray his jars, he wraps with paper. Doesn’t use the commercial cups, perforates old yogurt cups instead. Uses a regular OTC plant fertilizer. Uses peat pots not hydroponics rock wool cubes. Nice.
As any attempt by me to grow lettuce has had happy leaf miners and slugs, I’m thinking a few jars on the windowsill and I just might be able to have home grown lettuce!