Anyone here doing Hydroponic farming at home?

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Deal Subedar
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Anyone here doing Hydroponic farming at home?

I recently got interested in Hydroponic farming at home and wanted to take my first step in this direction.
I love salads and fresh greens and during this lockdown realized that it is crucial to have a trusted source for these vegetables (mainly as I am apprehensive of the kind of contact, germs and chemicals these greens must be going through).
So I decided to take the matter in my own hand and go for planting my own greens.
But I though that hydroponics are a good technology as I have heard it is low maintenance.
I have shortlisted 2 small set-ups:
1) https://www.amazon.in/BEEJ-HYDROPONICS-Home-Kit...
2) https://www.amazon.in/Pindfresh-Hydroponic-Home...

I wanted to understand from the group few things below:
i) Are these set-ups really easy to maintain?
ii) Does this setup become a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
iii) What is the typical cycle in number of days for growing lettuce, spinach?
iv) Any other precautions one needs to take as I will be placing them in my terrace apartment.

Seeking any other inputs from your side as well.

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I am sure many on youtube would have shared their real experiences with videos. But take everything with a pinch of salt. Also isn’t hydrophonics heavily input oriented system? If you have terrace access you can consider using growbags (use a mixture of cocopeat+soil+manure). Also kitchen waste can be used as manure

Though a very good thing everyone should consider. I don’t have much experience with terrace garden, but my dad does it a lot and grows a lot of stuff (a big organic produce proponent and doesn’t even trust “organic brands”)

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rsai01 wrote:

I am sure many on youtube would have shared their real experiences with videos. But take everything with a pinch of salt. Also isn’t hydrophonics heavily input oriented system? If you have terrace access you can consider using growbags (use a mixture of cocopeat+soil+manure). Also kitchen waste can be used as manure

Though a very good thing everyone should consider. I don’t have much experience with terrace garden, but my dad does it a lot and grows a lot of stuff (a big organic produce proponent and doesn’t even trust “organic brands”)

Precisely, the statement of taking inputs from youtube videos with a pinch of salt made me come to this forum and ask this question.
I guess there will be less conflict of interest here.
Using growbags is a little too much maintenance for me IMHO.
I will check which option is better for me.
Thanks

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You need to wait for sometime after posting in this section.
Keep bumping the thread often.
There will be dimers who do it.. Just wait.

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i) Are these set-ups really easy to maintain
Depends on which ‘Type’ of Solution you will be opting for, there are many different types, but most are easy to maintain. Each have different maintenance mechanisms
ii) Does this setup become a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
Not really, most systems are closed, so there is no stagnant water, they usually flow and need soluble fertilizers so you should be ok.
iii) What is the typical cycle in number of days for growing lettuce, spinach?
Depends on the seed genetics, Lettuce I’ve not tried, Palak, about 30-50 days..
iv) Any other precautions one needs to take as I will be placing them in my terrace apartment.
The problem comes with Sunlight, you need to black the pipes or you need to get Artificial lighting for it..Even if one ray of sunlight gets in, algae will form all throughout your pipes and you can’t get it out.. You have to scarp the whole system.

Start small, check up on Kratky method, germinate seeds and move them to a container and start small with 5-10 seedlings, once you’re confident buy the DWC or E&F systems..

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tristar wrote:

i) Are these set-ups really easy to maintain
Depends on which ‘Type’ of Solution you will be opting for, there are many different types, but most are easy to maintain. Each have different maintenance mechanisms
ii) Does this setup become a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
Not really, most systems are closed, so there is no stagnant water, they usually flow and need soluble fertilizers so you should be ok.
iii) What is the typical cycle in number of days for growing lettuce, spinach?
Depends on the seed genetics, Lettuce I’ve not tried, Palak, about 30-50 days..
iv) Any other precautions one needs to take as I will be placing them in my terrace apartment.
The problem comes with Sunlight, you need to black the pipes or you need to get Artificial lighting for it..Even if one ray of sunlight gets in, algae will form all throughout your pipes and you can’t get it out.. You have to scarp the whole system.

Start small, check up on Kratky method, germinate seeds and move them to a container and start small with 5-10 seedlings, once you’re confident buy the DWC or E&F systems..

great details, i have a few add on questions, would be great if u could answer if u know:

1. how do we decide which type of npk ratio to use? (if u are using any, then please share the details like url or mix ratio and for what type of plant)
2. isn’t algae better for this system? (i read in few blogs somewhere that algae helps in growth as well)
3. is npk enough or some other kind of micronutrients a necessity?

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tristar wrote:

i) Are these set-ups really easy to maintain
Depends on which ‘Type’ of Solution you will be opting for, there are many different types, but most are easy to maintain. Each have different maintenance mechanisms
ii) Does this setup become a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
Not really, most systems are closed, so there is no stagnant water, they usually flow and need soluble fertilizers so you should be ok.
iii) What is the typical cycle in number of days for growing lettuce, spinach?
Depends on the seed genetics, Lettuce I’ve not tried, Palak, about 30-50 days..
iv) Any other precautions one needs to take as I will be placing them in my terrace apartment.
The problem comes with Sunlight, you need to black the pipes or you need to get Artificial lighting for it..Even if one ray of sunlight gets in, algae will form all throughout your pipes and you can’t get it out.. You have to scarp the whole system.

Start small, check up on Kratky method, germinate seeds and move them to a container and start small with 5-10 seedlings, once you’re confident buy the DWC or E&F systems..

How big this setup needs to be revenue neutral? Is that even possible?
Do you have any experience with rice and wheat, too?
TIA

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Sure…

1. how do we decide which type of npk ratio to use? (if u are using any, then please share the details like url or mix ratio and for what type of plant)
Depends on the type of plant, nowadays you get hydroponic liquid fertilizers, they come in the right mix. For leafy greens 2:1:1, Nitrogen should be twice as much than Phosphorous or Potassium. For fruiting and flowering (artificial pollination is also required if you’re growing indoors) use 1:2:1..
Go for Flora, works fine, it’s more generic for all types of plants, the dosage would need to be changed for Leafy greens. For Leafy greens you’d specifically get the A & B solutions/powder which you in turn dilute to make the soluble fertilizer.. Read more on this..

2. isn’t algae better for this system? (i read in few blogs somewhere that algae helps in growth as well)
Nope, that’s nonsense brother, Algae will stick to the roots of the plants and suffocate them without letting them get any nutrients or oxygen..

3. is npk enough or some other kind of micronutrients a necessity?
Micro is also essential… the Flora series will have all of them… the portion mix from the 3 bottles will change depending on the plant..

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How big this setup needs to be revenue neutral? Is that even possible?
Revenue neutral ? I’ve heard of this in taxation terms… If you mean return on investment, depends on a lot of factors.. But it’s an amazing profitable business model as long as you have space/real estate and some working capital..

Do you have any experience with rice and wheat, too?
Nope.. Only greens and vegetables and flowers, not all of them…

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tristar wrote:

How big this setup needs to be revenue neutral? Is that even possible?
Revenue neutral ? I’ve heard of this in taxation terms… If you mean return on investment, depends on a lot of factors.. But it’s an amazing profitable business model as long as you have space/real estate and some working capital..

Do you have any experience with rice and wheat, too?
Nope.. Only greens and vegetables and flowers, not all of them…

My first goal was(still is) to achieve self-sufficiency(2 adults + 18month backup stockpile) in cereal grains within 3 years, but after seeing the amount of water needed for rice cultivation in a normal scenario and the infrastructure needed to store water I am back to the drawing-board.

Can you share your experience with the rules and regulations? Government would certainly poke its nose if I were to draw water using boreholes for non-personal usage, right?

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tristar wrote:

How big this setup needs to be revenue neutral? Is that even possible?
Revenue neutral ? I’ve heard of this in taxation terms… If you mean return on investment, depends on a lot of factors.. But it’s an amazing profitable business model as long as you have space/real estate and some working capital..

Do you have any experience with rice and wheat, too?
Nope.. Only greens and vegetables and flowers, not all of them…

PS: Have you integrated solar panels, too, for electricity generation?

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Not hydro but I have experience in simple gardening like ihave grown lemon , tomatoes ,mint, aloe Vera, ladyfinger…..
I will try this hydro method also

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My first goal was(still is) to achieve self-sufficiency(2 adults + 18month backup stockpile) in cereal grains within 3 years, but after seeing the amount of water needed for rice cultivation in a normal scenario and the infrastructure needed to store water I am back to the drawing-board.

  1. This might be true for traditional farms, but with HP, they will always be immersed in water.. Rice/Wheat can definitely work well in Hydroponics, but the Infra size will increase tremendously to generate the output you need (like a sack of rice)
  2. Water consumption is way lower in HP, (although each type of HP is different and water consumption changes accordingly) but it’s still economical, because the same water is recycled and used again, but you need some PH uppers and downers, liquid fertilizers etc..

Can you share your experience with the rules and regulations? Government would certainly poke its nose if I were to draw water using boreholes for non-personal usage, right?

  1. I have done them at home not at a commercial level, I did a lot of research, I was going to spin off my own firm, but too much of work pressure, didn’t find the time. I had it all sort of planned out in my head, HP, Aqua, Solar, IoT, Cloud, everything toungueout But too much of time and effort is required and I have EMIs to take care of so taking my day job seriously toungueout

PS: Have you integrated solar panels, too, for electricity generation?
You can if you want to, it will make it more self sustained, Solar is dirt cheap nowadays… And the real estate you need for a small factory can have enough panels at the top (that is wasted space) which you can use as an On Grid solution too.. Give the unused units back to the Grid.

The way I had planned is majority of all this would be automated, IoT to monitor PH, fertliizer levels, PPM levels, Oxygenation levels etc.. A lot of ideas, but I don’t have the time to do it… My work runs 11 AM -11 PM sad didn’t even find time to login to DD last couple of months..)

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tristar wrote:

My first goal was(still is) to achieve self-sufficiency(2 adults + 18month backup stockpile) in cereal grains within 3 years, but after seeing the amount of water needed for rice cultivation in a normal scenario and the infrastructure needed to store water I am back to the drawing-board.

  1. This might be true for traditional farms, but with HP, they will always be immersed in water.. Rice/Wheat can definitely work well in Hydroponics, but the Infra size will increase tremendously to generate the output you need (like a sack of rice)
  2. Water consumption is way lower in HP, (although each type of HP is different and water consumption changes accordingly) but it’s still economical, because the same water is recycled and used again, but you need some PH uppers and downers, liquid fertilizers etc..

Can you share your experience with the rules and regulations? Government would certainly poke its nose if I were to draw water using boreholes for non-personal usage, right?

  1. I have done them at home not at a commercial level, I did a lot of research, I was going to spin off my own firm, but too much of work pressure, didn’t find the time. I had it all sort of planned out in my head, HP, Aqua, Solar, IoT, Cloud, everything toungueout But too much of time and effort is required and I have EMIs to take care of so taking my day job seriously toungueout

PS: Have you integrated solar panels, too, for electricity generation?
You can if you want to, it will make it more self sustained, Solar is dirt cheap nowadays… And the real estate you need for a small factory can have enough panels at the top (that is wasted space) which you can use as an On Grid solution too.. Give the unused units back to the Grid.

The way I had planned is majority of all this would be automated, IoT to monitor PH, fertliizer levels, PPM levels, Oxygenation levels etc.. A lot of ideas, but I don’t have the time to do it… My work runs 11 AM -11 PM sad didn’t even find time to login to DD last couple of months..)

Yeah, same here smile All these things look amazing and easy when confined within the walls of our head.
But when it comes to reality, boy, oh boy, a real nice hard-reality check is given back to us.

I have kept all of these machinations of my mind confined for future while I am accumulating more capital for it.
A more entrepreneur-ing relative of mine has gone with a NABARD loan for diary-fish-chicken farming(+traditional), I have been keeping tabs on his progress. smile

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tristar wrote:

Sure…

1. how do we decide which type of npk ratio to use? (if u are using any, then please share the details like url or mix ratio and for what type of plant)
Depends on the type of plant, nowadays you get hydroponic liquid fertilizers, they come in the right mix. For leafy greens 2:1:1, Nitrogen should be twice as much than Phosphorous or Potassium. For fruiting and flowering (artificial pollination is also required if you’re growing indoors) use 1:2:1..
Go for Flora, works fine, it’s more generic for all types of plants, the dosage would need to be changed for Leafy greens. For Leafy greens you’d specifically get the A & B solutions/powder which you in turn dilute to make the soluble fertilizer.. Read more on this..

2. isn’t algae better for this system? (i read in few blogs somewhere that algae helps in growth as well)
Nope, that’s nonsense brother, Algae will stick to the roots of the plants and suffocate them without letting them get any nutrients or oxygen..

3. is npk enough or some other kind of micronutrients a necessity?
Micro is also essential… the Flora series will have all of them… the portion mix from the 3 bottles will change depending on the plant..

thanks bro for the quick answers, actually i live in a rural area so flora isn’t something i’m thinking to grow as of now. The first preference for me is vegetables (few exotic ones as well).
My father already grows a few vegetables in our backyard, its just that they require more care (in terms of pest control), so i want to try with hydroponics (dwc one, electricity is also a small concern at my hometown unfortunately so nft is not for me)

another question is about lights, what kind of LEDs do u use (if any)?

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thanks bro for the quick answers, actually i live in a rural area so flora isn’t something i’m thinking to grow as of now. The first preference for me is vegetables (few exotic ones as well).

  1. Flora is a brand of liquid fertilizer…
  2. This is good business, iceberg lettuce, Broccolli, Leeks, herbs are good in demand and people pay top price for good product, so yeah…

My father already grows a few vegetables in our backyard, its just that they require more care (in terms of pest control), so i want to try with hydroponics (dwc one, electricity is also a small concern at my hometown unfortunately so nft is not for me)

  1. HP is closed room sort of like in a greenhouse more than open area, so you need a shed of some kind where the temp and humidity can be controlled, but once you get into the rhythm, regular income…

another question is about lights, what kind of LEDs do u use (if any)?

  1. There are a lot of conflicting answers about this, some people recommend specific spectrum lights, but our ordinary LED white bulbs seem to do the job well..Fort starting small, use the regular 9W LED bulbs and then get the professional lights as you increase your scope..

Veggies that can’t stand a lot of water some tubers or like garlic and onion, you might have to use a different mechanism for HP…

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Expand
DimeDime wrote:

Yeah, same here smile All these things look amazing and easy when confined within the walls of our head.
But when it comes to reality, boy, oh boy, a real nice hard-reality check is given back to us.

I have kept all of these machinations of my mind confined for future while I am accumulating more capital for it.
A more entrepreneur-ing relative of mine has gone with a NABARD loan for diary-fish-chicken farming(+traditional), I have been keeping tabs on his progress. smile

A lot of people are now moving into Poultry rearing, it’s a good business, especially with people wanting the Desi chicken varieties instead of the worthless Broiler chickens toungueout

Desi Eggs and Desi Chicken sell for premium prices, especially organic and Herb fed varieties..

Keep an eye on that, it’s another good business model as well, with loan and area, you can really kick it off…

Missing