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2242Re: [pfaf] Re: Anybody Using Commercial Hydro/Aero-ponic Systems?

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  • Dan Culbertson
    Mar 9, 2008
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      That is also a problem I face along with the soil critters. Most of my best
      possible garden sites are problematic with respect to tree roots and
      structures. The ECHO shallow bed system, plastic barrier covered with a
      little mulch and debris and fertilized with 10-10-10 seems to work pretty
      good - just started one for taro. My best systems to date are basically
      container gardens made from 8 inch deep cement tubs raised to waist level on
      landscpe timbers and blocks. "Soil" for them is well-rotted compost and
      perlite with cypress sawdust initially fertilized with ozmocote and top
      dressed with 10-10-10 as needed later in the growing season. For deep
      rooted crops, like daikon radish and tomatoes, I put down a sheet of black
      plastic then a 4 foot diameter hoop of 3 foot tall, 2x4 welded wire mesh and
      line it with landscape fabric. That becomes a 2 cubic yard compost pile for
      about half a year or less then I plant veggies in it as an elevated planter.
      After a year or longer I use the compost from the hoop planters (well rotted
      muck by now) as the source of the compost for the cemenct tub gardens and
      also around my fruit trees and a few things that are happy in the tree roots
      like ginger. All the systems are drip irrigated and the runoff waters and
      fertilizes the fruit trees and things like bananas planted on the north side
      of the hoop planters. I don't use a recycling nutrient solution but I do
      try to make sure it is used at least twice to make sure all the nutrients
      are used up.

      Some day I will probably get one of those barrelponics systems going. I
      once had a lot of home-made conventional flood and drain hydroponic systems
      but the nutrient solution costs and electricity costs made the veggies
      rather expensive. Then a couple of power outages did in the crops one year.
      So, if I do any nutrient solution system now I think I'd use the one that
      gets the nutrients from fish pond effluent and the electricty from solar
      powered pumps. But the gadget cost on some of that high and my compost bin
      and tubs gardens are doing real well so I'm not in a hurry to add any more
      complexity just now. But gadgets are fun to play with ! (I'm a retired
      engineer and unrepentent gadget geek).

      Dan

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <sustain_ability@...>


      > Thanks, Dan. That's the ticket, along with barrel hydroponics (I
      > remember a commercial site for raising fish in a barrel, also) mentioned
      > earlier.
      >
      > Locally, I don't have any substantial amount of soil to play with. What
      > there is, is saturated with root systems all fighting for survival in
      > extremely rocky conditions, an average 60 day growing season between
      > killer frosts, uncertain rainfall, foraging animals both tiny and huge
      > and, of course, myself.
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