Why indeed. And how the seed was planted. ;)
As a natural progression from raised beds and container gardening, using hydroponic techniques can create even greater efficiencies in providing fresh, organic veggies for our family.
By extending the growing season indoors, we can harvest common and exotic greens, peppers, and herbs all while the stores are increasing seasonal prices and reducing the normal summer selection.
The real test will be financial feasibilty over time.
After much study and comparison, I decided to go with an ebb and flow system as my first venture into hydro. I intend on growing lettuce, basil, and cilantro to start.
The Ebb and Flow System, also called Flood and Drain.
I used a 56 quart and 28 quart sterilite tote for the reservoir and tray respectively. Both cost a total of $11.00 at HD. Add a can of plastic spray paint for $4.00
I purchased the following at a hydro store. Note: the cost of fittings and tubing were nominal over the comparable items at a box store.
Submersible pump $21.00
ebb and flow drain fittings $5.00
Gallon of nutrients $26.00
6 five-inch net pots $7.00
33 lbs. silica rocks as medium $14.00 (same as hydroton)
PH test kit $17.00
6 neoprene covers $12.00
20 mil syringe $1.50
Total to get started $120.00
I already had a timer, lighting system (6500k T8 dual 48 inch fixture), an air stone and air pump.
Nutrients and test solution: Around $20-$30 per year
Air stone replacement: $1.50 per year