Sunday, March 6, 2011
To Build Or To Buy? Part 1
It doesn’t take long to realize that hydroponic growing is very efficient and easily out produces normal soil growing methods. If all or part of your gardening goals is to reduce family food costs, hydroponic system expenses are of the first things to consider.
I approached “building or buying” with a list of factors that were important to me and those that applied to our current situation (space, production needs, time, etc.). I needed to build a system that would produce heavily, would last for many cycles, would allow “dual-use” of equipment and current lighting, and would provide me a learning platform that I could use for further expansion such as greenhouse / hoophouse production.
The system would also need a certain probability of success to insure I could at least get some of the expense recouped through produce in the event of catastrophe or loss of my own interest. Time has shown the latter to have been a “non-issue” as I thoroughly enjoy it.
With those criteria in place, I began researching and reading everything I could get my hands on. There are hundreds of web sites, books, magazines, and message boards and it can quickly become overwhelming. Once I learned the basic processes (nutrients, method, history, attributes) I began to narrow down the type of systems that met my criteria and current level of experience. Cont’d…………………