From now on, I shall call myself a hydroponics gardener. Why? Well aside from my day job as a programmer, I think I may have found my new (chill) hobby and I like it.
It first started as one of my friends enrolled himself in a gardening workshop and I got curious. I told my officemate about it and he mentioned “hydroponics”.
I had no idea what hydroponics was at that time.
Disclaimer: I have no background in gardening/farming so whatever it is that I am going to write here are just things that I learned from the internet and while I was growing plants hydroponically.
Hydroponics is basically just growing plants without soil. There are various types of this but I used N.F.T. or Nutrient Film Technique. From the name itself, an NFT system obviously uses nutrients to grow plants instead of soil. The system makes the nutrient solution flow down through the channels where the roots of the plants come in contact with the water and absorb the nutrients from it.
This is how my setup looks like:
Below the channels is a “reservoir” that pumps the water back upwards. It just uses a regular water pump much like the ones that are used in an aquarium.
Each one of the tube on the left side lets the water flow from left to right. Each channel has a “drainage” on its rightmost side so the water can go back to the reservoir.
I made the seeds germinate first in a growing tray that contains net cups. In the picture below, the brown thingy is not soil but coco coir.When the seedlings developed about 3 to 4 leaves, I transplanted them into the hydroponics system. Before transferring, I prepared each pot to have perlite in it. Perlite is the growing medium that I used.
Upon asking some people, I was told that I should’ve transferred each seedling with the coco coir still intact. My bad!
Anyway, that’s basically everything that I did! Every now and then, I just made sure that the reservoir had enough water and nutrients.
Nutrient solutions can be bought in every gardening store (I even saw some in True Value) but I got mine from Hydroponics Garden Supply in Laguna. What I have is the SNAP nutrient solution (which was developed by Filipino scientists) and its package include SNAP A and SNAP B which contain the macro and micro nutrients the plants would need for growth.
I just followed the instruction that the bottles indicated. It says 25 mL of each solution to for every 10 to 12 liters of water. It was also written that I should mix SNAP A first with the water, stir, and then mix SNAP B. I have no idea why.
Anyway, so the maintenance wasn’t really high. As I’ve said above, I just had to make sure that the plants have enough water and nutrients so I just refill the reservoir every 2 weeks or so.
After a few months, here they are! Tadaaa!
The problem now is that I don’t know how to cook so I’ll send these harvested pechays to my mom.