Published: May 14, 2018
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By: Joseph Erdy, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Category: Agriculture & Nat'l Resources
Hashtags: #Agriculture #climatechange #Environment #EnvironmentalImpact #EnvironmentalScience #Farming #hydroponicfarm #hydroponics #learnbydoing #naturalresources #Plant #plantbiology #Sustainability
Using a project off of instructables.com as a template I took a few weeks over the summer of 2015 to build a hydroponic drip-irrigation system. It had a capacity of 12 plants and could supply 1 to 2 GPH of nutrient rich water to each plant. The grow medium that I chose was Leca clay balls, due to their re-usability and easy clean-up. The nutrient delivery system was hooked up to a 24 hr timer that controlled a pump that watered the plants for 30 minutes every hour for the duration of the day (16 to 18 hours). A 400 Watt metal-halide lamp was used to control the night/day cycle. The nutrient bath consisted of high-nitrogen liquid hydroponic nutrient, amended with cal-mag supplement. The solution was pH controlled as well.
Over the course of operation I harvested several rounds of kale, chard, and lettuce crops.