Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Indoor Growing | The Organic Garden Center

Posts tagged ‘hydroponics’

Vertical Gardens

ogc-vertical-gardenI want to talk a little about a hydroponic system in our store. I’ve just done a water change (w/c) on our Vertical Garden (vertigro.com); it would be a great system for anyone tight on horizontal space, a complete system that would be pretty good for beginners. It’s almost a hybrid of three types of hydroponics, a built in reservoir, soiless mix/coco coir, and top watering. How it works is a series of planters filled with soiless mix, perched atop each other, and top fed from planter to planter below, supplied with a water nutrient solution, pumped up by a submersible pump, from the reservoir on the bottom, and controlled by just one timer.

Verti-GroAll you need to do is add light, everything else, submersible pump, soiless mix and even powdered nutrient is included. You could set it up outside, but here in Chicago, you would have to bring it in seasonally and always make sure you secure it from strong winds. ¬†We are using this system to grow strawberries, the type that send out runners. It’s a natural, you plant the mother plant on top and she sends out runners to the pots below. Strawberries thrive in nutrient solution more to the acidic side, we’re set our pH at 5.2. I think we’ll have to be patient, I am not expecting any fruit for quite a few months.

Paul

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Welcome to our new blog!

My name is Paul, I’m only telling you this because I want to start sharing with you some of my experiences working a Organic Garden Center in Skokie Illinois.While there are other people you may encounter here at 9223 Skokie Blvd, I’m the one you’ll most probably see.
 
A little background is in order; I had been working for many years at Old Orchard Aquarium when the ownership of  that, well known, tropical fish store decided to open an attached store as Organic Garden Center. How hard could that be? We knew so much about lighting indoor coral reefs, lighting fresh water, live planted fish tanks, how to pump and move water, and so much about adding supplements and minerals to keep those systems healthy and thriving. Even some of our wholesale suppliers could be the same. It should be a snap. Right? But there was, and is, a lot to learn, not as easy as we thought.
The one thing about indoor growing is that if you are a hobbyist, or a professional grower, it’s a lot of fun, and you get a reward when you harvest your crop, whether it’s peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, or whatever. Even here in Chicago you can grow and harvest year round.
 
There are many ways to learn and grow, to learn I’ve read books, some publications (online and print published), got my hands-on experience, and learned a lot from my customers through helping them solve their problems and asking them questions (what have you tried? How did that work?) etc. To grow, just to name a few methods, there is hydroponics or soiless media, HID lighting, T-5 HO Fluorescents, or LED. As might be expected from an aquarium store, we have a nice aquaponics system, we let our fish do the work.
 
In the future, I won’t go on and on like this, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, telling you which system I’m working on in the store, what kind of nutrients I’m using etc.
 
Well, that’s it for now, I’ll try to tell you more on a regular, on going basis.
 
– Paul