My Hydroponic Garden

SONY DSCI am so super stinking excited!  My long-awaited hydroponic garden is finally up and running!  My sweet husband and brother-in-law have been working tirelessly on this project for quite some time, but now it’s done.  It’s finally done.  Hooray!

If you’re not familiar with hydroponic gardening it’s a method of gardening without soil.  I am pretty new to it myself, although I did have a miniature hydroponic garden a couple of years ago and I loved it.  But this thing puts my other rinky-dink hydroponic garden to shame.  An invention of my brother-in-law, I have to admit I can’t tell you a whole lot about it at this time.  But I plan to post about my successes and failures along the way.  Today I just wanted to hurry and get a post put together because I am told I should expect my seedlings to emerge any day (or perhaps any minute) because hydroponic plants tend to grow a whole lot faster than traditionally grown plants.  I planted lots of seeds last night and more today so I wanted to share the “before” photos before the first seedlings emerge.

These four little guys (rosemary and African Violets) are cuttings from some of my house plants.  My understanding is these should root and be ready for transplanting in no time.  I can’t wait to experiment with other plants!  I think I will try my new ground cover roses as soon as they come out of dormancy.


Here’s the map of what I have planted so far.  There are a few vacancies, but that won’t be for long.  I’ve just ordered lots and lots of new seeds!  I can hardly believe there are a whopping 56 spaces for planting!  I just can’t imagine what this will look like when it’s full of mature plants.

Cart Grid

Admittedly I did plant some seeds that will probably not work in the cart, but after planting all the varieties of seeds I had on hand that I thought would work I still had a lot of vacancies and figured, “Why not?”  In particular I wonder if the poppies and the leeks will work out.  I have never grown poppies before, but I think they are pretty big and bushy plants.  The leeks might need a cooler water temperature to germinate.  Right now we have the water heater set to 85 degrees.  My hope is to get the leeks started and then transplant them outdoors in a few weeks.

My goal, besides having lots of fresh herbs, lettuces, and dwarf peppers and tomatoes growing at all times, is to start the seeds to transplant in my outdoor garden.  My brother-in-law assures me this will be a piece of cake!  I hope he is right because my sunroom was a mine field of seed flats last spring and was really quite a mess.

Here’s a close-up of the top of the unit.  Per my brother-in-law’s suggestion I turned the caps to the 9:00 position after they were planted.  There are currently only 4 vacancies (the caps at the 6:00 position) that will be fill just as soon as my new seeds arrive.


Even as I write this I can hear my cart just bubbling and gurgling away.  Such a happy noise knowing (hoping) I will soon witness the emergence of dozens of tiny little yummy seedlings.  I think I will go check it again (only the 1005th time today) to see if there are any signs of new life…


11 thoughts on “My Hydroponic Garden

  1. Oh my goodness! I CANNOT believe you are in the midst of this project! I am doing a very similar project. I have been working all day and into the nights for about 6 days straight!
    WOW. That looks great! How functional to have it on wheels … very well planned indeed. It is such a beautiful design too! Your brother in- law and husband must be very handy. I bet you designed it though???? 🙂
    My design is not hydroponics, but I guess it would be called aquaponics (I have no oxygen pump). Hydroponics looks very cool and I may end up using an air pump or something if this method I am experimenting with does not work. I am new to this thing too and am feeling my way along.
    Beautiful!! You are going to enjoy it sooo much this season.

  2. How funny that you are working on your own system at the same time. I’ve noticed we’ve been on the same wave length in the past too. I do so hope you’re planning to make some videos of your setup. Please, oh please!
    No, I didn’t have anything at all to do with the design. My BIL gets full credit. It’s a very beautiful piece of machinery, that’s for sure. He is hoping to make a business out of selling them.
    This system sprays the roots. How does yours work?
    I am considering making videos of the progress, but the thought scares me to death. But it probably would be a lot better and easier to share the updates along the way.

    • He will probably sell a lot of them.
      My system uses the Kratky method, the roots barely touch the water. I hear it has great results.
      I am making a video of the entire construction. Some things have not worked out as planned, but i think the end result will still be nice (if it works!)
      You should do videos!! 🙂

  3. Kratky’s method looks really cool. I am looking forward to your videos! Will you use it indoors or out? I am tempted to try setting a mini one up in the sunroom as an experiment.

  4. I am using it indoors, in my living room (I know…yes, my living room !) My only south facing window (which has the best sunlight) is in the living room. So I painted the boxes to match my window treatment. I am trying to make it as decorative as possible so it is not an eyesore.

    I am only going to grow lettuce, that is, if this method works as planned. I sooo want lettuce in the summer to eat with my tomatoes and cucumbers. I am going to try to use just the light from the window, but that could change and I may add lights if the plants need it.

    With your new system, I like how you will have the ability to grow a variety of things. It will be so nice for you to pick fresh herbs without even washing them! 🙂 It really looks great!

  5. I know just what you mean about summer lettuce. I am also really excited about having fresh, CLEAN lettuce every day. I do not enjoy triple and quadruple washing my lettuce from the garden. Kind of a pain, but it is worth it.

    I am excited about growing a variety of things all at once and it will be really fun to experiment. But there’s lots to learn about adding nutrients, water temperature, and the lighting setup at the various stages of plant growth.

    How soon before you think you’ll be posting your videos? They are always a highlight to my day!

    • It looks like it will be about 4 weeks. I have to let the paint cure for about three weeks before I apply a vinyl decal I plan to put on the front of my boxes. 😦
      I want it finished yesterday!
      I am jealous! Lucky you 🙂 lol

  6. Pingback: Stop Eating Garbage: Start Growing Lettuce and Herbs Hydroponically

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  8. Can you tell me please , how far into the solution you put the violet cutting ?
    It seems to me that it would rot being in liquid for a prolonged period of time .

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