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The Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box Kit
INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
1.1 “Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box”. (14" x 10.25" x 7")
2.9 - Net pots.
3. 9 - One inch Rockwool Starter Plugs
4. Hydroton Clay Pebbles
5. 2 bags of Nutrients.(1-40 gram bag of Masterblend/Epson Salt mixture & 1- 30 gram bag of Calcium Nitrate). Enough nutrients to make 5 gals.
6. Step by step instructions.
Free: 1 Algae blocker sleeve that inserts over the water gauge.
Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box Kit
The Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box is ideal for beginners.
It’s perfect for growing herbs and leafy green vegetables on the patio or balcony.
It would be nice to find a way to grow leafy vegetables in a hydroponic setup without any concern about the power going out in a true off-grid manner. Well here it is, “The Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box”.
The Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box doesn't use any type of aeration or water pump. Therefore, no electricity is required. The only thing required is at least 4 hours of sunlight.
Here’s how it works. Take a seedling and place it in one of the provided net pots then place the net pot in the top of the container, making sure that it is submerged about a ¼ of inch into the nutrient solution and give it time to start growing.
Due to the fact that all the roots are not submerged in the water the plant will still get the oxygen it needs to continue growing. It will start to set roots down in the solution and begin to use up the water that is in the reservoir.
As the plant begins to grow the water level will begin to drop and there will be a gap between the surface of the water and the bottom of the net pot.
The plant will begin to grow oxygen absorbent roots in that gap area. The lower roots grow to get the water and the nutrients.
That way you can bypass having aeration or any type of water circulation system.
This approach removes the need for air stones in the reservoir, as sufficient amounts of oxygen in the air is supplied to the roots.
Another advantage of this method is the avoidance of direct contact of the plants with water, which reduces the risks of plant diseases at the collar zone (between root and leaf). Further more the increased ventilation due to the space favors the heat dissipation from the water, which is ideal in hot climates.
INSTRUCTIONS:As simple as 1, 2, 3
1.Fill a water container, preferable a 1 gallon container (milk jug) about half way with plain tap water. Add Nutrient mix"A" to the bottle and shake well. Let the nutrients dissolved completely (about 2 minutes), then add nutrient mix "B" and shake well. Let the mix dissolve completely (about 5 minutes). Pour the mixture into the reservoir. Add a little more water to the gallon jug shake and rinse it well and so as to get all the nutrients out before adding it to the reservoir. NOTE: It will take 2 gals of mix for the first filling so use 2 tsps of nutrient mix "A" and 1 tsp. of nutrient "B". At this time place the “Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box” in the location where you want it to be (make sure that the ‘Hydro Box” is level). Then add the rest of the water into the reservoir until the plastic water gauge starts to overflow.
2. If you buy your seedlings from a box store, gently wash as much dirt from the roots as possible. Do not worry about getting rid of all the dirt.
3. Take the seedling and place into the provided net cups allowing the ends of the roots to reach the bottom of the cup. Gently fill the remaining space in the net cup with the provided clay pebbles, giving support to the seedling. Afterwards, place the filled net cup into one of the holes in the top.
4. That’s it. PLANT IT - FORGET IT – ENJOY IT
How to Start From Seed with Rockwool Cubes
Insert the Rockwool Cubes into a container filled with plain tap water and let them soak for roughly 1hour. Once the hour is up, the cubes will be big and fat with water. Take them out of the bowl of water and put them somewhere you don’t mind getting a little wet. Do not squeeze them to drain any water.
Most Rockwool cubes come with holes in them, if yours did not, than create a hole in one side that is approximately a quarter inch(0.75 cm) deep. I like to make about 3 holes. Take 1-3 seeds and insert them carefully into the holes. Use a toothpick or similar object to push them down about 1-2 cm,depending upon the seeds. . Rip or push a piece of the Rockwool over the hole (you don’t have to fill it completely), so that the seed can germinate in a dark moist environment.
Now, if you can, place them in a tray with a dome on it. This will help create a little humidity in there which seedlings like. This is not mandatory, but it helps. Whichever you choose, take your cubes and put them in a cool dark place, and leave them alone. The temperature should be roughly 68 degrees F, though my house stays at about 72 and they do fine there. I usually place them above my refrigerator and just leave them fora day or two. My lettuce seedlings sprouted with a quickly the last time I tried, and by the 3rd day they had grown so tall that I had to take the plastic dome off of my container because they were bumping up against the ceiling.
Leave Them Alone and Let Them Grow
If you put more than one seed in your cube(just in case one didn’t make it), than you probably have several seeds sprouting up in each cube. Once the first true leaves emerge, we want to select the strongest one (the one that grew the tallest), and cut off the tops of all other seeds that are growing next to it. Do not pluck them out, as you may uproot its neighbors. Simply cut it off as close to the hole as you can without messing with the stronger one that you plan on keeping alive.
Move to the Hydro Box.
Place the rockwool cube in the provided net cups and move to the Hydro Box filled to the proper level with the nutrient solution.
That’s it.PLANT IT - FORGET IT – ENJOY IT.
Think of how nice it would be to always have access to a sprig of basil or other fresh herbs all year long.When harvesting, make sure you remove the whole plant (including roots) from the Hydro Box.
Note: It is recommended to sterilize the net cups and the “Grouchy Gardener Hydro Box” by soaking them with weak bleach for a couple of hours every 6 months.
How his Method Works
As your seedling draws water up into the net pot, the water level in your container will start to decrease. This lower water level will then fill with air providing oxygen for the roots of the plant.
When the water in the container is gone, it is time to harvest the plant. If you want to keep the plant going longer, you can just lift the lid and add the water and mineral solution, or use a funnel and pour into the water gauge spout.
Purpose of the Lid
The lid is a vital portion of using this method. First, it creates a place for the moist air to circulate among the plant roots underneath it. Second, it helps to support the plant itself above the water level.
This is beneficial because the lack of direct contact between the water and the plants reduce the risk of some plant diseases that can occur between the root and leaf at the collar zone.
One final benefit is that this space will increase the aeration in the container, which allows for theheat to dissipate from the water.
What You Can Grow With the Hydro Method?
Some of the most popular plants to grow using this method are a wide variety of lettuce, spinach, herbs,and even tomatoes. Basically, any plant that grows above ground is fair game to be grown using this method. This Hydro Box is not large enough to grow plants like tomatoes or peppers.
Larger plants are not as hands-off as the smaller plants, especially if you’re using a container that is not big enough. Larger plants will need to have the water and mineral solution stay about two inches deep to give the roots access to it while keeping lots of oxygen in the system to support a larger plant. This is something that you’ll need to keep an eye on in the case of plants like tomatoes or peppers.
A Project for Kids and Adults Alike
A fun project that will help kids understand how a plant grows. This will help them see how the seed turns into a seedling, which then turns into a full-grown plant.
You may lift the lid or just pull the net pot up out of the hole to see the root growth. For the kids,this is just perfect for the youngsters to learn how to grow crops.
You may have never heard of this method before, but if you’re looking for a simple and easy way to grow plants hydroponically, look no further.
This is a no-fuss,no-muss method of combining all the things you love about container gardening with hydroponics.