I just started another grow bed using a series of 2 liter bottles,  Has anyone else here used this method and found any problems?  I will post pictures and my results.

Views: 802

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I don't think I quite understand what method you are describing.  Are the 2 liter bottle the grow bed containers?  Or are you grinding them up and using them as media?  I've used plastic drink bottle caps as a top layer of media before.
Yes.  Here are a few quick pictures of the setup.  The bottles are used as grow beds.  The pictures show 20oz bottles I used during setup and testing.  The clear tube is also now strung above the bottles and became a constant drip irrigation system.
Attachments:

Ok I get it now.  The 2 liter hydroponics system.

I think you will find root clogging to be an issue on all but the smallest plants (and this happens in hydroponics as well) and drip irrigating means you will have to spend a lot of time cleaning out clogs in the feed line too.  Clear tubing will also grow algae that will add to the clogging issues.

Do you know of a cheap place to get trays?  My original goal was to build a flood tray, but all of them I found online are crazy expensive.  Trying to get a budget system going until cash flow improves.  I plan on growing watercress and basil in this system, so wasn't sure in root clog would be an issue.  Also, this was taken during setup.  The system will be shaded in part too.  Thanks for the insight. I appreciate the advice for the rookies in the group.

Well if you are going super budget and are not too worried about making sure all the plastics are "food safe" then at lowes you can get mortar mixing trays (they are black) that are about 8" deep  and I've been using a few of those for growing water cress and water chestnuts.  They do buldge a little on the sides but have done well for me with the constant flood and water plants.

 

For larger system components, look up tractor supply, most areas have one.  The 100 gallon stock tanks make for a huge amount of filtration for the least price per gallon and the 300 gallon stock tanks are a good price too but they are kinda big for a grow bed and a little shallow for a big fish tank.  The 100 gallon tanks are deep but I've been using them full depth for plant beds very nicely (avoids having to build a stand)  The 50 gallon tanks are about the same footprint as the 100 gallon but they are the more normal 12 inches deep, however they are only a few dollars less than a 100 gallon tank so is it worth having to build a stand and use twice as many beds to get the same filtration?

 

These are the best budget DIY options I know of unless you have a really good source of food safe blue barrels or IBC's.

Hi Brain

i made these trays using hdpe 2mm thick they were cheap and simple to make. 

I am certainly concerned about all components being "food safe"  Good idea though for the trough.  I will look around.

TCLynx said:

Well if you are going super budget and are not too worried about making sure all the plastics are "food safe" then at lowes you can get mortar mixing trays (they are black) that are about 8" deep  and I've been using a few of those for growing water cress and water chestnuts.  They do buldge a little on the sides but have done well for me with the constant flood and water plants.

 

For larger system components, look up tractor supply, most areas have one.  The 100 gallon stock tanks make for a huge amount of filtration for the least price per gallon and the 300 gallon stock tanks are a good price too but they are kinda big for a grow bed and a little shallow for a big fish tank.  The 100 gallon tanks are deep but I've been using them full depth for plant beds very nicely (avoids having to build a stand)  The 50 gallon tanks are about the same footprint as the 100 gallon but they are the more normal 12 inches deep, however they are only a few dollars less than a 100 gallon tank so is it worth having to build a stand and use twice as many beds to get the same filtration?

 

These are the best budget DIY options I know of unless you have a really good source of food safe blue barrels or IBC's.

Hi Brian,

If you live in a larger urban area, go to a local used building material place and get some old bath tubs. One for the grow bed and one for the fish tank.  These are porcelain coated and generally very good to grow both fish and veggies.

They can be had for around $25.

Paul.

Hi TC,

 

This is sort of what I had in mind when I was mentioning the PVC tubing system in my thread.

 

When you say that clogging will be a big problem, how often are you talking? Weekly, monthly? Is the fix just to change out the small diameter feeding hoses (because that doesn't seem like a bad trade off to save space) Have you seen this: http://farmfountain.com/current/index.html . Do you think that they have this problem as well?

 

Thanks,

 

Aaron

TCLynx said:

Ok I get it now.  The 2 liter hydroponics system.

I think you will find root clogging to be an issue on all but the smallest plants (and this happens in hydroponics as well) and drip irrigating means you will have to spend a lot of time cleaning out clogs in the feed line too.  Clear tubing will also grow algae that will add to the clogging issues.

I don't expect that the fountain farm stayed looking so neat for very long.

 

Don't get me wrong, if you want to try it and don't mind algae and slime it might be a fine thing to try out.  Just make sure you have some extra bins on had for when cleaning and dumping stuff is necessary.

 

As to using really small tubing to feed the plants,  I tried to use AP water fed through irrigation plumbing to some hanging baskets.  It worked for the first week I think with only minor need to blow out the lines but then after that I was finding the tubing clogged every day and I probably pulled all that out after about 3 weeks.

Hi TC,


I emailed the creator and she said that the way she avoided clogs was to use 1/2" black tubing and wrapped the bottoms of the bottles with aluminum tape to cut down on algea growth.

 

I was also wondering if adding red worms to each bottle might help break down solids as well. Do you think they would survive?

 

-Aaron

TCLynx said:

I don't expect that the fountain farm stayed looking so neat for very long.

 

Don't get me wrong, if you want to try it and don't mind algae and slime it might be a fine thing to try out.  Just make sure you have some extra bins on had for when cleaning and dumping stuff is necessary.

 

As to using really small tubing to feed the plants,  I tried to use AP water fed through irrigation plumbing to some hanging baskets.  It worked for the first week I think with only minor need to blow out the lines but then after that I was finding the tubing clogged every day and I probably pulled all that out after about 3 weeks.

The red worms will wander but some will probably survive.  However in really small containers it isn't the fish poo and dead roots that cause the immediate clogging concern but actually the live plant roots that will grow through the media and plumbing and clog things up.  You need to make sure it is easy to access the plumbing to clean out the roots when they do start clogging it up.  It isn't a matter of if there will be clogs but when.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service