I am a big fan of starting small and inexpensively, especially when it is something really new to me. When it comes to the business of Grow For You Inc. we strive to advise others in the way we would want to be advised ourselves. This means what we <i>hope </i>is that a lot of people will buy our systems, but more importantly we must offer all the options we know about so that everyone is well informed and starting from a place of comfort. The world of hydroponics and aeroponics can get very complex very quickly. It is easy to be overwhelmed by grower jargon and caught up thinking we need fancy equipment. Certainly, if your goal is large production then learning about the technology is important; but the average home is simply in need of a way to supplement their family food needs.
The average family needs good information, low cost, easy to use and successful crops.
THAT is why I am so excited to not just offer our own systems, (which are design to offer all of the above and maximize use of small space), but information about other methods! We want to guide people to what suits them rather than trying to convince people that we are the best. After all...what's best for YOU is what's best!
Keeping in mind that plants need 5 basic things:
Moisture (healthy water)
and that these needs can be met many ways. It makes sense to start with as little equipment as possible and build from there.
With passive hydroponics you don't need anything costly or complicated. You can even use re-purposed containers! No pumps, no misters just a few small items, seeds and a desire to grow.
In passive hydroponics the roots of the sprouted plant are suspended so they just touch the water (which has been balanced for a pH of 6 and enriched with nutrients). The air space around the plant is enough to support uptake, and as the plant grows the water level drops, allowing additional exposure. Depending on your plants size and growing vessel you may find yourself adding water occasionally, but that is the only maintenance required (so long as you keep the water container free of algae by exposing only the plant, not the water to light (ie. Cover your jar).
Some refer to this as "set and forget". The Kratky method (as I have described above) is well known and widely used in the soil-less community and I think it is THE Bomb.
If you are curious about hydroponic or aeroponic growing but feeling unsure or simply don't have the funds to invest in a large system THIS is the place to start. Grow confidence, grow FOOD! ENJOY