I think hydroponics are my new favorite form of growing. Okay, I lie, I don’t think I will ever fully handover the ‘hands in dirt’ feeling of digging around in the garden, but for now hydroponics hold my heart.
The reason for this? I’ll get to that…*
Here we are, a month on or so, from when the first seeds went in. We had a germination rate that was significantly higher than other seeds I’ve planted, but let’s be honest this might be the seeds that IKEA is peddling. But I’m getting happy and modest growth from the sets I started off in the spare room. The ones that are really thriving, though, are down in the cellar.
Under three LED lights from the Växer line, and in the Ivar shelves that I hacked (see details here), three trays of salad leaves are happily growing downstairs. What is significant though is that they are growing in a room with very little natural light. Added to that, the temperature is around 12°C, so a little off the ideal growing temperature for salad.
But we have growth!!
I had a couple of comments on the site from people who hadn’t had success with the IKEA setup. I also spoke to a couple of friends in the real-world who had experience with it too, and some had actually fared rather well, others had failed miserably. In fact, the more people I spoke to the more I realized I just might be super lucky rather than skilled which is a real shame as this is a great entry-level set.
Yes, I know that you can get much more sophisticated setups, and yes, if money wasn’t an object I could sink a ton of cash into a system, but I’ll be honest – this might just do. If things continue as planned, I’ll be able to harvest salad from a cheap and easy setup once a month. That rotation will help keep costs down through the winter, but the man reason I like it…
*You can leave it be, and it will reward you with happy growth. No watering, no watching, no monitoring. Simple, easy, and just the kind of growing I can get on board with right now, given we have a small baby who is taking all the attention normally spent on the garden (and this blog, sorry!).
Have you used the system? And if so, how did you get on? I’d love to hear from you so be sure to leave a comment below.