Hydroponics in a Small Package

Hydrogarden

by Anthony Reyes

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to create something that would be beneficial to families everywhere. I experimented with lots of different avenues and ideas, most of them failures, but I never gave up. Throughout my teens and college years I toyed around with law enforcement, computer repair, and business. Then I moved to Hawaii and learned about hydroponics, suddenly I discovered my passion.

Hydroponics Explained:

  • No Dirt, just Nutrients – Seeds are planted in a sponge-like cube of volcanic fibers and set within a nest of porous clay pebbles. Emerging roots don’t need to struggle through tough dirt as they make their way towards a nutrient rich flow of water.
  • Quick Yield – With no soil to sap essential nutrients away from the roots of your plants your plants are free to thrive, resulting in an impressive yield in less time than traditional container gardening.
  • Easily Customized – There are several types of hydroponic systems, most of which are designed for growing on a large scale. Until recently there haven’t been any systems designed for people living in studio apartments or equally small spaces.

Size Matters
I knew that I wanted to create something “big”, something “revolutionary” and on a “grand scale”, yet it wasn’t until I started reading about Tiny Houses that I realized I was growing in the wrong direction. My first models worked great, but they were massive and clunky – definitely not for any apartment dwellers. So I challenged myself to see just how small I could make the system, get it down to as few moving parts as possible and still have it work to my exacting standards. Basically make it sleek, sexy, ergonomic, but easy enough for my youngest son to maintain.

What I ended up with is what I like to call “Puddle Ponics”. My growing system takes up very little space, and requires even less water. Measuring in at a whopping 10x4x4 inches, this little garden fits anywhere and requires only a small puddle of water and a weekly dose of nutrient tablets to maintain. I even took energy expenses into consideration, the growing systems we have available at Anthony’s Hydrogarden can run with or without a small air pump. The plants grow a little slower without the air pump but the yield isn’t compromised in any way.

Peace of Mind in a Small Package

I love to cook, and I want to make sure my family enjoys the freshest of foods. That’s why home gardening is so important to me. Hydroponics may be my passion, but a side benefit has been the huge amount of delicious produce we’ve grown as a result. Just by growing herbs on my kitchen counter I’ve slashed my grocery expenses considerably.

Because my system is so small, and doesn’t require electricity, it’s also totally mobile. It can be placed anywhere, indoors or out, and filled with any sort of plant you can imagine growing. One of my countertop planters can produce a yield to rival a garden measuring two square feet – that’s a lot of bang for such a simple looking box!

To learn more visit http://anthonyshydrogarden.weebly.com
Hydrogarden 2

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Peg Fisher - September 5, 2013 Reply

I really wish this had a link to where we could buy puddle ponics – I have friends at college that this would be ideal for.

    Kent Griswold - September 5, 2013 Reply

    There is one but it is hard to see. I will put up a more obvious one.

Michael - September 5, 2013 Reply

The yields from hydro are amazing. Last year I planted three San Marzanno tomatoes in soil and this year I did the same three in hydro in the same outdoor location. The soil gave us enough fruit for two big pots of sauce, the hydro gave enough for 8 batches and counting….. At least 350 fat delicious tomatoes!! Same with the eggplants too over two dozen from one plant and still coming. I made my system out of 5gal buckets for the plants and trash barrels for the reservoir, all gravity fed with a simple irrigation timer for the cheap aquarium pump. I am hooked!!!!

michael - September 5, 2013 Reply

Clever use of PVC fence posts and caps.

Nicole Marie - September 5, 2013 Reply

This is AWESOME!!! Great concept!
Thank you for sharing this post.

et - September 5, 2013 Reply

If “soil to sap essential nutrients away from the roots of your plants” was how natural systems worked there would be no interaction between above and below ground ecosystems, no topsoil, no microorganisms in soils, no mycorrhiza, and hardly any diverse ecosystems.

Each to their own – but I prefer plants grown without artificial chemicals as much as possible.

    Michael - September 6, 2013 Reply

    So buy an organic neutrient mix…….. I did.

    William Kastrinos - September 7, 2013 Reply

    We have an 18 in x 24 in grow tray mounted on top of our 20 gal. fish tank. Carbon filters remove solids, an ebb and flow pump floods the tray 3 times a day. We can’t eat enough lettuce to run out, and we do a lot of salads. Totally natural. This of course is a version of aquaponics, we use Gold Fish, 15 at $.10 each.

GPSchnyder - September 6, 2013 Reply

Or get a fishtank and use that water for the plants. Just don’t put chemicals in there, get a filtersystem that is organic and you’re good to go.

Laurel Standley - September 6, 2013 Reply

Hydroponics is a great idea where there isn’t enough soil but dirt adds a more complex range of nutrients and flavors than ‘nutrient’ rich water. Also, the picture shows a couple of bunches of store-bought green onions stuck in the rocks… Maybe next time show something that actually grew in these systems.

Greendepotdenver.com - September 21, 2017 Reply

lol that is the cutest little hydroponic system I have ever seen. May it yield you great results!

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