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07 April 2009

Soilless Basil/Lettuce Garden

Here's a project I finally completed yesterday. On the left you can see my 2' square hydroponic basil and lettuce garden. It's pretty simple. Water is pumped from the 15 gallon reservoir (that black Rubbermaid container) into that white ebb and flow tray for about 15 minutes every hour. Lighting is provided by my north facing window (weakest light of any direction, boo) and a 2' strip of high output T5 florescents for 18 hours a day. I also set up some white construction board to help with light reflectivity.

Here you can see the plants in their growing medium which is called hydroton. It's basically just lightweight baked clay; expanded terracotta sort of. The green stuff is rockwool (fiberglass insulation without the flame retardant) that I used to start the seedlings. I'm growing: Italian large leaf basil, summer long basil, purple ruffles basil, spicy saber basil, little caesar lettuce, butter crunch lettuce, and burgundy ice lettuce.

This is the plant's food. It's supposedly the same stuff NASA uses in all their hydroponic research.

This is one of my purple basil plants. This is the plant I'm most excited for.

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