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Jean Genie

We have a hydroponic outlet near to where we live and I've been on the website this morning - not a lot of information but an interesting variety of equipment . Done a bit of research and I would like to know if anyone has used this system and if so I would appreciate their comments. My questions being - would it be possible to start with a small system and how much room do they take up? I've only heard of hydroponics systems being used in a large growing capacity and would one be suitable for home use. My only experience of water culture is growing cuttings on a windowledge so I guess it would be something similar albeit on a larger scale. Thanks Jean.

Gary Hobson

I think it's an interesting idea, for those who want to grow some of their own food. If the bulk of the country's tomatoes are actually grown this way, then it obviously works, and very successfully.

TV gardener David Domoney exhibited a show garden at Hampton Court a little while ago, and the main feature was a number of ornamental plants, such as Zantedeschia, growing hydroponically. It's visually eye-catching, and impressive.

I think hydroponics has a long way to go for amateurs, but I know nothing more.

Jean Genie

I agree Gary , I read an article in our local paper about it so thought I might investigate .I have no idea what it involves but may take a trip up there to have a look around - worth a visit maybe.  Thanks.


There used to be a store selling hydroponic systems not too far from here - think they were sold mainly to people wanting to grow marijuana in their attics - reputedly the same store also sold the seeds and lights needed.  It closed down a few years ago and became a takeaway

Jean Genie

Omg ! As far as I know this is a bona-fida factory - it's not a store and there was a review about it in our local paper stating who they supply and they have a website . I didn't have anything like that in mind - honest !!!



Jean, I am using the Autopot system for the first time this year. I have six pots fed from a tank and it takes up one side of the 8ft greenhouse. My sister has been using it for a couple of years with 8 pots and, being a bit of an intermittent waterer like me, she swears by it. You can start with just 2 but it doesn't seem worth the bother for so few. Everything seems to be happening rather slowly but I'm sure that's just the lack of sun and insect activity rather than anything else.

My fathers neighbour, unknowingly to everyone on the road, several years ago,  grew marijuana very successfully in the bedrooms of his house, using a hydroponic system with heat lights.

It was two large terrace properties knocked into one and used to be a hotel so there were quite a few bedrooms. When dad said he'd seen people sat in cars watching the house next door, we thought it was part of his illness, and he was going senile  - why would anyone want to be watching dad's neighbours house, we asked ourselves - he even rang the police to raise his concerns and said he was being ignored ...turned out the police had the house under surveillance. It caused quite a stir when it hit the local paper and the neighbour was arrested.

So, on the subject of hydroponic systems I would imagine with the correct equipment they are very successful in growing plants.

Tried these systems made my own to grow toms, much better to make a wooden tray line it with black polythene from a builders merchent or garden centre, use a soaker hose in the bottom of the tray and fill it with compost, then water as the plants need it, if this is in a greenhouse then very little if any will me needed in the winter, where you can grow winter lettuce.

I'm thinking of using a Hydroponic system next season in the greenhouse. Can anyone tell me if you can reuse the clay balls that are used in some of these systems. I saw a hydroponic system in use in Holland this year and it was just amazing to see, so thought I would give it a go.


Clay balls can be washed and re-used but is a pain cleaning the bits of old root out, also they need soaking in a mild bleach solution followed by rinsing out, Milton is the safest one to use but it is expensive, avoid using your bath as they will scratch it. Plants grow better hydroponically if as much of the root mass possible is exposed to air, we grow with no clayballs and no pots, done correctly a one inch rockwool cube will support a tree.If you are interested in doing it properly check out  the website also has a helpline.



Thank you for that andyhguk, I really want to have a go at this as I feel that this is way to go in the future. I will check the webb site out. Many thanks.

I liked all the posts. Good work guys! Lets keep the ball rolling. In meantime also check Advanced Nutrients website for more information on Hydroponic gardening techniques.

Terence Jones

Just picked up on your post from last July.

As a non comercial amatuer gardener I have been growing with Hydroponics in my greehouse since 2004. A few failures but mostly successful. I have my own working notes now compiled as a PDF document

If you care to send me a message back with your email address I can send you a copy of my document "Growing by the Hydroponic method". This should get you started.

Regards Hydrogrower TJ.


Terence Jones

The system I have used in my greenhouse for the last 15 years to grow my little gem lettuce is a shallow plastic box (the type that is sold for under bed storage), and a fish tank aeration pump and stone. Very low cost and cheap to run. Just fill the tank with water add nutrient (1.3 EC for lettuce) adjust pH to 6.5. Drill suitable holes in the lid for the roots to pass through into the nutrient mixture. I germinate seed indoors on damp toilet paper in a small plastic box, transfer to a Perlight/Vermiculite mixture  in a  bottom watering tray to grow seedling on until they are big enough to transplant to the bubbler tank. Keep germinating seeds as you harvest for a continuous supply of lettuce.


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