Open-source hydroponics in my backyard to grow my own lettuce, herbs and other veggies, can that work? Read on.
- you have an unused, sunny spot in your backyard about 5ft by 5ft;
- you have ordinary homeowner handiman skills;
- you have access to some tools like a drill and a power saw;
- you can follow instructions :-)
- you are willing spend about 200-400 dollars (depending on what tools you have already or which options you choose)
- you can probably build this compact, vertical hydroponics system with room for over 70 plants over the course of a weekend or two;
- you can harvest more lettuce on an ongoing basis than your family can possibly eat :-) but you could grow some other herbs and veggies as well;
- it uses a form a deep water culture that recirculates its water, to reduce the amount of work you need to do on an ongoing basis.
We document how to do that on this site, because we want everybody to be able to grow (some of) their own food right in their backyard, without needing to do a lot of research and experimentation first. "Experience is cheapest second-hand" it is said, and if you build this system, you get our experience for free.
In exchange, we encourage you to submit bug reports and improvements, open-source style, so we (and everybody else) can benefit from your experience, too, and the system gets even better over time. Seems fair?
Here is the content we have so far:
- Vertical Recirculating Deep Water Culture System (5x5ft): covers all the parts, where to get them from, how to cut / drill / assemble / etc them; also covers how to operate and maintain the system on an ongoing basis.
- Vertical Recirculating Deep Water Culture System (10x5ft): same, but for a larger system with about twice the footprint.
- Pests and Diseases: we are cataloging, with pictures, what pests and diseases we have encountered so far, and what we have done about them. With photos.
- Research: collection of notes to understand the system, and related alternatives. You should not need to consult this to successfully setup and operate the system.