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Secret Garden

About the hydroponics garden in my basement.

Wed 21 February 2024

I have a "Secret Garden" in a storage room in the basement of my house. It's currently a hydroponics system growing leafy greens. You can see an hourly photo of it below:

a hydroponics garden, taken from a webcam

Click the above photo for a larger version.

Top: 1x dill, 1x spinach, 4x basil.
Bottom: 4x kale, 4x strawberries.

Nutrient Film Technique

The garden uses nutrient film technique (NFT) to continuously deliver a shallow stream of nutrient solution to the plants growing in 2" ABS pipe. A submersible fountain water pump sends nutrients up 1/4" irrigation hose to each of the four pipes. The nutrients flow down the slope passed all the roots and return to the ~25 L reservoir. An air stone oxygenates the water. Two computer case fans ensure adequate airflow.

nft1.png

The nutrients are kept in a reservoir underneath the towel, which helps block light and limit algae growth:

nft2.jpg

Previous Garden

My previous system Helios Alpha could grow up to six plants. It's designed around a single 102 L plastic tote. It holds enough water to harvest lettuce once before refilling. After the initial setup, the system can be ignored for weeks.

heliosalpha1.jpg