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Hydroponics Notes

Jul 18, 2016

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Simplified Non-Circulating Hydroponics
(SiNcH) Procedure

Ideal for:
● Lettuce (loose leaf)
● Mustard
● Arugula (Rocket)
● Chinese cabbage
● Other salad greens

  • Simplified Non-Circulating Hydroponics(SiNcH)

    Procedure developed by:

    Roberto A. Alaban, Jr.

    Ideal for: Lettuce (loose leaf) Mustard Arugula (Rocket) Chinese cabbage Other salad greens

  • Growing Boxes Made of half-inch thick plywood, lined with plastic sheet to be watertight

    Top ViewSide View

    2 ft

    4 ft

    4 ft

    4 in Net depth 3 in

    It must be lined with plastic, preferably black and 0.006 mil or more thick so that it is not easily punctured during use.

    Note that the plastic lining is 1 inch deeper than the plywood box. This will enable the plastic to be folded back over the gap between the sides of the box and the styropor raft to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the nutrient solution and also block sunlight and prevent algae growth in the exposed part of the nutrient solution.

    Functionally, purpose each box has volume of 119 cm x 58 cm x 8 cm = 55 liters. Use 50 liters, gving each seedling plug a little over 1.5 liters nutrient solution from transplanting to harvest.

    Note: 15 pcs of 4 ft x 8 ft x in thick plywood will make 48 growing boxes..

  • Styropor raft At least 1 inch thick to support weight of plants, cut slightly smaller than inside dimensions of growing box to float freely on nutrient solution

    Top View

    1 ft 21.5 in

    3 ft 9.5 in

    Cut the styro sheet slightly smaller than the inside dimensions of the growing box, allowing a 3/4-inch gap between its edges and the inside edges of the plywood growing box. This will allow the styro raft to float freely on the nutrient solution.

    7 in

    6 in

    Make holes in the sheet using hot metal pipe ( inch diameter) spaced 6 inches (4 holes along the short side) x 7 inches (8 holes along the long side) apart making a total of 32 plugs per box.

  • Seedling plugs Made from plastic seedling trays by individually cutting each tray hole with a pair of scissors. Recyclable after every harvest.

    Seedling plugs cut from seedling tray

    Use another seedling tray as receptacle for the plugs when handling them in large numbers, e.g., during placement in styro rafts.

  • Plant medium Coconut husk fiber (a.k.a. Coco peat). Recyclable after every harvest (reduced volume due to handling

    wastage, some deterioration) but needs to be washed.

    This brand comes sterilized and washed off of salts (such as sodium)

  • Tunnel house Modular, low-cost, UV-plastic-roofed, shade-netted growing structure.

    50% shade net to protect crop from too much sunlight

    Arcs: in PVC pipe or metal equivalent

    7 ft

    Roof: UV-resistant plastic

    Front View/Cross Section

    Wooden posts 4 in x 4 in x 1.2 m high from ground (or equivalent material)

    Top longitudinal support: bamboo strip or equivalent

    o

    Roof: UV-resistant plastic Roof: UV-resistant plastic

    ooo o

    oo

    o

    o

    o

    oo

    Additional roof supports: 1/16 in Nylon mono-line

    2.2 m

  • Tunnel house Showing placement of growing boxes, growing box shelves, and relevant dimensions

    7 ft

    Front View/Cross Section

    oooo o o

    o

    o

    o

    o

    o

    0.70 m 0.80 m 0.70 m

    1.0 m

    o

    Shelves 1 m high to support growing boxes. Maybe made of 2 in x 2 in x 2 in lumber or equivalent materials.

  • Tunnel house Modular, low-cost, UV-plastic-roofed, shade-netted growing structure. 50% shade net to

    protect crop from too much sunlight

    Arcs: in PVC pipe or metal equivalent

    7 ft

    Roof: UV-resistant plastic

    Side/Longitudinal View

    Wooden posts 4 in x 4 in x 1.2 m high from ground (or equivalent material)

    Top longitudinal support: bamboo strip or equivalent Roof: UV-resistant plastic

    Additional roof supports: 1/16 in Nylon mono-line

    8 ft

    Growing boxes

  • Tunnel house Modular, low-cost, UV-plastic-roofed, shade-netted growing structure.

    50% shade net to protect crop from too much sunlight

    Arcs: in PVC pipe or metal equivalent

    Roof: UV-resistant plastic

    Cross section

    Top longitudinal support: bamboo strip or equivalent Additional roof supports:

    1/16 in Nylon mono-line

    Growing boxes

  • Fertilizer Use Scotts Peter's Professional 5-11-26 Hydro-Sol plus Calcium Nitrate

    Dosage: For every liter of water dissolve 0.81 g Peter's Hydrosol and 0.54 g Calcium Nitrate

    For each growing box with 32 seedling plugs, 50 liters of fertilizer solution is enough (giving each plug little more than 1.5 liters of nutrient solution up to harvest, 30 days from transfer from seedling tray receptacle to floating raft).

    To achieve this dissolve 40.5 g Hydrosol and 26.5 g Calcium Nitrate per 50 liters of water.

  • Assume:

    600 m2 area, (width 20 m, length 30 m)Width of each tunnel house = 2.2 m

    Therefore:

    Number of tunnel houses= 9Length of each tunnel house = 30 mNumber of growing boxes per tunnel (1 level) = 48Number of growing boxes in 9 tunnel houses = 432Pieces plywood to make 48 grwoing boxes = 15Pieces plywood to make 432 growing boxes = 135Number of plants (plugs) per box = 32Number of plants in 9 tunnel houses = 13,824, say 13,000Average weight per plug at harvest = 80 gramsTotal weight of 13,000 plugs = 1,040 kilogramsDays from planting to harvest = 40 daysGrams Peter's Hydrosol per box = 40.5Grams Calcium Nitrate per box = 26.5Kilograms Peter's Hydrosol per tunnel = 1.94Kilograms Peter's hydrosol 9 tunnels = 17.50Kilograms Cacium Nitrate per tunnel = 1.27Kilograms Calcium Nitrate 9 tunnels = 11.43

    Harvested multi-variety of loose-leaf lettuce grown using Simplified Non-circulating Hydroponics on floating rafts.

  • Production flow:Day -3 to -1:Preparatory activities Fill plastic cups with growing medium (coco fiber), wash boxes & rafts, other activities

    Day 0: Plant 3-5 seeds in plastic cups,

    Day 1 to 10-14: Raise seedlings in seedling plugs.,

    Day 10 to 14: Transfer seedling plugs to floating rafts in growing boxes under tunnel house.,

    Day 11-15 to 40: Raise seedling plugs on floating rafts in growing boxes under tunnel house.,

    Day 35-40: Harvest.,

  • GALLERY20-day old Romaine lettuce on floating rafts

    Manually agitating the nutrient solution from time to time improves growth thru oxygenation of the solution.

    Small plastic huts holding three 2' x 4' growing boxes

    Discarded styropor fruit

    boxes used as growing boxes

    Location: Victorias City, Philippines2009

  • GALLERYHydroponic lettuce on floating rafts protected from rain by UV-plastic roof (50% shade net protects against too much sunlight)

    Loose leaf lettuce on styropor cups on floating styropor rafts.

    Training project for disabled people on Simplified, Non-circulating HydroponicsOne of my tunnel houses under construction

    Locations:Iloilo City, 2006 Victorias City, 2009Philippines

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