Growing greens in water (no pumps)

Some of you may have heard of hydroponics. It is a system of gardening where plants are grown in a water and nutrient solution. In my home state of Minnesota, we have a lot of winter months where it is not possible to grow outdoors. So I decided to take this as an opportunity to try some unconventional gardening techniques indoors.

For my experiment, I am growing Pok Choi in a 5 quart ice cream bucket. The bucket has black plastic around it to keep light out. It has a net pot made from a yogurt container.

The kids and I sprouted the seeds by using the paper towel method. Basically, we folded up a paper towel, got it wet, and put a few seeds inside. This paper towel went in a plastic sandwich bag and then was placed in a cabinet (dark is important) while the sprouts came up.

Now that the seeds have sprouted, we chose the best one and placed it in the yogurt cup. Our growing medium is “Better than Rocks”, which we found on clearance at a gardening store. It is sort of like Rockwool.

Since we are trying to go cheap with this, our nutrient solution was one half teaspoon of general purpose miracle grow in a gallon of water. I know it is not ideal, but it is not like we are propagating expensive plants here! The seeds cost me 80 cents and came from the clearance rack at Gerten’s.

The plant will sit on our south facing windowsill and possibly get some additional light from a full spectrum CFL Ott light.

And here was my inspiration on using the Kratky method of hydroponics…

I will have to post more later with an update if this actually worked. We cut a lot of corners, but it may work fine. Here is wishing for the best!

Here are a couple links to some good resources if you would like to give it a try yourself…

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