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So you want to start growing plants indoors?

posted Dec 23, 2015, 10:27 AM by Cory Potter   [ updated Dec 23, 2015, 10:27 AM ]

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Location

First thing to consider is whether you are going to be sharing your living space with the plants?  If so, then you will need an indoor growing tent.  






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The first step to setting up your garden is selecting a system that best fits your needs.

Important factors to consider include:

How much space do you have?
What do you want to grow and and how much of it?
What is the cost of equipment and how much time do you have to spend maintaining the system?

Regardless of which method you choose:  soil, hydroponic, or an aquaponics system, none will be able to compensate for poor growing conditions such as improper temperature, inadequate light, or pest problems.  Indoor grown plants have the same general requirements for good growth as field-grown plants. The major difference is the method by which the plants are supported and how the inorganic elements necessary for growth and development are supplied.


Plants grow well only within a limited temperature range. Temperatures that are too high or too low will result in abnormal development and reduced production. Warm-season vegetables and most flowers grow best between 60° and 75° or 80° F. Cool-season vegetables such as lettuce and spinach should be grown between 50° and 70° F.  I developed the hydroMazing control and monitoring system to be a primarily autonomous gardener who can request assistance as needed.



recommended equipment:

48” x 48” x 80” indoor grow tent

24” x 24” x 48” indoor grow tent


Setup a tent, or closet, or spare-room.


A search on Amazon will result in many options and many sizes.  Whatever size of tent you think you have space for, imagine the tent taking up a little more than that and reconsider.  Trust me, I’ve made this mistake more than once ;-)

Consider starting out with either Emily’s Garden and/or the General Hydroponics Drip Ring Kit



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The simplest and most common hydroponics system is a DWC (Deep Water Culture) system which consists of a plastic container acting as a reservoir for the nutrient solution with or without an air-pump while the roots hang down into it.


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Recirculating systems are very inexpensive, modular, and very effective.

The recirculating system is the same as a DWC (Deep Water Culture) system with the inclusion of water being pumped over the rooting medium.  Support your plants by giving the roots something to grab onto and hydrate as needed.Picture of Recirculating Systems

I recommend starting seeds with coco-coir (pronounced coyer) and then into expanded clay pellets as the medium for containing your plants' roots. also known as LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate), or common brand name: "Hydroton"


The best systems use a single air-pump to both aerate the nutrient solution and pump the water up over the rooting medium. Let's take a look at our options...


Drip System Options


I've distilled the recirculating drip system for hydroponics down into the following options:

Start with one module completely off-the-shelf:

General Hydroponics Complete Single WaterFarm Kit

or dive immediately into a complete system that is completely off-the-shelf:


General Hydroponics Complete 8-pack WaterFarm KitFarmKitComplete.jpg

or

DIY Drip System partially off-the-shelf:

  • 3 or 5 gallon bucket ( new, or thoroughly cleaned )

  • with lid ( see cutting holes in the lid ) or hydroponics bucket lid basket (various sizes)

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General Hydroponics Farm Kit


DIY Hydroponics Recirculating Drip Ring System from off-the-shelf parts.


What makes hydroMazing so special?

posted Dec 2, 2015, 8:48 AM by Cory Potter   [ updated Dec 3, 2015, 9:53 AM ]

The hydroMazing system grew from a personal desire to make home hydroponics easier and accessible to everyone. We use open-source hardware to keep the cost down and encourage our community to keep making it a better system. We believe that everyone has the right to be self-sufficient and want to help make it easier to do so. We offer free growing guides and DIY gardening tips. And every hydroMazing system is built by hand with love and a commitment to quality.


Several key features make hydroMazing unlike any other garden control system:

      • works with any garden:  soil, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, etc.
      • uses 100% hackable open-source hardware
      • completely wireless without any need for internet access
      • optional wirelessly-controlled AC outlets for enhanced safety
      • professional support and advice from real humans

In the news...

posted Aug 28, 2015, 8:44 AM by Cory Potter   [ updated Dec 23, 2015, 10:24 AM ]

PORTLAND, OR  — CoreConduit Consuilting started by Cory Potter is determined to bring automated gardening to every home with or without an Internet connection.  Mr. Potter announced today that his hydroMazing garden controller and monitoring system is available to the crowdfunding community via KickStarter.  When asked, “What makes hydroMazing so special?”  Potter smiles and explains, “The hydroMazing grew from my personal desire to make home hydroponics easier and accessible to everyone.  I believe that everyone has the right to be self-sufficient and want to help make it easier to do so.  The hydroMazing system uses wirelessly controlled AC outlets avoiding having to tinker with dangerous electrical current.  The indoor grower will no longer have to fuss with wires and cords.  What’s more, I offer free tips and guides while building each system by hand with my commitment to quality.”  While the system is designed for the home hobbyist with an interest in gardening, it is powerful enough to handle various additions and capable of expanding.  “What makes it truly amazing is that it controls the mundane aspects of gardening such as monitoring temperature, humidity, water-level, etc and turning on ventilation fans, humidifiers, water pumps, and much more with it’s easily scalable open-source platform.”

“I think aquaponics is a good goal but I try to encourage those interested in starting to try hydroponics and see what works.  I’m currently focusing on moving as many devices as possible to solar-power so that the system can operate completely independent from electricity or an Internet connection.”

Mr. Potter also offers a free Indoor Gardening Plant Care checklist at his website.  Using open-source Arduino components, sensors, and modules makes hydroMazing less dependant on a single retail source for parts offering the community a much more flexible alternative to automated systems requiring special apps or Internet data reporting.  “I’d rather have my garden manage itself and tell me when it needs something rather than have a constant monitoring service in the sky.”  Potter admits he is a little paranoid when it comes to data collection services, but with all the big corporations having security holes, he says “why give hackers a way in when it’s not necessary?”

More info available at hydromazing.coreconduit.com

Community Forum

posted Aug 8, 2015, 7:52 PM by Cory Potter   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 3:34 PM by Robert Crenshaw ]

Google Group

Indoor Gardening

posted Aug 4, 2015, 5:14 PM by Cory Potter   [ updated Dec 23, 2015, 10:21 AM ]

CONSIDERATIONS

Will the plants fit?  How much vertical and horizontal space will you provide for the plant?

How noisy is the system?  Air Circulation – Fans ~ Water Circulation – Pumps

Electrical outlet nearby?

How will I get water to the hydroponics containers?

How much will it cost?  Lights, pumps, fans, heaters, and the controller use electricity

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