Aeroponics – trying something a little different with the lettuce garden this year

It's so exciting to have a mud puddle.

It’s so exciting to have a mud puddle.

What a whopper of a storm folks, just when I feared Winter had forgotten us. Nature seemed to be giving us a good pre-Spring cleaning, my trees got a good shaking out.

Some dead wood fell out of my sycamore trees this morning - I keep waiting for that to happen Downtown.

Some dead wood fell out of my sycamore trees this morning – I keep waiting for that to happen Downtown.

I buckled my shoes, I shut the door, and I went out to pick up sticks.

I buckled my shoes, I shut the door, and I went out to pick up sticks.

Rain was pouring from my gutters this morning, I'm glad to have the rain barrels.

Rain was pouring from my gutters this morning, I’m glad to have the rain barrels.

I use the hose to redirect water away from the house and out the driveway, toward the honeysuckle vines along the fence. I bet it will flower extra nice this year, the smell comes in through the windows on a warm night.

I use the hose to redirect water away from the house and out the driveway, toward the honeysuckle vines along the fence.

This hose from the gutters on the back of our house carries water to our little red bud tree.

This hose from the gutters on the back of our house carries water to our little red bud tree.

I had actually given in to the notion of drought. My husband and I have been scratching our heads to think of ways to use less water every year. This year we decided to go “aeroponic”, making a little lettuce garden in rain gutters. 

My husband has a couple of rows ready – little spray emitters inserted in the rain gutter on a length of drip hose, little “net” pots inserted into holes drilled with our handy doorknob attachment. We got a bag of these little rocks you use instead of dirt. We’re just waiting for the lettuce to get big enough to transplant out of the little tray we seeded it in.  He set it up in our little greenhouse, where I grew lettuce last year in a big tub. That was okay for awhile, but the plants didn’t get very big. This is supposed to be better, if you can believe anything you read on the internet. We’ll see!

Here's the rain gutters my husband has converted into aeroponic growing trays.  There are the lettuce seedlings there in the flat below.

Here’s the rain gutters my husband has converted into aeroponic growing trays. There are the lettuce seedlings there in the flat below.

In a perfect world, this system would re-circulate the water, with “nutrients” added, and you’d never have to add new water. I know this isn’t a perfect world, so I’m shooting for, very little water.

It’s been a learning experience so  far – my husband was sitting down at the computer every morning with coffee, looking at various set-ups, checking around town, pricing parts and equipment. Yesterday we went to Harbor Freight Tools to pick up a little submersible pump. 

With coupon, this pump was about $25 at Harbor Freight Tools. I got the old keeper from my mom, as it's deteriorated over the years it's been downgraded from household to greenhouse usage. It's perfect for our little pump set-up.

With coupon, this pump was about $25 at Harbor Freight Tools. I got the old keeper from my mom, as it’s deteriorated over the years it’s been downgraded from household to greenhouse usage. It’s perfect for our little pump set-up.

There was a lot of stuff to buy to start up, but I think we paid for most of it with the $50 I got selling some crap on Craigslist – cleaned my garage! We got a coupon for the pump, and when we went in, it was (Holy Cow!) priced down ten more bucks, so we are actually under budget. 

You will never hear that in the public sector. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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