Today I am thrilled to have Chris Wimmer of Captain Hydroponics guest posting for me today! Chris is a urban homesteader who uses hydroponics to make the best use out of his small spaces. I think you’ll enjoy learning from his post as much as I have!
This is my homestead and it provides me exactly 440 square feet of outdoor space. I truly feel blessed to have that much space as I live in downtown Chicago. However, it’s also a major downsizing from my childhood where I worked on a farm and lived on a couple acres of land.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve started using hydroponic growing techniques with some really good results.
Now before I get ahead of myself let me now explain just what is hydroponics. Hydroponics in Latin literally means “working water”. The reason the water is called working is because hydroponics does not use soil to feed the plants but rather a nutrient rich solution which is continuously flowing to the plant roots. Many different types of systems have been developed but the one commonality is growing without soil.
So why use hydroponics and what are the benefits of using hydroponics over a traditional garden?
- Increased crop yield
- Faster growing cycles
- Can be done indoors
- Surprisingly cheap
- Reduced labor
- Environmentally sound
For me, there are 2 main reasons I use hydroponics for my homestead. First, I can raise bigger crops faster which is critical with limited space. Second, I can extend the short growing season in Chicago by setting up a winter garden in my spare bathtub.
So where should you start?
This can be one of the biggest challenges of trying anything new so I’m going to quickly walk you through how to get started with a simple hydroponic system. This system is simple yet effective at growing crops.… [Continue Reading]