I got my baby plants Friday, opened the box up to let them breathe, then set up the Windowfarm Saturday night. I know it hasn’t even been 24 hours but the plants are droopy and I’m afraid they won’t make it. I just moved (to Philadelphia) and can’t find the pH test strips, but do have the nutrients and started with 10ml and a full pot of water. The window faces south but since it’s the ground floor of a townhouse it doesn’t get a whole lot of light. Any thoughts/advice? Thanks!
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12:54 pm in Completed Window Farms, Getting Started, International, made from scratch (without a kit), Nutrients, Nutrition, Plants, posts with pitcures!, questions, Seeking Advice, Starting Seeds by Pieter
My name is Pieter and i’m an Architect living in Antwerp Belgium.
Last year i’ve build a 2 string 8 bottle windowfarm and have been experimenting with it since than.
the system works great so i started trying to grow some plants, i’ve tried with seedlings grown on cottenwool and with full grown soil plants, but all they did was die.. I used different types of nutrients, (not specific for hydroculture, so maybe thats the problem) the timer i use is set on a quarter per 1.5 hour.
After killing a lot of plants finaly ONE tomato plant didnt die, and grow quiet big.. but thats before the winter, now its dead as well..
now the wetter is getting better i want to make a fresh start and could use some help with my farm!
what are the tips on good nutrition, which plants go well with one and other, what frequency do i need to put the timer on, etc etc
can someone here help me with that?
My tomato plants are growing a lot… and now the roots are clogging the system. I tried to re-arrenge the pots but still the water doesn’t flow back to the reservoir and is starting to become a bit of a mess.
Would you recommend trimming the roots? If so, how should I do it?
Does anyone out there in the windowfarms world have had any experiences with using florist foam, sponge, or similiar materials as grow medium?
I was hoping to eventually get rid of the net-pot, but still be able to “pull the plant out of the bottle without hassle”.
Maybe also something “more technical”/ futuristic/pop-art looking would be interesting, turning the indowfarm into a more stylish item. Any experiences with… water beads anyone?
I would be happy if anyone who has treid would share his/her experiences.
Hello, I’ve attempted my first window farm this week as a prototype for class. It’s been a bit difficult to find proper supplies in Hong Kong due to language barriers. Challenges and questions I’ve come across while exercising my poor engineering skills. I will be using black socks to cover the bottom of the bottles.
1. My seedlings have already been attacked twice with aphids and fungus gnats in it’s growing plugs. I had to start a fresh batch. If the seedlings are already so sensitive to the moisture and humidity, how soon will my window farm be attacked by these pest? Anyone have experience with handling this in a humid country?
2. My tubing is too stiff to direct it away from the seedling. I’ve seen some systems using a toothpick or wooden chopstick, but my result was a moldy chopstick. I ended up using a fishing wire just to hold it down and a tape to keep the tube in place. I obviously need to find a better alternative.
3. Reservoir problem. Due to the limited space in HK, I don’t have the luxury to have a big bottle for reservoir so I attempted to use a ketchup bottle on the bottom. I found the tip was a good way to plug the tubing in (I still need to reinforce it with plumbers tape, but haven’t found it yet).
4. Cutting through plastic was the biggest challenge. I am not a very handy person, but I attempted to use the drill to make some holes on the bottom of the bottles but the bottom is thicker than the rest of the bottle, so I am not able to cut through it. In the end, I made a big circle but the bottles don’t fit perfectly. Any suggestions? I thought about using sticks to reinforce it.
5.I wanted to try out using water beads instead of clay pellets. Anyone have any success in it?
Hello, I recently started my windowfarm and have come to realize that the nutrient solution I am using is inadeccuate. I live in Paris and need some advice as to where I can buy a complete set of nutrients for my plants (I bought the current one at Truffaut and it is just an “engrais universelle”). Does anyone have any advice? I’m ok with buying online. I found this site (www.growshops.fr/hydroponie) but don’t know which nutrients to buy.
Bonjour, j’ai commencé une windowfarm mais la nouriture que je donne aux plantes n’est pas complet. J’ai acheté un engrais universelle à Truffaut, mais je ne sais pas où chercher la nourriture qu’on a besoin pour une windowfarm. Est-ce quelqu’un peut me donner des recommendations? Je peut acheter en ligne (j’ai trouvé ce site: www.growshops.fr/hydroponie mais je ne sais pas quelle produit acheter).
Thank you very much, merci beaucoup.
Hello you beautiful people,
This is an update to my first post found here:
I have had lots of success with my first set of crops off of my window farm, and lots of “oppurtunities for growth” (ha!).
The vast majority of luck I have had has actually been with my pepper plants! I have taken a first harvest off my cayenne pepper, which was so bountiful that all of the peppers I could not manage to use for cooking I am now drying so I can grind them into my own homemade cayenne pepper spice.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised when my first pepper plant (whose seeds came from a mixed bell pepper grab bag) turned out to be purple! Huzzah!
The thing I am really enjoying about my pepper plants is that even though they are usually very difficult to grow in Canada because of the limited growing season, an indoor garden growing season is limitless, so you can give them as much time as they need. Also, they are productive yet compact, which is means they don’t over take other plants in my system. I am having the opposite of the experience with my tomatoes. They have managed to take over the entirety of the window and the productivity to space ratio just really is not cutting it! I planted mainly small tomato varieties, since I was nervous about how much weight my system could hold. For my next round of small tomatos I will have to do some more pruning. I did sucker all of my current tomato plants, but I really plan to discourage them from getting so tall next time.
Another issue I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing, is that a lot of my tomatoes have succumb to blossom rot (black spots on the bottom of the tomatoes). I ripped out a gigantic yellow pear tomato plant because all of the 20 tomatoes it was growing developed black spots on the bottom! Does anyone else have any experience with this issue?
I have finally gotten around to upgrading my air lift system to a t-valve setup, which I have been really enjoying. I now only have to fill up my reservoirs every 4 or 5 days, as opposed to every day and a half. Which is great that I don’t have to worry about my plants when I head up to the mountains for a long weekend!
My other crops which have been moderately successful have been beans and peas. However, both of these plants only produced a small serving of fruit each, which was great for a snack, but not terribly effective as a serving of vegetables with a meal. Even so I have planted more of both peas and green beans, since they are so quick to grow. Also, the snap peas in particular are incredibly tasty.
I am learning that for the most part, my window farm is an awesome project that I really enjoy, but only very specific crops actually yield a really useable harvest. Which is totally fine, as long as you look at your project as an awesome hobby, not a substitute for grocery shopping.
My new crops that I am currently sprouting include dwarf kale, brandywine tomatoes, black beauty eggplants and edamame beans! I am extremely excited about the eggplant, since they are genetically similar to peppers, I am hoping that they will behave in a similar manner to the peppers in the system. Also, I am hoping the brandywine tomatoes will give me a little more bang for my buck with growing space, because they are supposed to be huge! The packet says 12 to 20 oz., so fingers crossed!
Also, if any one is wondering if power bills have been effected at all by my aquarium pump and three grow lights, it has not! My power bill still ranges between $65 and $70 dollars a month, and I think it is alot more dependent on how much I use my clothes dryer, than keeping my grow lights on.
I would love to hear any input about the blossom rot issues, tomato pruning tips, and what varieties of plants others are having lots of success with!
Happy Urban Gardening
Just started my first windowfarm. It has been running for about three weeks. In the past couple of days I started noticing white stuff on some of the pebbles. Is it mold or minerals? Should I do something about it?
Thanks for the help.
10:50 pm in Being a good member of this community, Completed Window Farms, Getting Started, How-Tos, International, made from scratch (without a kit), Materials and Resources, Nutrients, posts with pitcures!, Projects in Process, questions, Seeking Advice by Guglielmo Plain
This is a step by step process of how I built my window farm. It has only been running for a few days so I am not certain that all of the kinks have been cleared from the system but so far it seems to hold up. I took inspiration largely from Rama’s build http://our.windowfarms.org/2010/04/26/our-hydroponic-window-farm-experience/#comment-4112#comment-4112
I had to make some specific adjustments due to my specific needs and also I am based in Australia so some of the materials mentioned in the different instructions are not available here or are a bit different. I have currently started off with a 2 column set up however I believe my set up can easily be increased to any size. I fact once I test this one out for about a Month or so I will likely add a few more columns.
- 6mm (internal size) Vinyl tubing enough to go from the lowest point to the higest point of your set up with a bit to play with and multiplied by the number of columns you want to make, in my case 2
- 4mm internal 6mm external size (has to fit snuggly inside the above vinyl tubing. Air tubing I got around 5m and still have some left over for future use.
- Fairly thin chain around 6m (needs to be built so that you can undo and reassemble the links)
- 27L container in my case a white plastic rubbish bin
- Infinity AP-750 Air pump this has 2 speeds and 2 outlets. I think the one recommended by the site would be better but wasn’t able to find at the time, but have since found it so will use that next time.
- HPM D817 7 Day timer for setting the on off times of the pump
- Transparent plastic bottles in my case 10, with this build i suspect any container of that approximate size would work.
- masking tape
- white spray paint any colour would do I assume.
- Clay pellets
- Net cups to match the size of the bottles
- Flairform Green Dream 1 Hydroponic mixture from local hydroponics store
Glue Gun, Drill with 6mm and one larger drill bit to match the size of your chain, and sharp hobby knife kits or similar sharp tools.
Step 1. Take 1.5 L bottles of water in this case they are some random bottles I found in a discount store that cost me $1 each. drill 6mm holes in the bottom of the bottle and in the lid. Drill holes the appropriate size for the cain at the base about 2cm from the bottom of the bottle and again near the cap approximately 2.5cm from the ledge of the cap. Don’t drill holes near the cap for the bottom bottle of each column.
Step 2.Cut opening on both sides of the bottle both starting approximately 2 cm from the centre line of the bottle leaving 2 uncut parts approximately 4-5 cm thick on both sides.
Step 4. Cover bottom half the bottle in masking tape and paint the top half with spray paint, give it 2 coats.
Step 5. Once the bottles are dry string the chain through the holes of the top bottle and hanging from a pole while each of the other string through the bottom of the previous bottle into the base of the next bottle as show in the pictures.
Step 6. pass the vinyl tubing along the chain and tie it onto it using cable ties or thin wire.
Step 7. Follow Rama’s suggestion. Which is poke a ball pump tip into the vinyl tubing about 3-5 cm from the end and thread the thinner airline tubing into it up to the point where the ball pump tip is. Also attach about 3-5cm of airline tubing to the back of the ball pump tip. I had some problem with air bubbling out of the ball pump tip but i found if i had the back of the tip facing down in the water as show in Rama’s diagram it stopped bubbling.
Step 8. At the top of the set up thread some airline tubing into the Vinyl tubing and poke it into the top of first bottle all the way down to approximately where the mesh pot will sit.
Step 9. Unscrew the bottle caps which have a 6mm hole in the top of them cut pieces of airline tubing to run from the cap of the previous bottle to the mesh cup in the next bottle. Thread about 1/2cm of the airline tubing into the cap and use the glue gun to stick it in place (don’t cover the hole). The glue gun doesn’t hold it in place perfectly but so far I have not had much problem with them popping out or leaking. The last tube should be long enough to go back into the bottom container.
Step 10. Put the plants in the pots without any soil and hold them in with the clay pellets. Then put them in the bottles
Final Step. Hook everything up to the air pump plug the air pump into the timer which I set for 2 hours on 2 hours off during day light ours and off during the night. Fill the tank with water and add nutrients check the PH which according to the company making the fertiliser should be around 5-6.5.
Questions and issues.
Here are a few issues and questions I have.
How much on/off time should I have? I have set it to 2 hours on 2 hours off during day light hours but I have no idea if this is too much too little etc.
I have a strange gurgling sound in one of my columns and have no idea where it is coming from I can hear it somewhere near the top of the set up but have no idea what is causing it not sure if anyone has an answer for this. Kinda annoying too.
- Just answered my own question on that one. I found a small piece of dirt lodged in the entry point of one of my tubes. I.e. on the inside of one of the bottle caps.
How often will the nutrients have to be added and will the water have to be changed in my current position changing the water will be a major hassle.
Anyway hope this is useful to someone and hope to get some feedback on some of the issues I’m having or on how I could improve this set up.
The windowfarm is coming along, but now I’m stuck on which fertilizer to choose, I found these two
for the blooming period:
for the growing period:
It says in the description that they are general hydroponic fertilizers, sounded good to me but i just wanted to run it past you guys.
Do you think these are any good? and what about amounts? I’m building 4 columns of 4 plants.
Many thanks in advance!