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10 April 2010 @ 09:31 pm
Soil? Where we're going we don't need soil...  
I always rather liked the idea of growing stuff but I wasn't too keen on, you know, gardening.

I LOVE technology though and what do you get when you combine these two together....?

Exciting hydroponics goodness!

Here is the machine in question, the Power Plant Mini:

This is only the baby one so it's not that big. Inside it looks like this:

The seeds (and they can be any old seeds) go inside the sponge which has a slit down the middle. Then you fill the entire pot with water mixed with nutrients. You can see at the bottom there is a pump with a series of holes that constantly puts water through the sponge. You plug it in, cover the top and wait...

And wait at least a week longer than the box says if it's grey and miserable and your plants can't get any light. Also, you see just how many non-viable seeds you get in a typical commercial packet. Anyway, after finally getting some light and heat on the thing, the magic started and two weeks later I have this:

Grow my pretties!

This is spinach. Baby spinach. The right hand one has a bit missing because mum held one of the guinea pigs too close and he decided it looked tasty. I suppose that's a seal of approval though.

This is some kind of parsley. Either Italian giant leaf or some variety of curly. I'm not sure which because I put both in.

So far, so good!
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
kharma2815kharma2815 on April 10th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
The parsley has really sprung up since Tuesday!
doylefan22: captain jack sparrowdoylefan22 on April 10th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
I know! And those pictures were taken a day and a half ago and it's come up even more since then.
kat_rowekat_rowe on April 11th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
oh, that's cool. i like that you can use any seeds; some of the units they sell here in the US require special seeds to work and they're just insanely expensive. that looks good though. if the guinea pig likes it, it must be good :)
doylefan22: Georgedoylefan22 on April 11th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's a trade off. With the specialist units you are pretty much guaranteed to get all viable seeds and they germinate. With this you get to choose whatever you want but they won't all germinate (because there are a surprising amount of non-viable seeds in a packet!)

I like having the opportunity to try out different things though.
kat_rowe: brooding/PWkat_rowe on April 11th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
oh, i know how many non-viable seeds you can get (although some places are better than others and store-bought are just about the worst) but I still think it probably ends up cheaper that way. i know the Aerobed or whatever they call it charges like a buck a seed-thing whereas you can get a whole pack of regular seeds for one or two dollars. still hard to say. they might be higher quality, too, but I like the freedom a unit like that gives of growing whatever varieties you want
Lil Miss Morgan Dork: Peacebadfalcon on April 11th, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
ooh now that is kinda cool! good luck!
doylefan22: Boromir's Phonedoylefan22 on April 11th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)

I will try to stop seeing them every morning, cackling and saying 'grown my pretties!'.
steviesunsteviesun on April 11th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'll have to send you some chillie seeds. I'm not having too much luck with them but you might.
doylefan22: dw - doctor dragdoylefan22 on April 11th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
Ooo...Sounds intriguing. I've read about a few people who have successfully grown chillis in them.
steviesunsteviesun on April 12th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
I shall see about posting some to you then. Got home today to find the parent has fallen over. It has been fruiting from Oct onwards, I think it might finally be coming to the end of its fruitful life, we'll see what dave manages with it when he gets home.
doylefan22: lom - camberwick oh noesdoylefan22 on April 16th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
I was going to stick some tomatoes in there at some point too so it'd be nice to do half and half.
keeping it vaguely imaginary...: Jack // tenpercentjuice__kali__ on April 13th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
That's very cool. I've got some spare basil and oregano seeds if you want them. I've been trying to grow some in the garden, but they're not playing so I'm going to go to the garden centre and get some plant!herbs and some nice pots instead.
doylefan22: captain jack sparrowdoylefan22 on April 16th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
We've just found out that guinea pigs love basil so that'd work :)