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Hydroponics - Last Chance Gardener

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Why last chance? If you've been following my gardening efforts, you will know that my plants (tomatoes, chillies and spring onions) die on me each time I try!  Well, a friend  notified me of a hydroponics workshop at NParks and I knew it would be my last chance at growing vegetables at home.  Hydroponics means growing plants in water rather than soil.  Advocates of this method say that it uses less water than conventional plant growing.

The workshop cost $25 inclusive of materials and was held at the Horticulture Park along Alexandra Road.  The materials included the styrofoam box, nutrient, leca, vermicullite, plant cups, 2 packets of seeds (local lettuce and red oak lettuce) and butter leaf lettuce seedlings.  It was really easy to set up: a) fill box with water and nutrient b) fill the plant cups with leca and vermicullite, plant seeds and pop them into the lid of the box.  c) place in sunny area of house. d) top up with nutrient and water when necessary.


You may be wondering why we used styrofoam boxes instead of glass or plastic bottles. According to the instructor, the plants need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight to grow, and in Singapore's extremely hot weather, it would be difficult to maintain the water temperature of the system if glass / plastic bottles were used in hydroponics.  Styrofoam boxes are able to provide the stable environment the plants need.  However, if you do want to use bottles, you would need to DIY a pump system to keep the water flowing.


I planted two butter leaf seedings and the rest were red oak lettuce.  I'm looking forward to harvesting them for Chinese New Year! 


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Abdelghafour

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