Soil Vs Hydroponic Watermelons and Cucumbers!

Have you experimented with hydroponics for your veggies?

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allen c

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Hey there! Has anybody else done comparisons of soil grown vs hydroponic grown watermelons and cucumbers? I decided to give it a try this summer in my backyard using "Passive Hydroponics" for these thirsty foods. I've also made a video on how it is going as of 6 weeks into the project. If you have any experience in this also, please share your thoughts! I love that this site allows for these types of discussions. Thank you!

 

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Raymondo

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I know you might find this interesting, but I don't think you can beat soil grown , hydroponics I don't believe can supply a fully complete soil mineral trace element , microbe interaction and all the other complexities about which we know so little. It's an interesting topic and for some , a belief it is the future of agriculture but if it lacks some nutrition it's a no from me . Our food already lacks enough from the way we farm ( commercialy that is ) and our soils are depleted of some trace elements . Just my viewpoint Allen no judgement intended, each to his own eh? Cheers Ray
 
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allen c

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I know you might find this interesting, but I don't think you can beat soil grown , hydroponics I don't believe can supply a fully complete soil mineral trace element , microbe interaction and all the other complexities about which we know so little. It's an interesting topic and for some , a belief it is the future of agriculture but if it lacks some nutrition it's a no from me . Our food already lacks enough from the way we farm ( commercialy that is ) and our soils are depleted of some trace elements . Just my viewpoint Allen no judgement intended, each to his own eh? Cheers Ray
Thank you for your response, Ray! No judgement received either! I actually am including a compost tea in addition to humic acid in my nutrient reservoir for just the reason of increasing microbial activity and adding those trace minerals that many basic nutrient lines do not include in their mixtures. Just really wanted to do a side by side comparison for the video, and will be doing a follow-up harvest and tasting video. That is an interesting point you raise about the nutrition levels overall in commercially grown hydroponic foods:with mass production, input cost is of the upmost importance and maybe a contributing factor into why only N-P-K is worried about and the trace minerals are not included.
I do appreciate the time you took to start this conversation with me, and hope to continue in the future on this forum! Take care
 

ClissAT

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Be very careful about including additives to hydroponics.
The nutrient is supposed to remain rather sterile so as not to pollute the system with algae that block automatic valves, venturi, sprayers and drippers, etc.
Once your biome gets out of balance, you'll be forced to renew most of your system to get rid of the offenders.
It will be a very expensive exercise.
Trust me on that one!

The time when you can add these extras is directly to the root zones in your growing vessels after the nutrient solution has been applied so as not to mix any living culture into the sterile nutrient tanks or lines.
But then only if you have a 'run to waste system'. If yours is a circulating system you shouldn't be adding any live solutions at all.
Its one of the downfalls of the aquaponics method. Algae builds up eventually which the fish don't eat or otherwise address and which can't be filtered out unless via reverse osmosis or micron particle filters.
So there is a necessity to regularly add a sterilizing agent which is contrary to your aims.
 
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The Rubber Kitty

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@ClissAT and I am guessing that using UV lights to sterilise to get rid of the Algae might negatively impact the water? ...
 

ClissAT

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Yes correct. Its counter indicative.
You are adding live bio material, then killing it with UV lights!!!
What's the point?
 
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allen c

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Yes correct. Its counter indicative.
You are adding live bio material, then killing it with UV lights!!!
What's the point?
The method I am using is Kratky, so no pumps or tubes for algae to clog up. The nutrients are all hydroponic specific as to keep things nice and beneficial as far as microbes go. Only issue I've had so far is I overfed the cucumber plant and it died off. I'll be posting an update this week. Thanks for the informative comments
 

The Rubber Kitty

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Yes correct. Its counter indicative.
You are adding live bio material, then killing it with UV lights!!!
What's the point?
I have wondered as i know some people keep fish and use UV lights ... but not for hydroponics... just for looking at the fishies swim...
 

ClissAT

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Ruby, that's different technology.
Always nice to see them swimming in full colour.
But the UV used inside pipes for purification purposes is different.
All very confusing isn't it?
 

The Rubber Kitty

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Ruby, that's different technology.
Always nice to see them swimming in full colour.
But the UV used inside pipes for purification purposes is different.
All very confusing isn't it?
Totally ... I was wanting a small system inside my house. A friend gave me a fish tank and I thought that i could have a smaller scale growing inside the house with the fish ... it think it is the medium 76L or something 60cm x 30 ish and 45 cm high.

I am still trying to decide on fish and what would be good to grow inside. the medium and all that. I have some wasabi plants that appear to be going off when i got them and put them in pots ... So maybe thinking of having a wall of wasabi plants with the fish tank in the middle that feeds them ^_^
 

ClissAT

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There's a guy in Tasmania growing wasabi.
Apparently one of only a very few commercially successful cropping enterprises.
He says its a very finicky crop and he can loose the lot if not very careful.
He's worked out how to immitate the natural growing conditions he found in the hills in Japan.
His is organic, under a low, very long slightly sloping hoophouse with a white cover rather than green so it gets the right amount of the correct type of light.
He has to crawl in there to work on the plants!
He says it needs to be kept very cool, low light yet have high humidity, well drained but with water running through the soil a bit like a peat bog.
Then at some point, he removes the covers so something happens to the plants at a certain part of their growth cycle before harvest.