By Siree Yaviraj
May 27, 2020
SHORTAGES AT SUPERMARKETS PLUS BEING quarantined at home has us regretting not having started a home garden months ago. Luckily, the team at Avani Pattaya Resort has shared a guide with expert tips on how to start your own hydroponic farm at home. The team knows a thing or two about growing vegetables—their Avani Hydroponic Green Farm in Pattaya helps supply local restaurants with organic produce in addition to the hotel’s own dining outlets.
Read on for their guide on how to start your own personal hydroponic farm and grow veggies like Chinese kale, Swiss chard, rocket and microgreens.
Check out the video guide below:
What You Will Need:
• Individual containers—Consider reusing any containers you have in your household, such as paper cups, coffee cans, plastic water bottles or jars. Two paper coffee cups stacked together work surprisingly well.
• A plastic or metal tray
• A sheet of Rockwool or sponge foam, with pre-cut slots for the seeds
• Seeds suitable for hydroponic farming
• Nutrient solution—Check online for ready-made solutions.
Assembling Your Hydroponic Kit:
1. Soak a sheet of foam in water and place it in the tray.
2. Arrange each seed 2 cm from each other in the slots of foam.
3. Transfer the seeded foam into a transparent container and cover it with a transparent lid. Once placed in the sun, this will create a greenhouse-like effect and capture the moisture.
The first shoots will appear after 1-2 weeks.
4. After two weeks it’s time to move the seedlings into separate containers filled with nutrient solution. If net cups are used, avoid filling them up to the brim. If you’re using two coffee cups stacked together as a container, make sure to make holes in them.
5. Cut the foam around the seedlings and move the plants into individual containers filled with nutrient solution.
Ensure that the plant has sufficient light, and for best results consider LED grow lights. Check the roots regularly to clear off any algae. It will take approximately five to six weeks for the plants to be fully grown.
6. Once the plants are ready, harvest the leaves. Each plant can be harvested several times.
• Choose the right plant cultivars for the scale of space that you have.
• The easiest herbs to care for are basil, celery, chives, coriander, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
• Be as observant as possible when you’re growing seeds for the first time without any soil. Things to look out for are: the period needed for full sprouting, the appearance of seeds as they sprout, and the physical appearance of seeds as they germinate.
• To grow well, plants need at least six hours of light a day but avoid placing them in strong sunlight.
• Pay extra attention to watering them during seeding, keep the sponge soaked.
• Take note of the growth phases of individual plants at specific weeks, so you will have a handy reference for next time.
• Do not wait more than 42 days to harvest, as they will begin to taste bitter after that.