Hydro Cukes in a Trash Can

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Maybe this will be old news to you experienced people but I thought it was very interesting and educational. For newbies, I think this clearly demonstrates the behavior of hydro plants. Makes me want to do it next year.

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/HG-44.pdf

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

How did I miss this? Super easy!

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Me, too!

Central, ME(Zone 5a)

Has anyone tried this themselves? I would be interested to hear about your yields using this method.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

I have not tried this but considering the source, I'd trust it. From what I've seen with other plants, if they have air, water, food, temps and light they'll go crazy growing and producing. The worst problem with growing cukes for me is always the water. Those big leaves and fruits need a great deal and it's hard to keep them supplied so this would be a cure for that.

My only problem with it is that mine only bear for about 2 or 3 weeks and burn up in the heat. I'd need multiple plants to share and I start them in little pots every 3 weeks for a continuous supply. I think you could do this with 5 gallon buckets and just keep topping up some with something like Miracle Grow added.

Central, ME(Zone 5a)

I think you are right, it's really a matter of keeping the cukes fed and happy. Always a challenge.
I am going to try staggering my planting this year so they are not all ready at the same time.
I have a few in containers, but my main crop is in the ground.
I think the trash barrel thing looks great, and have no doubt that it worked well. I just don't think I can get that setup ready in time now. We have a pretty short growing season here. If any of you try it, please do a thread. I think it looks great.
I also love your innovative ideas for growing. That's the best part of being on DG, Twiggy. Thanks, Cyndie

Perth, Australia

This is sooo coool! I was wondering if anyone else has tried this and if so would they post a picture or two? I'm thinking of doing the same but not with a bin!!
Any developments of this idea? I would like to keep this thread going.....

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Sounds like my hydroponic system. I have eggplants, beans and peppers growing in it right now and the plants are all bearing. Rather than going through the hoops with the forestry tubes, I'd suggest using the hydroponic baskets with expanded clay balls or grodan. But I guess if you're only going to do one it doesn't matter.

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

Has anyone tried this indoors? It's already snowed here, but I have a nice southern window.

I put one together under a southern window. And, as someone suggested, I used a grow basket instead of the forestry tube.

It was very easy to set up - now to see how it works.

This message was edited Nov 11, 2011 6:58 PM

Okemos, MI(Zone 6b)

Rosewynd, This is a variation of the simplest form of hydroponics, deep water culture. I use it extensively at home and as a demonstration project in my shop for encouraging children to get involved in hydroponic growing. I usually add a simple aquarium air pump and air stone to ensure adequate oxygenation of the nutrient solution and to avoid root rot. Yields can be amazing using this method and the kids are totally fascinated that they can pick vegetables from a plant growing in a bucket of water.

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

I set it up close to what was instructed - I used a hydroponics pot and a mix of vermeculite and moss. I have HUGE secondary leaves and the plant looks very happy.

After peeking under the lid this morning, I agree that it needs an airstone and will be adding one.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I set one up in my emily's garden along with some conteder beans about a month ago. I already have baby cucumbers and blooming male blossoms. The beans are already producing, their at the fillet stage. I have 3 cucumber plants per pot and they're all doing well. I'll have to remember to change the solution tomorrow.

Okemos, MI(Zone 6b)

Yehudith, What support medium are you using in your Emily's garden? We have a Versa Grow system set up in the shop and are using a finer grade of perlite in it. The herbs seems to like it, but the results are not as dramatic as aeroponic or dwc. Also, are you supplementing with any light? If so, what type are you using?

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

wow------does it work with tomatoes???? I want to do this!

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I use the expanded clay balls. Yep you can do tomatoes in a hydroponic set up. If you're going to use a small system like Emily's garden you need to change your nutrient solution every week, but its real easy to do.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

what do you mean===change the nutrient solution? Flood out what is left over at the end of the week?
I figured I would just add a pvc pipe feeding tube to keep adding my nutrient water every week.
That cucumber up there sat in the nutrient water for 10 weeks without changing. I don't know anything about growing
in water. Why does the tomato water have to be changed every week?


Perth, Australia

The Article suggests that you shouldn't change the water/growing solution at all because as the plant grows the roots stay with the solution when it gets soaked up by the plant. the harvest is supposed to be over when the roots reach the bottom and uses up the solution.
The points are: 1. Not to change the solution at all, 2. Not to touch/disturb any part of the plant except the fruit, and 3. Not to need any electricity and/or machines.
Its supposed to be simple and left alone so that you get results by only setting it up right in the beginning and harvesting it while it grows and do nothing else till the solution is finished.

That's my summary of the article... and I like it!

This message was edited Jan 14, 2012 9:13 AM

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I like the sound of it. Will grow a cuke. But I still want to try a tomato too by adding nutrients through a pvc pipe fed to the bottom of the trash can and keeping the upper end of the pvc closed up when not in use. Curiosity killed the cat.

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

My cucumber plant has LOTS of babies!! Didn't add an airstone, just followed the instructions.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

nice to hear rose.
I was wondering if it could be done with a five gallon bucket......refilling with nutrient water weekly or as needed....wondering enough to try it.



edited to say======the thought crossed my mind that the reason they used a trash can is cause they needed the root space. Those roots would fill a 5 gallon bucket and then some.


This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 11:36 AM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Cricket, I think by using a 5 gallon bucket rather than the trash can you are creating more work for yourself. The trash can is suppose to see you thru the season.

Why mess with success. Either do it the way they posted or not, but don't confuse the 2. Experimentation is your middle name. LOL But don't cry when it doesn't work and the season is gone.

You grow so many plants that you may not miss the tomatoes, but you would be creating much more work for yourself by cutting down on the size of the container.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

wow

Experiment Experiment Experiment
That is how everybody learns.
I am getting the feeling that you don't like my experiments with alllll my plants based on your comments here and there.
I will try to keep my experiments a little more discrete.

happy gardening and have a great spring and summer everyone.

This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 3:16 PM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Cricket, your experiments sound really cool. I just meant that I thought the poster of the hydroponic cuke meant to use the trash can to save the work of replenishing nutrients, water, etc. It was a one setup thing.

You are absolutely right. Experimenting is how we come up with new and better things. I am truly sorry if I offended you. I love to hear your ideas and like to stick in my 2 cents worth. Didn't realize I was rubbing you the wrong way.

I will refrain from posting, and just read and enjoy what you do.

Jeanette

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

dont stop posting on my account. I am a hyper active person. i tend to get carried away with ideas cause my brain doesn't shut up rather it turns out to be a good idea or a bad idea....the brain keeps churning...but I do post my thoughts too much even when they don't make sense yet. Tis why I should keep my thoughts more discrete. It will be hard to do though. I love talking things over with my grandfather even if he can't remember what I said yesterday. It helps me think.

happy gardening
I am so far behind , I thought I was first.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Cricket, that is called bouncing it off someone. Or brainstorming. That is how good things come to pass. Your mind must be a whirlwind. LOL, good for you. Do you ever get any sleep? Jeanette

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

When you work with a small hydroponic system you need to change the nutrient solution partially because of changes in the ph level. If the level goes too high the plants won't take up the nutrients and will suffer. The Emily's garden only holds two gallons of water and I really do see a difference when I flush out the system.

Perth, Australia

agree with the experimenting and trying different things... just that I was trying to stay on topic... coz the idea was that it was a trashcan full of solution and a setup made to last one season - that was the topic. according to the first poster, it works fine. So the point is, did it work for you if you followed it to the letter? Did you change it a little? coz if you changed the setup to what the poster said to do, then you're not going to get the same results!!!! of course they will be different!

Having said that, I haven't tried it so you can call me a hypocrite for not having done it. It's just theoretically logical!

And then again this isn't exactly a standard hydroponic system. it's a very deep water culture, and with all the generalisations that we know about how plants grow, the physics of water and the ecosystems around plants, the environmental factors. You have to see that this system can work because the plant in the setup is still getting all it needs as it grows.

I can't see why a Tomato can't work.. or making the container smaller.. the only problem with that is that it will have a very short season - you have to calculate the plant's real life needs - water - air - etc. According to the First Post's article, Trashcan is enough for the one season per plant :D

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

I followed the directions to the letter. Meant to add an airstone, but never did. So far, I have harvested 3 cucumbers and there are MANY little ones started.

It's working great!

By accident, I chose a self pollinating variety.

The roots are HUGE!! They do go clear down to the bottom of the trash can. A five gallon bucket *might* work, but you'd be adding water/nutrients often.

I will be doing this again. And I'll be trying it with other crops.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Hey Rose.
I will be trying it with tomato and a watermelon.
I bought 5 large trash cans to play with.
I haven't started mine yet. Still too cold off and on here.
Did you start your plants in a greenhouse to get a headstart?
I have my tomato plant ready for the trash can. I am going to fill the trash can half full with water and see if I can hand truck it out of the greenhouse without causing a mess cause I would like to grow it in the greenhouse for about 4 weeks before I place it outside.

I have the Sweeter Yet self pollinating cuke. Which one did you use?
I think I also have the Tasty Green 26 and Diva.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Hey guys, what is that tube they said to put it in? Without going clear back right now, just curious. And where did you get it? Or did you use something else?

Anza, CA(Zone 8b)

I put mine in the house next to a south facing window. It snowed last night and the plant isn't really happy because the window is cold, but it's still going.

Offhand, I can't remember the variety I used, only that it's a bush variety.

Next, I am going to try Jack Be Little pumpkins.

This is wonderful because I don't have to do anything - my work schedule makes it difficult, and this way, I'm getting fresh veggies anyway.

I also put lettuce plants in 4" pots in a tray of water next to another south window. The lettuce is doing great. I've harvested it twice now, and it is such a treat. I'd forgotten how good fresh lettuce tastes.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

well, i didnt want to say anything about pumpkins cause i didn't want to stir up confusion.......but
I have this crazy idea to grow a giant green squash . It looks like a giant pumpkin but since it is green it is considered a squash. I do not expect giants. I want the plants to grow many squash. I rather grow the giant pumpkin family plants and eat their young instead of the actual summer squash. Young pumpkin is very tasty cooked like squash.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

oh=== forestry tubes......I already have black square forestry pots......no tubes......but I am going to use a regular 8 inch long pot and drill extra holes in the bottom.

edited to add that what ever pot you use, make sure it is long enough to reach the nutrient water and has many holes in the bottom but not so many that the medium falls out.

i do not know where to buy the forestry tubes-----yet


This message was edited Feb 28, 2012 8:50 PM

This message was edited Feb 28, 2012 8:57 PM

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

At this link a man tried the trash can cuke.
The interesting info is near the end of everyones post. A man named Walt who is a teacher at a greenhouse using hydroponic methods........read his post about the forestry tubes....

http://michaelellerbeck.com/experiments/

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Interesting. So, it all depends on the type of lid you get on the trash can. Thanks Cricket.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

aint much action here
there is more activity about the subject over here at this topic

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1144548/

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

It works fine for me.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Ok, since some are leaving, I would like to know how you keep the PVC pipe from slipping thru the hole into the bottom of the can? Will post on the other site too. Jeanette

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

The pvc goes all the way to the bottom at an angle.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

BUMP!

Walt, on April 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm said:
Karen,
Iím a teacher in Hawaii. My students constructed a greenhouse that is used for hydroponics. This is not my area of expertise, so my students and I learn at the same time. I use the ctahr website for reference.
I can tell you this. You can use 2″ net pots with growing medium for cukes, one plant per 32 gallon trash can. You need a forestry tube, or something similar if you use a domed lid. You need the extra length of a tube to reach the water. A net pot is long enough to reach the water with a flat lid like the one pictured above (rubbermaid brute). We use the flat lid.
If grown disease free, the roots of one plant of cucumbers will fill the entire trash container! It will eventually suck all the water in the container, hopefully by then you will have reached the end of the cukes life.
We also grow tomatoes, bell peppers, beans, lettuce, green onions, basil, eggplant, all hydroponically, using a non-circulating method.
You can email me for more info. hilosun on hot mail

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