|Hydroponic System Photo Credit Alaina Akey, FFA student|
|Aeroponic System- Tower Garden Photo Credit Alaina Akey, FFA student|
The soilless growing systems comprised of a tower garden and a hydroponic system in Wray, Colorado had the following results:
The most efficient system was the hydroponic system because it used less water.
The system was easy to set-up.
The pump did not circulate water that well and caused more algae build-up.
The system used .5 to 1 gallon of water.
When the system was moved outside it averaged 2-3 gallons per week. The systems were moved outside because of the end of the school. The systems were moved to the FFA student's home.
The Tower Garden:
The set-up was easy except for the net pots that were supposed to snap in and that did not always happen.
Easy to follow instructions.
The system used 3 to 5 gallons per week.
When the system was moved outside the water increased to 3-5 gallons every other day.
With the Tower Garden and the hydroponic system tomatoes ended up with blossom end rot which is a physiological condition. Researchers have discovered this to be a problem in tomatoes and peppers grown in aeroponic and hydroponic systems. In our hydroponic system it was evident only in those grown without soil. We broke the rules and left half the pots in a soilless medium and the others in water with clay balls for a medium. The tomatoes growing in only water with clay balls still ended up with blossom end rot. A medium consisting of a soilless medium can clog up a hydroponic system. In ours it did not occur. But that is what is meant by we broke the rules.