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By Peat

Growing Carrots Hydroponically

Carrots and subterranean vegetables can be grow hydroponically as well, hydro is not just limited to above soil growth.

What you will need:

Perlite

Vermiculite - add to perlite for better water retention, not absolutely necessary but it does help.

A good deep, ideally lightproof plastic container with holes at the bottom - at least 12 inches deep and the same wide. The bigger the better.

Another plastic container that the one above can sit in, this will hold a quantity of water all the time. Alternatively, a deep drip tray - say 2 to 3 inches in depth.

 

Fill your container with perlite, ideally you would add vermiculite to this as well - the ratio is 3:1 perlite to vermiculite.

Place your seeds in the main container, cover with vermiculite to the depth that is written on your seed packet.

Lightly mist/spray the top of your main container with some water, we need to get some water to the seeds to start. Keep the top of the main container moist, keep misting as appropriate until the seeds establish themselves - see your seed packet for germination times.

Don't pour water directly down on them at this phase, the seeds will be washed away by this!

Once the seeds have germinated, give the top of this container a good watering three times a day - approx.

Keep the drip tray (or other container), full of water

 

Generally - carrots take 2-3 months to mature and germinate in 6 to 10 days.

Radishes are also a good crop, they need less space and grow really quickly. They will mature in 30 to 40 days and germinate in 2 to 6 days.

 

Enjoy the world of subterranean hydo... 

 

Weekly Pictures

Starting Week  Week 2   Week 4   Week 5   Week 6   Week 7   Week 8   Week 9   Week 10   Week 10 Harvest - a stunning display of tiny carrots!   Week 16 - Ended this grow, taking far too long.

Edit: Gisette edited the thumbnail links for better website performance (they were grabbing the full-size pictures and scaling them into thumbnails - not too quick).

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Ginger
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Very cool! Have you actually done this?

Peat
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Only with radishes, and that was way back in time...

The same principle is applied to carrots as well, you are basically replacing your soil with perlite and hydro chemicals, plus a little light...

Oh well, as I made this a 'grow log' then I suppose I should do this sometime. I'll see what I can rustle up, I don't have any perlite/vermiculite at this moment in time so I will have to see about getting some.

Call this work in progress then...

Ginger2
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LOL! Don't feel compelled.


Peat
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The perlite and vermiculite have been ordered, I already have a 12" pot and drip tray, the carrot seeds will be bought tomorrow.

I will use the spillover light from one of my aerogardens, pictures and results to follow...

 

Ginger
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Looking forward to seeing this! Are carrots a low-light species?

Peat
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Not really, they do need full sun. But, they can tolerate partial shade - although they won't be quite as developed.

I just hope the AG spillover light is good enough for them, it's better than the winter window light! It's all about experimenting, nothing ventured, nothing gained?

Peat
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The carrots are now planted in the perlite/vermiculite mix, ratio of 3:1

They have been put in a 6 inch pot, I didn't want to use the 12 inch one as this would be a waste of these growing mediums if this did not succeed - let's see how they grow in the 6 inch one first...

The perlite/vermiculite were mixed, put in the 6" pot and then soaked with normal water. The carrots (Early Nantes 2, www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/345/1.html) were selected due to their quick harvest time and length.

The carrot seeds were sprinkled over the top and a layer of vermiculite put over them, they were misted with water as I did not want them being carried to the bottom of the pot if they were watered normally. A piece of cling-film was put over the pot to aid germination, and the whole container placed directly under the AG bulbs. The bottom of the drip tray was filled with water, this will wick up through the pot due to the properties of these two growing substances.

Carrots

Carrots

Carrots, Cucumber & Strawberries sharing the light

Carrots 2

Ginger
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Looking forward to seeing the result of this!

Do you have any reflective blanket, btw? I added a bit on the side of my pro100 as a drape over an outrider, and the plants definitely responded to the increased light. (Did that make sense? Outrider next to pro100. Bit of silvered blanket from top of lights, slanting out to far side of outrider. So light scatters to that side and is reflected down onto outrider.)

Peat
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I remember your reflective blanket experiment from before.

What I have around mine are pieces of cardboard covered with silver foil, this reflects a good amount of light back onto the plants. I'm running out of AG's now, how many plants can one grow from the light of one garden?

 

Ginger
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how many plants can one grow from the light of one garden?

Yes, that's what we're trying to figure out now. Surprisingly, the spot between my two minis seems to get enough light, probably because the minis are very short. I think one of my nextgen outriders will go there. The spot next to the pro100 is certainly doing better now, but maybe still isn't enough. The Deluxe would have gobs of spillover light if the hood wasn't up near max.

Is it possible to put your two AG's next to each other and put spillover-dependent plants between?