For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Growing Vegetables using No-Energy Hydroponics

By Dennis DeLaurier

If you are worried about the safety of the food you eat, then you just might be interested in growing your own vegetables using no-energy hydroponics. Hydroponics is a dirt free method of growing plants usually using an inert medium that holds the plant and a liquid nutrient. Most hydroponics systems use electricity to pump and feed the nutrient to the plant. Some of these systems recycle the nutrient and can be quite complex and expensive. No-energy hydroponics systems replace all that electrical energy with a little bit of human energy.

No-energy hydroponics is nothing new, and has been used for thousands of years. The author has used this type of system to grow just about any type of vegetable. Vegetables like green beans, lettuce, tomatoes and herbs do quite well. A no-energy system consists of plants placed in an inert medium and fed nutrients at intervals determined by examining the wetness of the medium, and the health of the plant. The authors favorite medium is coconut fiber placed in a large plastic food tray. Other types of containers can be made from wood frames and plastic that lines the bottom. The minimum depth of the tray should be around 4 inches or more. None of the trays should have holes for the nutrient to escape and is why so little energy is needed to keep the plants happy.

To create your own no-energy hydroponics system, you will need a good container, some seeds or plants and a good medium like coconut fiber. Additionally, you will need some hydroponics fertilizer. The coconut fiber and fertilizer can be found at a hydroponics store or ordered over the Internet. The author found his deep food tray at Sams. You might look for them at restaurant supply houses as well. Once you have everything, it will be time to mix up the coconut fiber and add it to your tray.

Fill your tray to the top with coconut fiber. If you are starting seeds, refer to the seed packet for seed depth. You will want to moisten the top layer of the coconut fiber with water and keep it moist until the seeds sprout. Once sprouted, you can start adding half strength nutrient until they get their first true leaves. Make sure that the tray gets a lot of sun light and keep the coconut fiber damp but never wet. How often you need to add nutrient depends on the temperature, plant size and humidity. Herbs and lettuce really grow well in the tray environment, and are happy placed in a sunny window. If you want to grow tomatoes, the author suggests that you try miniature or patio tomatoes. To see some examples of no-energy hydroponics, you can visit the authors web site at


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