BY VINA MEDENILLA
For this year’s AgriTalk, another batch of online series titled “AgriTalk: 2 Easy Learning” offers two-minute-long instructional videos on different topics about urban agriculture. The series will air from May 14 to June 30, 2021, at 10 a.m.
The fifth and sixth episodes of this are all about hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a method of plant cultivation where crops are grown in water with nutrients instead of soil. Many growers shift to this type of system for it is an efficient way to grow plants even in a limited space.
Here are the following requirements and steps to practice hydroponics:
Germinating the seeds
Germinate the seeds in a seedling tray before growing them in hydroponics. Things you will need include a medium (1:1:1 ratio of vermicast, compost, carbonized rice hull), vegetable seeds, sprayer, shovel, and seedling tray.
Start by filling the seedling tray with the growing medium. Gently poke small holes in each space in the tray, then plant one to two seeds in every gap. After sowing, moisten them with water. Make sure not to use water with chlorine for optimum plant growth. Cover the seedling tray and store it in a shady area. After two weeks, once three to four true leaves appear, then that’s the time you can proceed to the hydroponics system.
Making the hydroponics system
The necessary materials to create the hydroponics system are the following: styrofoam box (grape boxes commonly seen in the market), hydroponic solution, sprayer, styrofoam cups, plastic, coco peat, and cutter.
Begin by preparing the styrofoam boxes, which will be the growing bed of the plants.
Styrofoam box lid. Using the styro cup’s opening as a guide, draw circles on the styro box lid or cover with a distance of two inches each. Cut the styro box by following the hand-drawn circles using a cutter afterward. Make sure that the cups will fit in those round holes.
Hydroponics box. Cover the styrofoam box with a large plastic. Make sure there are no cuts, holes, or any opening in the plastic to avoid the water from leaking. Fill the box with 10 liters of water and 50mL of the hydroponic solution. Put back the styro box lid with the circle holes you made.
Styro cups as planters. Next, make four to five vertical, equally spaced slits at the bottom of all the styro cups where you will grow the plants. These cuts will allow the roots to grow and get enough nutrients in the hydroponics box. Fill the cups with coco peat and insert them in the circles of the hydroponic box.
Re-planting. Transfer the young plants into the styro cups.
The water-nutrient solution will be the plants’ source of nutrients, so make sure that the bottom parts of the cups are immersed in the water.
Place the hydroponics box in a safe area with access to the sun.
For more information, message ATI’s Farmers’ Contact Center at 09209462474.
Photos screen captured from AgriTalk’s online series on Facebook.