Growing Off-Grid: Home Hydroponic Systems Available for Fresh Vegetables and Salad

“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” Ron Finley

Hydroponic Buckets Just 3 weeks from seed - Lettuce, Kale, Tomatoes, Courgettes

Hydroponic systems are the most cost-effective way to grow your own, high quality food at home.  They require little to no maintenance and no use of pesticides – so your produce is always fresh and safe, grown just the way you like it. When you are set up, all you need are seeds, tap water and nutrient solution (preferably organic).

We provide a total solution for all your off-grid hydroponic needs (no electricity required). Get ready for fresh fruit and vegetables grown the easy way, right on your own doorstep!

Growing your own food provides a very real sense of freedom and independence in a world of ever-increasing concerns surrounding our finances and health.  So it makes a lot of sense to be in charge of your own food supply. We certainly need to become more conscious of what we are putting into our bodies, both in terms of food and medicine.  After all, as Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

So whether you are a complete novice to hydroponic growing or a self-proclaimed veteran, we hope to assist you in living a healthier and more self-sufficient lifestyle.  Take a look at the lettuce I grew in just 3 weeks from seed!

Hydroponic Lettuce - Just 3 weeks from seed

The hydroponic system offered here is as simple as it gets, growing food without the need for ongoing watering, weeding, electricity, pumps, or complex piping. It is just based upon an ingenious use of buckets and net pots, which capitalise on the amazing adaptability of mother nature!

1 x 20 litre bucket (top diameter 33cm, hight 35cm) represents approximately 4 square feet of growing space and according to the square foot gardening method, under optimum growing conditions, 48 square feet is sufficient to provide fresh vegetables and salad greens for a person, for about three-quarters of the year*.

This hydroponic system is based upon the Kratky method, developed by Prof. Kratky of the University of Hawaii. It was designed to make hydroponics as simple as humanly possible, using no pumps, aeration or electricity – just a bucket of nutrient solution with the plants supported in net pots. Nature does the rest! What Prof. Kratky discovered was that when plants are exposed to nutrient solution, their roots specialise. Those roots which are dipped into the solution directly, become specialised water roots, whilst those suspended in the air become specialised air roots. In soil, they would normally be mixed together.

Kratky Method Explanation

Deep water culture hydroponics operates on a similar basis, but it requires pumps and aeration, making it many times more expensive and complicated, without generating any greater yields.

Why choose hydroponics over soil?

Many people don’t realise it, but soil is basically a gigantic sponge containing nutrient solution (from the breakdown of organic matter and rocks), so hydroponic growing is much more natural than people think. We just cut out the negative aspects of soil. As well as nutrients, soil also contains plant diseases, pests, moulds and fungi and is far from portable. Equally, soil can vary dramatically in pH, which affects what can grow in it. In hydroponics, all of these factors can be controlled for optimum results. This is why NASA uses it to help feed astronauts!

Kale and Tomatoes after just 3 weeks from seed:

Hydroponic Kale and Tomatoes in Just 3 weeks from seed

This system has many advantages:

• Delicious produce is just pennies per portion and can save you a fortune compared with supermarket prices.
• No weeding.
• Perfect growing conditions every time, for explosive yields.
• Requires water very infrequently, if at all.
• Even a thirty-bucket system can fit in the boot of your car if you move home.
• Can be placed off ground – great for people with limited mobility.
• No mess or soil to contend with during harvest.
• Wide variety of produce can be grown in a small area.
• No need to check PPM or pH if you use the nutrient solution we recommend. (Please beware not all nutrient solutions are equal).

If what you are trying to grow is green and leafy, then partial shade yields best results, but if it is the fruit you are trying to grow then as much sun as possible is recommended.

Check out my pea plants at 4 weeks from seed – they are 2 feet tall and are ready to produce sweet and delicious peas:

Pea plants at Just 4 weeks from seed - ready to produce peas

As you will see from this listing (and photos from my own garden), these buckets are capable of successfully growing:

Cabbage
• Kale
Broccoli
Cauliflower
• Brussels Sprouts
• Lettuce
• Spinach
• Peas
• Pak Choi
• Tomatoes
• Aubergines
• Peppers
• Strawberries
• Corn
• Pumpkin
• Butternut Squash
• Cucumbers
• And more! (Basically, anything that grows above ground).

Most things will grow to full maturity within 2 months, with larger fruiting species taking up to 80 days or so.

Different produce requires a different amount of square feet to grow in, so the lids can be drilled with different numbers of net cups. For example, you can have up to seven net pots of peas in one bucket, whereas you would only have a maximum two large tomato plants (or 4 small dwarf varieties). Most of my own hydroponic vegetable garden is based upon having four net cups per bucket (so this is what we provide as standard). This way I can plant companion plants together, for example two tomato plants and two lettuces. They all grow at the same rate initially, but by the time the tomatoes are tall and shading out the lettuces, the lettuces are already ready to harvest.

Hydroponic Courgettes after Just 3 weeks from seed

For many green leafy vegetables such as kale or lettuce you can either harvest the entire plant, or better yet, do as I do and just take some leaves from each plant when you want a salad or some greens. Two buckets can grow eight lettuces in just over a month, or you can harvest a lettuce-worth of leaves per week on an ongoing basis.

Why would you buy irradiated, pesticide-laden and gas-packaged produce from a supermarket (which has travelled hundreds if not thousands of miles) when you can simply snip fresh food from your hydroponic system on your doorstep.

Better yet, get your kids involved and eating healthily. There is no better way to encourage children to eat their veg than when they have grown it themselves from seed in just a matter of weeks!

A packet of a thousand seeds can cost as little as 99p, so why would you pay more than 99p for a single portion? Become part of the urban food revolution – strive towards self-sufficiency with your very own off-grid hydroponics system.

The buckets are deliberately black to blend in more naturally with your surroundings, but also to capture some of the heat from the sunlight. This extends the growing season, allowing you to plant earlier and harvest later.

In my own garden, (which I now view as more of an urban farm), I do not use ANY pesticides whatsoever.  However, I do have an expanse of gravel which deters pests such as slugs and snails. Excellent results can be achieved by placing the buckets off-ground (on a greenhouse table or something similar).

The systems are available on several different scales.

A five-bucket system is not enough to feed a person, but it will provide all the salad greens you need for one person* (or will supplement your diet with fresh produce) and comes complete with four pre-drilled holes per bucket and the twenty net cups required to complete the system. The buckets are also pre-drilled with an overflow hole in case of rain. (1, 2, 5 or 7 hole systems are also available, or any combination thereof). Rockwool cubes to start your seeds in and nutrient solution with a measuring syringe are optional extras.

A ten-bucket system will provide all the salad greens you need for two people (or else provide extra growing room for vegetables)* and comes complete with four pre-drilled holes per bucket and the forty net cups required to complete the system. The buckets are also pre-drilled with an overflow hole in case of rain. (1, 2, 5 or 7 hole systems are also available, or any combination thereof). Rockwool cubes to start your seeds in and nutrient solution with a measuring syringe are optional extras.

A twenty-bucket system will provide all the salad greens you need for four people (or salads and vegetables for a couple)* and comes complete with four pre-drilled holes per bucket and the eighty net cups required to complete the system. The buckets are also pre-drilled with an overflow hole in case of rain. (1, 2, 5 or 7 hole systems are also available, or any combination thereof). Rockwool cubes to start your seeds in and nutrient solution with a measuring syringe are optional extras.

A thirty-bucket system will provide all the salad greens you need for six people (or salads and vegetables for a family with small children)* and comes complete with four pre-drilled holes per bucket and the hundred-and-twenty net cups required to complete the system. The buckets are also pre-drilled with an overflow hole in case of rain. (1, 2, 5 or 7 hole systems are also available, or any combination thereof). Rockwool cubes to start your seeds in and nutrient solution with a measuring syringe are optional.

A HUNDRED-bucket system (virtually an urban farm!) will pretty well provide salad greens and vegetables for eight vegetarian people* and comes complete with four pre-drilled holes per bucket and the four hundred net cups required to complete the system. The buckets are also pre-drilled with an overflow hole in case of rain. (1, 2, 5 or 7 hole systems are also available, or any combination thereof). Rockwool cubes to start your seeds in and nutrient solution with a measuring syringe are optional extras.

Bonus 1: Get a free digital copy of my book “Cancer Uncensored: Your step-by-step guide to cancer prevention, early detection and cancer survival”, which contains an A-Z list of super foods you can grow yourself (and usually retails for £12.99 in paperback).

Bonus Digital Book

Bonus 2: Receive online access to a series of video tutorials showing you how I plant my seeds, arrange my growing space, and what little day-to-day maintenance is required. Allow my experience to shortcut you to home-grown success!

*DISCLAIMER: Different parts of the country have different micro-climates and levels of sun-exposure so results may vary. Equally, your choice of nutrient solution may dramatically impact upon your results. I can only go by my own results and the feedback from satisfied customers.  Yields quoted are based upon when your plants have matured and can be harvested in stages throughout the growing season – and came from the multi-million selling book “Square foot gardening”.

These hydroponic systems are put together by hand, including the drilling of the lids and the overflow holes. So please anticipate possible minor cosmetic imperfections, which will not be visible when your produce is growing. We have never received any complaints, but in the interests of transparency, I felt it important to mention.

This system is designed for use outdoors or in a greenhouse. The problem with operating it within your home or conservatory is the possibility of odour. Deep water culture systems use a fish tank air-pump to aerate the water and this prevents certain types of bacteria, which cause odour to develop. I am not saying this system cannot be used indoors, but bear this in mind. All of my own systems are operated outdoors so I do not have experience of indoor use to draw upon.  My outdoor buckets have no detectable odour, but I have read that with indoor systems, this could be a possibility.

Systems are sent by 24 hour courier.  Available in the UK only.

If you have any questions, please contact me.  Buy with confidence and happy gardening!

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