Growing your own vegetables can be a very rewarding hobby that you can do this 2018. It is a sustainable way to feed your family with pesticide-free produce all-year round. This hobby can also be turned into a business for home-based Filipinos who want to supplement the family’s income. But what if you do not have enough garden space in your home, or maybe you are living in the middle of the metro where space is a luxury? If so, Hydroponics technology could be the answer you’ve been looking for. With hydroponics gardening, you will be able to grow plants in your garage, on your patio, or even inside the house! It offers a low-cost solution to the rising food prices that impose a severe burden on the family’s finances.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a centuries-old system of growing plants by only using water instead of soil. In place of soil, hydroponics growing uses an inert media soaked in a nutrient-rich water. The nutrients and water are added right to the root system. This technique allows the plants to absorb nutrients efficiently than when using soil.
Advantages of Hydroponics
Here are the proven benefits of growing plants hydroponically:
- It allows you to grow more plants per square foot of garden space. Since water and the nutrients are directly fed to roots, you can grow plants closer to each other without worrying about nutrient deficiency due to root space competition.
- Hydroponically-grown crops do not need pesticides and other chemicals since they are grown in a controlled environment.
- Vegetables that are grown hydroponically are said to be superior in nutrition and taste compared to the conventionally-produced crops.
- You do not have to worry about tilling the soil, weeding, fertilizing, and other dirty jobs involved in the conventional gardening.
Setting up a simple hydroponics garden
Most commercial hydroponics farm uses the state of the art equipment in their operations. It involves pumps, aerators, growing lights, and climate control systems. These equipment use electricity to supply the requirements of the plants to survive. Modern hydroponics setup also needs a large start-up capital and with the current power situation in the Philippines, where power outage is a norm, hydroponics systems relying on electricity may not be a viable option.
To address these issues, Filipino scientists Dr. Primitivo Jose Santos and Eureka Teresa Ocampo of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB) developed the Simple Nutrient Addition Program or Snap. This system uses cheap and recyclable materials and does not require electricity. It uses simple methods in producing crops at a very low cost. With SNAP, having your own hydroponics garden doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated.
To know more about Snap Hydroponics System, please watch this video:
Setting up the SNAP Hydroponics system
Here is a detailed set of instruction on how to set up your very first hydroponic garden. You need to prepare the following materials before you start growing your vegetables. These materials are readily available in the market and DIY shops:
- Growing boxes– You can use styrofoam trays from the local fruit vendors as your growing box. I usually buy the boxes at 20 pesos apiece but you may ask your suki to get them for free.
- Coconut coir or peat – You can find it at some DIY stores like Handyman and Ace Hardware. It is made from coconut fibers and usually packed in well-compressed blocks. It is 100% organic and eco-friendly. This will serve as the growing medium.
- Seeds– Buy seeds from your local agricultural suppliers, supermarkets, and DIY stores near you. As a beginner, you can start by growing leafy vegetables like lettuce, pechay, mustard or mustasa, and spinach. They are very easy to grow using the SNAP hydroponics technology.
- Plastic container– It can be a used shallow food container made of plastic. This is where you will germinate the seeds.
- Styrofoam or plastic cups– This will serve as your net pots. An 8-oz coffee styrofoam coffee cup will do.
- SNAP nutrient solutions– SNAP A and B are concentrated complete solutions made up of macro and micronutrients the plants would need for growth. You can source them directly from UPLB-IPB or from online authorized sellers.
Here are some of the best video tutorials on setting up your first hydroponics project. Please follow all the instructions carefully. Credits to ANC Alerts and Mr. Ian Tan for the videos.
Where to buy the SNAP Solutions and other materials?
You can buy the SNAP Hydroponics solutions directly from the manufacturer or thru authorized resellers. These authorized resellers accept online orders and can ship your orders anywhere in the Philippines.
SNAP Authorized Resellers:
Jose Diego E. Roxas
Paranaque City, NCR
09062084851 (also selling coco peat blocks and seeds)
Nilda Anonuevo Broncano
Also sells: UV plastic for roofing, B-net for shading, sterilized cocopeat, net pots, hydrocorn and hydroton.
Hydroponics Garden Supply
195 National Highway Brgy. Sala
0915 335 1983
Ms. Nilda Broncano
Bulacan and Metro Manila Areas
Rosario S. De Guzman
Iloilo, Aklan or Panay Areas
Mr. Orly Manuel
Credits to SNAP Hydroponics Growers Facebook Page for the supplier list.
With SNAP hydroponics, you can grow your own food and save money. It also offers a great business opportunity so why procrastinate? The best time to start your hydroponics garden is now!
If you have questions and inquiries, you can drop a comment below. Thank you!
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