Hydroponics ain’t for suckers. And green beans are confidence builders.

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So I’m attempting a new garden thing this year as opposed to the last two wherein I basically killed everything I tried to grow. The slaughter wasn’t the result of incompetence, depending on which plant death we’re talking about, but rather it was an issue of time management.

I think I’ve analyzed the problem in my head enough to see that in the early season, when it’s time for seed sprouting and such, the weather outside isn’t great. Thus, the inevitable result is lots of indoor (free) time, itching for something to do, combined with a bombardment of seed catalogs.

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Oh, don’t you just long for a juicy, vine-ripened tomato or something?

Seed starting is a great winter blues fix because you’re dreaming of warmth, sunshine, and yummy fresh market food. However, as soon as that sunshine starts warming up your neck of the woods suburbs/city, it’s out the door you go, and in with the doom for your your little seedlings just when they need you most.

Cue sad violin.

It’s quite possible that I am the only seed starter with this recurring seed nightmare, but that’s okay. I’m determined to find a solution that works for me instead of against me, and a hydroponic system just might be the ultimate solution to my issues.

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Call me a dreamer, but this might actually work.

This would legitimately be a “grass is greener” situation since that’s what I’m going for, green plants as opposed to brown ones. As a logical (yet creative) person, I like all of my variables to be controllable. No, I’m not a control freak. I just don’t like not being able to control everyth…oh, nevermind.

Anything soil-based is full of unknowns that become “knowns” only when a problem arises. A water-based system has clear liquid that I can dip a stick into for a chemical measure and gives me the ability to visually assess any problems in the entire food system with my own green eyes (as opposed to a diagram in a garden magazine or something).

I (with help) built a constant water cycling hydroponic system already, but I didn’t get a powerful enough pump. While I’m waiting for my new pump to arrive, I’ve tried an experiment using Pinterest-inspired wide-mouth Mason jars combined with soil-free medium and hydroponic baskets.

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Do me proud, little beans.

I already sprouted my seedlings in some plastic bags with wet paper towels, and I chose the green beans to be my guinea pigs since those little buggers have always been pretty strong and resilient in my prior experiences.

We’ll see how this goes! I’ve got plans for a cute, French country-looking window trellis if things “take off”, but I’ll leave the supplies at the hardware store for now and just wait. I need to mix up some of the plant nutrients later tonight along with a hundred other personal catch up to-dos, but it shall happen!

And that’s my share!

-DJ

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