Hello everyone. I am looking for someone with experience who can advise me while I create a hydroponic setup to extend the length of my farm’s salad and cilantro production. I used to have a large farm but last winter moved to a small plot of land so I could better utilize a warehouse for mycology cultivation. The plot of land is very shady and already my salad has almost come to a halt from lack of sun, but fortunately I have access to 200amps of electricity and a spare garage, plus an exterior greenhouse I recently built connected to the warehouse.

I am planning on doing a NFT system with channels and long strips of grow media that I’ll grow a hedge row of cilantro, lettuce and mustard on, as opposed to the drop in plug channels. I plan on making 4x4ft nft tables, that dismantle so I can operate them in a greenhouse when it’s warm, or bring them inside during the winter and stack them for space.

My biggest question is about nutrients, does anyone have experience with non-synthetic nutrients? They don’t have to be OMRI certified, but if there is a cost effective nutrient or even a recipe to DIY from organic field nutrients that I can convert into water soluble, through some vortex or air/bacteria method, I would love to hear whatever you all have to suggest.

I did a test hydroponic system this year, it was more of a planter pot garden on a lawn with the best sun, that the landlord wouldn’t let me turn into garden beds. I fed them primarily every week with 5-5-5 fish, as well as cal-mag and bloom for strawberries, plus preumpt micro nutrients. It was a great success, but I would like to take the soil out of the equation for obvious reasons, as well as make it more compact, faster to construct, and be profitable in any indoor situation, while creating about 20-30lb of salad a week. I plan on doing this with panda plastic that goes ontop of a metal frame of channels, this way cleaning will be easy as pulling the plastic out will also pull the substrate. The substrate will sit on top of drywall vinyl inside corner bead, which has holes in it and will allow for water to flow underneath in theory, while also being rather durable for longevity. the nft run off will go into a gutter.

Thank you everyone for any advice you have to offer, very excited to take another step forward in this dream of hydroponics I’ve always had.

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