Not quite hydro because this system has soil but also has a water reservoir at the bottom of the pot. Still a great way for us to grow peppers is in the EarthBox system.
January is usually book and seed time with some thoughts about next seasons explorations too.
I like to check out the garden books at the library and see what I haven't seen before or what might give me a new bit of info. "Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook" by Ron Kujawski and Jennifer Kujawski ($14.95 Storey)was a new one for me. I found the premise exactly what one needs to prepare and execute the garden success plan. The sub title is: Perfectly Timed Gardening for you most bountiful harvest ever - and I think with their plans it might work. The average frost free chart in the back of the book shows they are thinking about everyone not just their neck of the woods - western Massachusetts. I like it - maybe it will be on my shelf too.
The other book "The Vegetable Growers Handbook" by Frank Tozer ($22.95 Green Man)is a manual about 200 common vegetables with good information on each one - an introduction, nutritional content, soil, planning and planting suggestions, care, harvest and cooking suggestions and a few recipes. I just liked the format and all the information about each vegetable. Take a look at them both if you can and I think that you will like one for sure if not both.
Also this week a serendipitous trip took me into a new, for me, garden store here in town. Garden Supply Guys on the west side of Green Bay, off of Velp Ave ( 752 Memorial Drive) is a Indoor, Outdoor, Hydro and Organic supply place. (gardensupplyguys.com) What piqued my interest was all the equipment that is out there for the indoor grower. Way back when my greenhouse failed and became too expensive to heat through the winter; I built a light area in the basement which I still use. Shop lights and fluorescent fixtures with gravel filled trays became a place for me to winter over some of my plants and continue to grow orchids. That poor stuff is so primitive compared to what is available today. And along with improved light structures there is hydroponic equipment that is seriously tempting me. With some of the new systems of light and hydro setups I could have lettuce and herbs all Wisconsin winter down in the basement. The space requirements have been reduced and the engineering has improved so that it just looks like something that might be in our future here. Plus when I saw a guy in Missouri growing orchids in quarry caves I knew indoor gardening was here for sure.
Next week I have a visit to Fox Valley Technical College to get some more information and my good friend, Jim Beard, hints that a basic Hydro course might be in the works for next year at the college - might mean back to school for me - we'll see. For now its fact finding on hydroponics and what it all entails.