Hydro Spinach version 1 day 1

The plan

Wanted grow some spinach. Two reasons, the spinach out of stores is grown in unknown and rumours say in quite the questionable environments. Secondly that thing does not die easy 🙂 Making growing easy as pie... Hopefully. I saw a documentary about some thing or other and in it they showed spinach surviving sub zero temperatures. This I conclude makes spinach easy to grow.

What do we want to have? Grow lights, basic hydroponics, sensors and camera. 

Grow lights will contribute to the grow speed, regardless if there is sunlight or not. 

Basic hydroponics. Air pump and water bump. Works like any other such system.

Sensors. I want to document the grow environment and I found a BME280 by Bosch. It measures air temperature, air pressure and humidity. Also I plan to put a water temperature meter. One I got is called One Wire temperature sensor

Camera for making cool photos so I may do a time-laps on how spinach grows. 


Getting started

I got some plastic boxes. One is about 20cm high and the other is about 40cm high. Problem with both is that they are transparent. To prevent the nutrition solution in the box to start growing algae and other non desirables I wrapped them in white duct-tape. You might have noticed the strips of white paint showing from under the duct-tape. Yes I tried ones again to paint plastic. I roughed the surface with sandpaper before painting. Cleaned it up too well so it has no grease on it. Still the paint pealed off. Got to start remembering that the stupid plastic can not be painted easily enough to be of any use.  In the future no more transparent plastic boxes 🙂


This whole prototype is comprised of four parts. 

Wooden frame. Box at the bottom that houses air pump, power supply and most of the wiring. The grow lights at the top that has the grow led lights, sensor BME280 and a fan. Now the wooden frame started of by just making a box. Sized it to fit under the plastic box. It is 6cm high and the bottom is made of 5mm plywood. That wooden stick sticking out of the box at the back is the spine. It will keep the grow lights at the top and the bottom attached to it. 

I used a router to make a groove into the spine for all the wiring and air pipe. It wiggled like no other. Instead of nice professional looking groove I got a line that looks like a drunk guy pissing on the snow. Well it will do its job. Made a cut into the spine where the plastic boxes handle goes. 

After the box was finished I noticed that it will not be high enough to house the air pump. DAMN! So I added a round of 2cm by 2cm strip extending the high to 8cm. Now it should fit nicely.


Day 1

On thats enough for one day 🙂 Great punch of disappointing errors and still progressing nicely. I'll be growing spinach in no time.

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