Tiny garden

Dear Ed,
I want to grow a a 2.5 x 4 foot closet, which is 6 feet high. What lighting and hydroponic systems do you recommend? Or would you recommend soil? What about Emily’s Garden? Is it real or a joke?

JR, the Novice,
Los Angeles, CA

The total area of your garden is a little more than 10 ft2. You could use either a 400 or 600 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) lamp. The 400 would supply an input of 40 watts per ft2 to the garden, while the 600 would supply 60 watts per ft2. The yield would differ both quantitatively and qualitatively. The higher wattage lamp would produce about 50% more buds which are tighter and have a bit more potency.

For so few plants I would recommend either a planting mix which is hand-watered or watered using a wick system, or a recirculating system using hydro-stones (baked clay pellets) as the planting medium. All are easy to set up and maintain and will produce a large yield.

I developed the Liz’s Garden for HydroFarm. They renamed it Emily’s Garden after a big drug scare in the US. I am not associated with the product commercially now. This system works very well, and is also easily constructed. Imagine a tray with sides about six inches high. Six inch planting containers, preferably square, are placed in the tray in rows touching each other. They are filled with grow rocks. Water is placed in the container to a level of two inches. Voila! The reservoir hydro-garden is ready. Maintain the water level by adding solution as needed, which may be daily. This system works very well. However, the addition of a small pump and a dripper or constant flow of water will increase growth and yield considerably.

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