Hello Mutineers! If you’ve followed us here on the website or on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, you know that I like to share the things we actually use around Mutiny Ranch. Since our interests are diverse these items range from animal care to gardening implements but also footwear and kitchen gadgets. No matter what the item is though if we recommend it here then we personally own and use it or have researched it enough to have it on our “wishlist”.
The Mutiny Ranch Item of the Day for 11/23/2021 is the Singes Hydroponics Planting Kit. Disclaimer, I’ve only had my system set up for 3 days but I’m really impressed so far and the price just dropped again. It’s cheaper to buy the kit than to try to buy the parts and pieces separately to build your own. Plus, it’s extremely easy to assemble and headache-free.
I’ve been toying with the idea of “legit” hydroponics for a few years but always felt intimidated by the pumps and water levels and space usually required for such things. I’ve also had great success with the Kratky Method of hydroponics which is super simple (see my setup here)…no pumps, no hassle. But, so far, I haven’t been able to keep up with the demand for lettuce around here.
While I was building the rescue animal’s Wish Lists I stumbled across this hydroponic planting kit on the Walmart website. I’m sure my computer spies on me…why else would it pop up?! Although the ratings were good (4.1) I was still hesitant to pull the trigger. Was this just a cheap Made in China piece of garbage? Would it even show up (the order page makes it look like it’s shipping from China)? Will it be missing parts with no recourse to make things right?
Well, here’s my experience…
First, it shipped immediately and arrived earlier than expected…I suspect they have stock in a Walmart warehouse since mine had a return label from New Jersey. Second, all the parts and pieces appeared to be regular PVC. The holes cut out for the plants were all pretty clean and evenly spaced. It was also very clean (no debris leftover from cut parts). Best of all, as I assembled the kit I found not a single piece was missing.
This is a (pretty much) complete kit. It comes with almost everything you need to start growing. Included are all the PVC pipes and fillings to make the stand and to run the pipes for the water to flow through. It also comes with a tiny little pump, tubing, net pots, and foam seedling holders. What you’ll need to add is a container to hold a few gallons of water (I’m currently using a 4 gallon Sterilite storage box), nutrients (plants can’t live on water alone…I use Texas Tomato Food), and seeds (below are a few of my favorite sources). You might also want to add lights…I highly recommend Barrina lights as an affordable and reliable alternative to expensive grow lights. The link below is for a 6 pack of super bright lights in the 3-foot length…currently less than $45.
I chose the 108 plant set up (three tiers) and am happy that it doesn’t take up too much room. It’s roughly 41″ long and 20″ wide. It stands about 46″ tall. Since it’s winter here in SW Colorado I’ll be using my system indoors. My goal is to grow all of the lettuce we need for the pigs and ourselves. As of today, the 3 packs of romaine lettuce from City Market (Kroger’s) are $4.49 each. We, humans, go through at least 3 packages a week. The pigs have been getting one head of iceberg lettuce per day ($1.69 each). That comes out to $25+ per week combined. The hydroponics kit was $91 when I purchased it…so one month of lettuce will cover the expense of the kit.
I’ll be experimenting with adding a timer to the pump to see how this works as an ebb and flow system. That simply means having the pump run for a set amount of time and then turning it off, cycling several times a day. This is accomplished with an inexpensive plug-in timer. Click the image below to order…currently has a 10% coupon. Right now my pump is on 24/7 but it’s small so I don’t think it’s consuming a ton of electricity.
Now, for even better news…the kit I purchased has gone down in price. It’s currently $72.59 and that includes free shipping in the US. I have no idea how long it will be available or if the price will change again (up or down). They have several smaller sizes available at lower price points too.
A few notes…I (Lynn) put this together myself in less than 30 minutes. It comes with a little mallet to secure the pieces together. I did not use the plumber’s tape that came with the kit nor did I glue any parts together. The pipes fit together tightly and I haven’t experienced any leaks. I’m testing out the foam blocks that came with the kit against the Rapid Rooter Plugs I use with my Kratky system. It’s hard to tell if the foam cubes are holding enough moisture to allow the seeds to germinate. I’m
lazy busy and want to see if I can get the seedlings to grow in the blocks to avoid the extra work of transplanting tender sprouts. As of this writing, Texas Tomato Food was unavailable through Amazon. I found it for a few dollars cheaper here.
My favorite source for seeds:
TrueLeafMarket.com – Huge Selection of Organic Seeds
I’ll be updating the progress on Instagram (@talesfromthemutiny) as well as on our YouTube channel…be sure to subscribe!
As always, we sincerely appreciate it when you use our links to make purchases through our affiliate links. As Amazon Affiliates and True Leaf Market Affiliates, we may earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. This money goes toward our rescue animals’ upkeep as well as to help assist the rescues of other animals.
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