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T.A.Q. By Taylor Peek Alex Becker Quentin Frost December 15,2011 Principles of Technology Mr. Rackauskas 1 st Block. Introduction.

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t a q


By Taylor Peek

Alex Becker

Quentin Frost

December 15,2011

Principles of Technology

Mr. Rackauskas

1st Block


In this presentation we will explain how to grow tomatoes using hydroponic technology. The presentation will have the research, purpose, and procedure behind using the Ebb and flow hydroponic system.

There will be diagrams of the design we used for our system. Included will be redesign and prototype of the system we built. We will include data and graphs of how are experiment went.

  • What is hydroponics?
    • Plant growth with roots suspended directly into water with nutrients, but with no soil.
  • Who would use and benefit from hydroponics?
    • Farmers and gardeners can benefit by growing their crops hydroponically.
    • People wanting to grow vegetables without using a lot of pesticides and chemicals.
    • Consumers wanting more organically grown vegetables.
research cont
Research Cont.
  • Who is credited with creating/discovering the techniques of hydroponics? Any relevant history to practice?
    • Hydroponics dates back to before the 1600”s.
    • Aztec’s of America grew floating gardens in Lake Tenochtitlan, which is now what we call Mexico.
    • In late 1920’s and 1930’sDr. William F. Gericke of the University of California extended his laboratory experiments and work on plant nutrients. In doing so he termed these Nutriculture systems "hydroponics".
research cont1
Research Cont.
    • In 1936, W. F. Gericke and J. R. Travernettie from the University of California published an account of growing tomatoes in water and nutrient solution.
    • During the late 1940’s, Robert B. and Alice P. Withrow working at Perdue University developed a more practical hydroponic system.
  • Hydroponic Advantages.
    • More efficient than soil systems.
    • Farming for urbanites.
research cont2
Research Cont.
    • Labor saving, no weeds.
    • Superior taste and nutrition.
    • Green farming, organic.
    • Pests and diseases are easier to get rid of.
  • Disadvantages to hydroponics.
    • Time and commitment.
    • Initial expense.
    • Hydroponics stimulate environment for salmonella growth.
research cont3
Research Cont.
  • What are and could be the side effect of hydroponics?
      • Lack of bacterial effects that applies to similar soil grown vegetables.
      • When bacteria latches onto plant roots it provides immune factors.
research cont4
Research Cont.
  • Major technique variations used in hydroponics.
    • Static solution – plants are grown in containers of nutrient solution.
    • Flow solution – uses submersible pump and nutrient system continually flows over roots.
    • Aeroponics – system where roots are continually or discontinually kept in environment where nutrient drops of solution are kept on roots and suspended in air.
research cont5
Research Cont.
  • Flood and Drain Sub-Irrigation – Easiest system, there is a tray above reservoir of solution. Plants usually grow directly in tray or in pots planted on tray.
  • Run to Waste Hydroponics – Nutrient and water solution is periodically applied to the medium surface. Excess solution is not re-circulated.
  • To grow plants using Ebb and Flow hydroponic system.
    • To grow vegetables for next year for the lunch room.
    • So we can experiment growing plants in a soil-less medium.
  • Materials Used
    • Five big PVC pipes, Eight elbow pieces, and two end caps
    • A tub.
    • An aerator pump.
    • Hose
  • To redesign our system we could have taken it all apart and glued all of the pipes to the elbow pieces to prevent leaks to preserve water.
  • We also could have thought something up to clean the inside of the pipes of bacteria. The whole bottom of the pipes are covered in bacteria.
  • The big problem is that we eventually lose all of our water out of our tub because of leaks. We have to go into the greenhouse to refill our water about every 3 or 4 days.
prototype design
Prototype Design
  • We basically took a design off of the internet and just made a bigger version of it. At first we wanted to make it just 2 pvc pipes but we extended it to 5. Our design has few errors and all of them were easily fixed.


Observation Dates

  • Plant one and three showed the best growth results.
  • Plant 2 had the least growth.
  • Our project ended up working out good because we had growth with every plant and we could hold a lot of plants. If a person was to perfect this system it would end up working out great. They could grow many tomato plants after about 3 to 4 weeks of growing.
  • We put to much nutrients on some of the plants and it killed them.
  • We had a few leaks but we fixed them.
  • Pump stopped working