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Hydroponics Garden @ BCL

hydroponics garden

Say "Hello" to Boulder City Library's new hydroponics garden 'Katniss Evergreen McVerneson'.

McVerneson is a 24-pod Aerogarden Farm XL that was purchased by the Boulder City Friends of the Library when our old system 'Verne' had to be retired due to a faulty pump and cracking plastic. 

Currently, McVerneson is growing a variety of lettuces and golden cherry tomatoes.

If you're interested in hydroponics, check out these books!

    • Aerogarden Farm 24 XL purchased by the Boulder City Friends of the Library

      Hydroponic – aeroponics (https://www.hightechgardening.com/how-does-an-aerogarden-work/)

    • Our former hydroponics garden was named Verne after Jules Verne, author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. To honor our former garden in its retirement, we decided to give the new garden the surname McVerneson (meaning son of Verne). Katniss Evergreen was voted on from a list of staff ideas. It is a botanical play on the heroine of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen.

    • Algae can be a problem in hydroponics systems, especially when light is allowed into the water reservoir. Our covers block the unfilled holes to prevent light from getting in and reduce evaporation. We’re hoping to get a new 3D printer soon to upgrade from our cardboard covers.

    • Some plants, like tomatoes, need space to grow. If you crowd too many plants in one area, they don't get the light and nutrients needed to grow strong and fruit.

    • Those are part of the trellis system. Tomatoes grow to be pretty tall and struggle to support the weight of their fruit. Trellis or cages give the plant a place to climb up and hang on.

    • One of the issues with a hydroponics garden is the lack of airflow. When plants grow outdoors, they are blown by the wind which strengthens the stems and leaves. It can also help pollinate plants to make them fruit. We use a fan to simulate the wind indoors.

    • LF One from Hyve (no longer manufacturing gardens)

      Hydroponic – ebb and flow (https://www.hightechgardening.com/hydroponic-system-basics-the-ultimate-guide/#6-types-of-hydroponics-systems #5)

    • Verne was retired when its pump failed. Sadly, the company that made Verne no longer is in the hydroponics garden business and we couldn’t get a replacement pump that would work with the system. The water in southern Nevada is very hard (minerals) and that tends to wear things like pumps out much faster. Even the drain holes had mineral buildup just from the water draining.

      When we were taking it apart for the last cleaning we also noticed cracks forming in the trays that held all the water. The dry desert climate is very tough on plastics. Combine that with our hard water and these things don’t last as long as they should. Upon taking it apart for retirement, we found the cracks were much deeper than we had thought and were very lucky that we didn’t have a flood in the library!