FAQs Pindfresh

What is pindfresh?

Pindfresh is a green company focused on educating people and developing newer, better methods to become self-sufficient with regard to food, using hydroponics.
We provide easy, do-it-yourself home kits, learning engagements and consultancy services.

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the method of growing plants using a soil-less medium which instead includes alternatives like: gravel, peat, vermiculite, perlite, old rubber tires, rockwool, and expanded clay aggregates. The minerals that the plant needs are dissolved in the water which is then watered directly to the plants. So, in short instead of the plants searching throughout the soil for their minerals they draw them directly from the water that they are being fed.

Because of the ideal growing conditions, plants are able to grow robust and rapidly regardless of the season outside. Hydroponic farming provides for reliable, predictable, repeatable, safe food production all year round.

What system of Hydroponics is used at Pindfresh?

We use the Deep Water Culture system of Hydroponics. This is the most simple hydroponics system. The Pipe / Pail / pot is filled with nutrient solution. Plants roots are constantly placed in water to obtain enough oxygen. The nutrient solution is replenished on a regular basis. An aeration pump can be used for faster growth. This system is ideal to cultivate small fast-growing plants that need a lot of liquid (for example salad).

What are the Pindfresh products/systems?

PindPipe: the ideal starter system. Grow salads, herbs and more.

PindUno: the educational aid. Grow salads and herbs.

PindPail: for home self-sufficiency. Grow tomatoes, salads, herbs, lemons.

What are the contents of my Pindfresh package?

Your Pindfresh system includes:

  • A PindPipe / PindPail / PindUno (the basic pot which holds the water)
  • Net Pots: made of food grade materials, to hold the seeds and clay balls
  • 3 Bottles of Special Brews (A,B and C): These contain the three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  • A packet of clay balls (leca balls): which act as the inert growing medium.
  • A packet of seeds: plant what you want to eat!

How do I setup my PindPipe™?

(the same instructions will apply for PindUno and PindPail

Setup

Let’s set up your PindPipe™

  • Soak the clay balls in water for about 30 minutes.
  • While the clay balls soak, wash your PindPipe™ and place it on the stands
  • Fill the PindPipe™ with clean water. The water level should be about half an inch below the top of the PindPipe™. To ensure you have enough water, put one net pot into the PindPipe™. More than half of the net pot should be immersed in water.
  • Now remove the net pot and proceed.

Time to put in our special brew into the PindPipe™

  • Add 3 ml, or half a cap full, of each of the three brews (A, B and C) into the PindPipe™.

Final resting place

  • Place the pipe near sunlight (window sill, table, balcony etc.). Ideally they should get 3 – 5 hours of sunlight.

And now the pots

  • Put the net pots into the PindPipe™.
  • Fill them with the soaked clay balls, and ensure that at least ¾ of the pot is filled.
  • Take a few seeds and sprinkle them evenly into each pot.
  • Sprinkle some water on each pot.

Finally!!

  • Now, sit back and watch the plants grow

Steady state instructions

Create the Nutrient Mix

  • Put 6 ml, or one full cap of each of the 3 brews (A, B & C) into a 2 L bottle (A large coke bottle)
  • Fill up the bottle with clean water, and your nutrient mix is ready. This mix will be used to top up the water in the PindPipe™ when the water level is running low.

Once the plants start growing

  • After the plants have started growing, the water level in the PindPipe™ should be about 3 inches from the top such that half the roots of the plant are in water and half are out.
  • Whenever the water level falls – use the Nutrient Mix to top it up.

What should I do for the second crop?

Simply re-order the seeds and nutrients, and start again from step1 of setup. Ensure you put fresh water in the pipe and soak the clay balls / boil them in water to cleanse them before re-use.

Where can I procure new seeds?

Additional seeds (over and above ones provided in your kit) can be procured from our website (www.pindfresh.com) or any nursery

Where can I get additional nutrients?

Additional nutrients, our Special Brews A,B and C can be procured from our website (www.pindfresh.com)

What kind of plants can be grown using hydroponics?

Almost any type of plant can be grown using hydroponics. Usually if you can produce ideal environmental conditions the hydroponic plants will be far superior to plants from the same stock grown in soil.

In our PindPipe™ and PindUno™ some suggested crops are: all types of lettuce and salads, spinach, herbs (coriander, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, sage), tomatoes (with a trellis which can be provided on request), flowers of all types (for eg. gerbera, lilium, anthurirum etc) and house plants.

Our bigger systems, like the PindPail™ can be used to grow (besides all the above) tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot chillies, chard, squash, cucumbers, broccoli, beans, snow peas.

What seeds can be grown in the Pindfresh systems in the various seasons?

As specified above, in the Pindfresh systems you can grow lettuce, spinach, herbs besides flowers and house plants. These can be grown throughout the year. The crop tends to be better in cooler months given the severity of the summers in India. However, with a little climate control (keep in cool areas of the house for some time) and partial (window sill, balcony, verandah) or direct sunlight (terrace, garden), you can enjoy these all year round

When will the seeds start sprouting / start seeing results?

The seeds start sprouting in 5-7 days and you can start enjoying your yield in 3-4 weeks.

Do you really get better yields in less time?

Absolutely. The plants, receiving everything they need, tend to be healthier, faster growing and generally more productive. Since the grower has complete control over what minerals the plants are feeding on and in what quantities, the resultant produce is far superior in taste, color, size, and nutritional value.

What are the advantages of hydroponic gardening and why Pindfresh?

Growing your food in a Pindfresh system you are assured of the quality of your end product.

  1. Crops grow two times faster in PindFresh Systems. It provides controlled environment, and yield is doubled leading to more production from same amount of space. The root systems stay smaller on hydroponically grown plants, so the plant can concentrate its growth energy on producing plant mass, rather than roots.
  2. Hydroponically grown plants do not come in contact with soil borne pests and diseases, thus saving cost of soil preparation, insecticides, fungicides.
  3. Plants will maintain optimum nutrient and moisture levels in hydroponic systems, which offer several benefits: healthier plants, faster growing plants and plants that will be more disease resistant as they are not stressed by drought.
  4. You harvest and eat immediately – so no spoilage of the produce
  5. Plants grown through this technique are healthy and have better nutritional value. It has been proved that vitamin content is 50% more in hydroponically grown plants (in Pindfresh Systems) as compared to conventional ones.
  6. Hydroponically grown plants never get root bound, so they do not need repotting. They have a longer shelf life than soil-grown produce and is clean.

And Finally!

  1. Hydroponic gardening is amazingly stress-relieving and a relaxing hobby, requiring little effort. Moreover it is a great way to spend quality family time.

Can I transfer plants from soil to hydroponics?

Yes, you can all you need to do is wash the roots of the plant by dipping in water and try to remove as much of the soil matter as possible. Be very careful with the delicate roots so the plant doesn’t go into too much transplant shock. After the roots are somewhat clean go ahead and pot the plant in any of your favorite hydroponic media and begin a standard watering regimen.