I just had the worst vegetable season ever this past year. I moved to a new home and the soil is completely void of nutrients. I amended the soil but since our property is on a slope, the rains this year pretty much stripped and flushed away any good I did. Most of what I do live on is sand.
So next year I'm going to grow using hydroponics, forget about transforming the dead sand, we'll direct feed!
I've dabbled in indoor hydroponics before and so I've an idea of the different systems and how they work but anything that gets done will probably be built by me instead of purchased, not because I'm cheap, but but because I want the flexibility of drilling the holes to make sure it fits my setup instead of adapting to a setup.
I plan to grow tomatoes, squash, greens, melons, beans, and strawberries, and I do not mind adapting different setups to obtain optimal results.
BUT I NEED HELP and opinions:
1) since i'll be growing outdoors, I'm worried about the roots drying up and dying in minutes. I've thought about growing under shade cloth to reduce evaporation but will this hinder growth? We'll have direct sun for a solid 10+ hours in the Summer and some days can regularly get above 105F. Will this intense environment make one type of delivery system better than another? Which over which?
2) Tomatoes can grow quite big and create a huge rootball in the soil. Will growing toms in 6" wire baskets with clay pebbles provide enough support once the roots take hold? or am I going about this wrong?