What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil. Although plants need light, water, carbon dioxide and oxygen to grow, they do not necessarily require soil—only the vitamins and minerals that soil provides.

Hydroponic plants are grown in an inert medium and fed a balanced, pH-adjusted nutrient solution. The nutrient solution is easily adjusted so that the plants receive just the right amount of food, in the most efficient way.

The Advantages of Growing Hydroponically

Hydroponic growing has various advantages over traditional soil. With the ability to control the plant’s environment by adjusting the nutrients, pH and lighting you can successfully grow in areas normally impossible.

Growing in water eliminates the need for heavy pesticide use because most pests live in the soil, essentially making our food cleaner.

Plants are able to uptake their food with very little effort, as opposed to using soil where their roots reach for nutrients and extract them. Instead, the energy is better spent on vegetative growth and fruit and flower production—resulting in higher yields.

What can you grow?

Fruits & Veggies
Green Leaf Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Boston Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Mustard Greens
Kale
Arugula
Cabbage
Bok Choy
Cherry Tomatoes
Peppers
Chili Peppers
Cucumbers
Spinach
Beans
Strawberries
Herbs
Basil
Perilla
Lemon Balm
Mint
Oregano
Chives
Thyme
Fennel
Cilantro
Parsley
Lemongrass
Chervil
SproutsWheatgrass
Alfalfa
Daikon
Buckwheat

Frequently Asked Questions

GrowBox & GrowWall

Do I have to know how to garden to use a GrowBox or GrowWall?
Not at all! Farming the OPCOM way does not require gardening experience. While it is useful to gain an understanding of how plants grow and what makes them thrive, previous soil-based gardening experience is not necessary. Everyone can grow in their own indoor environment; follow the instructions and check on your water weekly.

Where should I put my unit?
They can be placed anywhere indoors, in a variety of environments – not only in the kitchen or dining room, but also in a hobby room or even spare bedroom.

GrowBox should be on a sturdy surface that can support 70+ pounds. The important thing to remember is to maintain a stable indoor temperature; because of this a garage is not a good option. Note also that GrowWall leans against a wall, and to preview tipover accidents, it must be secured to the wall.

How much space do they take up?
GrowBox has a footprint of 41*28 inches with height starting at 23 inches. GrowWall has a footprint of 58*12 inches, with a height of 75 inches.

What type of hydroponic system are these products?
GrowBox is a Deep Water Culture system, while GrowWall is an Ebb and Flow system, also known as Flood and Drain.

What is the wattage of the light bulbs?
GrowBox: 4 bulbs at 18 Watts each; GrowWall: 5 tubes of 30 Watts each.

Can I use the units in commercial environments?
Absolutely. The systems provide a living, breathing ambience to restaurants and any commercial kitchen or cafeteria such as in offices and hotels. It can serve as a community garden in a condo building. We also highly recommend the products for educational environments.

How much water is required to fill the unit?
Up to max 4.2 gallons for GrowBox, and 7.9 gallons for GrowWall.

Growing

What does hydroponic mean?
With hydroponic gardening, plants grow without soil and receive their nutrients directly to their roots through water. In a hydroponic system, we can control the environment and offer plants optimal conditions for growing.

How often do I need to check pH, nutrients, fill water, or do any other maintenance while plants grow?
Once a week, check EC reading to see if you need to refill nutrients. If refilling, you should wait 30 minutes before checking the pH reading to make sure the water is optimal for the plants to absorb their nutrition. Also check water level to refill what has evaporated or been absorbed by your plants.

How long are water and lights on in Auto-mode?
In Auto mode, lights are 12 hours on, and 12 hours off for both units. The pump cycle is 1 hour on, 5 off for GrowBox, while for GrowWall, the pump is 30 min on, 90 min off. The difference is due to GrowWall being an “ebb and flow” system where roots get water only during pump cycles..

What do I to prevent algae in the unit?
Like your plants, algae also thrive on light and nutrition. To prevent light from reaching the water tank, you may plug unused holes with sponges, and cover the sprout box.

Can I move plants during growth?
Yes, if you move them carefully and make sure roots all are placed down into their new hole, it is not a problem to move them.

Do the units grow marijuana?
The crop has many special requirements, which are not supported by our systems. Our lights are optimized for vegetables and leafy greens, and would not work for that purpose.

How much electricity do the units use, and how much does it cost?
GrowBox uses 0.9 kW per day in Auto mode, and GrowWall uses 2.4 kW. For a typical full growth cycle of lettuce in a GrowBox of 2 days off, 5 days on, and 35 on Auto, the total useage is 35kW. Utility costs vary among markets, but for a national average this is less than $5 per full growing cycle.

Supplies

Are there any subscription fees?
None. You are not tied to special pods or other refills to operate the unit. We provide our seed capsules to optimize your success rate and to control the insertion depth and number of seeds. You can experiment on your own with your favorite seeds.

Where do I get seeds?
We are about to launch seed capsules with additional tested varietals optimized for our systems. Sign up through our contact form to receive our updates!

Do I have to use OPCOM nutrition and supplies? Seeds?
No, you are free to use your own nutrition and ph regulators intended for hydroponic systems. We provide our seed capsules to optimize your success rate and to control the insertion depth and number of seeds. You can experiment on your own with your favorite seeds.

What is in your nutrition? Is it organic?
Our nutrients contain no harmful pesticides or herbicides, and the ingredients can be found below. Nutrients are not regulated in the same way as plants when it comes to the term “organic.” Our plant nutrition comes from a leading American manufacturer, and are made from mineral salts that provide what plants need as they are not living in soil.

Ingredients: 7.0% Total Nitrogen, Containing: 1.2% Ammonium Nitrogen and 5.8% Water-Soluble Phosphoric Anhydride. 6.0% Nitrate Nitrogen. 19.0% Water-Soluble Potassium.

What is the active ingredient in your pH regulators?
pH-: Citric Acid. pH+: Sodium Bicarbonate.

Are your seeds non-GMO and organic?
OPCOM does not use genetically-modified seeds, and is committed to never doing so. Seeds are being tested from various suppliers for optimal success rate in our units, and organic ones will be chosen when possible.

Shipping

Where can I purchase the products?
You can purchase the products directly from OPCOMLink, and from Amazon.

Can I cancel a placed order?
If you bought from the OPCOMLink online store, and call our customer support before your item is shipped, we can cancel the order and return your funds. This does not apply to purchases made through other retailers.

How soon will my order arrive?
If everything you order is in stock, we generally ship your order within one business day of receipt of your order and verification of your credit card. No orders are shipped or delivered on weekends or holidays. We cannot guarantee any particular delivery date. Items ordered together may ship separately.

Do you ship internationally?
For information about international orders, please email us at Sales@OpcomFarm.com.

Warranty & Returns

What is your return policy?
For purchases made directly from the OPCOMLink Store, we offer a 30-day return for credit from date of purchase. All merchandise for return must be in new condition, with its original packaging. Please see the Return Policy document for complete details.

What is your warranty?
OpcomLink USA provides a 1 year limited warranty to the original end user if purchased and operated only in the United States or Canada. The warranty covers defects in workmanship and materials for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. For warranty service, you must provide proof of the date of original purchase. Please see the Warranty Statement located in the user manual for details.

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