We recently refreshed one of our very first playlist of video tutorials about getting started with SNAP Hydroponics. According to our user insights, many users are looking for SNAP tutorials online. More than the usual every week. There is still no indication that sustained interest in urban gardening, container gardening and hydroponics is gonna die down anytime soon. With the pandemic still raging more and more people are getting interested in growing their own food.
The short answer is, you can’t. Training is suspended until further notice. Answers to other questions are listed below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When is the training seminar conducted? Is there a schedule?
According to CAFS’ list of IPB Short Training Courses pictured below the schedule is officially to be announced (TBA). Schedule is subject to the availability of the resource speakers. Interested parties are advised to contact UPLB-IPB to inquire about the schedule.
Can the training be conducted elsewhere?
A number of hydroponics practitioner, some of whom are trained in UPLB-IPB conducts their own training seminar on hydroponics in different parts of the country. However, only the ones conducted UPLB-IPB or presented by SNAP developers qualifies as authorized resellers of SNAP nutrient solution for hydroponics.
It is a one day training that typically starts at 8:00AM and ends at around 4:00PM with a one hour lunch break. Light snack and refreshments are provided for free. Lunch however is not. You can bring your own meal or your can buy your one in the venue. Please see these pictures from the training for more information.
Where can I get more information about the short training courses offered by UPLB-IPB?
Is it really that simple to grow your own vegetables with hydroponics?
Simple Nutrient Addition Program or SNAP Hydroponics is a low-cost, low-maintenance hydroponics system that is designed for household or small-scale commercial vegetable production. It enables growers to utilize small spaces typical in urban settings for food production. Developed in the Institute of Plant Breeding, UPLB, it’s been around for over twenty years and has a flawless safety record and impeccable performance even for first time growers. It is very easy to use and easy to learn because it’s just a Simple Nutrient Addition Program.
Ever wondered what FAA, FFJ, FPJ and TM are? They get talked about a lot in gardening communities. They are organic fertilizers that are part of an organic fertilizer kit.
We recently updated our downloads page to include this kit. They are downloadable PDF manuals on organic fertilizer production. These guides are available in Â e-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries by the Department of Agriculture’s e-Extension Program under the course “Organic Fertilizer for Sustainable Agriculture.” The online course was developed by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCARRD).
The following manuals are included in the organic fertilizer kit. It even includes a guide on cost of production.
Fish Amino Acid (FAA)
Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ)
Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)
Tea Manure (TM)
Guide on Cost of Production (CoP)
These guides can also be downloaded in a single zip file in the downloads page.
Hydroponics requires a rain shelter or ideally a green house to protect crops from both rain and pests. Central Luzon State University (CLSU) developed the CLSU Type Greenhouse to provide growers with a low-cost and well designed option that performs well in typical growing conditions in the Philippines. It is ideal for intensive growing operations typical in hydroponics and aquaponics food production.
The illustrations are based on images available in Production of High Value Crops in Greenhouse from the e-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries of the Department of Agriculture’s e-Extension Program with the Agricultural Training Institute.
The bill of materials are also provided and taken from the same e-learning course. Prices indicated are from 2007.
The .dwg file, an AutoCAD drawing, is constructed from measurements provided in the e-learning course.
Is it really that simple to grow your own vegetables with hydroponics?
Simple Nutrient Addition Program or SNAP Hydroponics is a low-cost, low-maintenance hydroponics system that is designed for household and small-scale commercial vegetable production. It enables growers to utilize small spaces typical in urban and peri-urban settings for food production. It can easily be adapted to large-scale commercial vegetable production. Developed in the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), UPLB, it’s been around for 20 years and has a flawless safety record and impeccable performance even for first time growers. It is very easy to use.
“ Gabay sa SNAP Hydroponics Mula Binhi Hanggang Ani” by ME. Playlist is composed of comprehensive video tutorials in Filipino.
Need More Help?
Still not feeling confident to try? Need help getting started? Join SNAP Hydroponics Growers on Facebook. We are a very active community of hydroponics and gardening enthusiasts. We will help you as best we can.
One of the most important factors that determines good harvest under favourable conditions are the seeds and the seedlings raised from them. In this post we’ll discuss the properties of good seed, proper storage of seeds and how to raise healthy seedlings from them.
Good harvests starts with good seeds. Good seeds come from reliable sources. Properties of good seeds are listed below:
Good seeds germinate well. Seeds from reliable sources often list this metric as the germination rate percentage. The higher the percentage the more of the seeds will germinate. For example, in a packet containing 1,000 seeds that list the germination rate as 90%, we can expect to germinate 900 seeds from the packet.
Aside from the percentage indicated in the seed packet, germination rates can also be determined by germination test and floatation test.
Germination test can be performed by attempting to germinate a counted sample from a lot of seed and determining the percentage of seeds that actually germinated.
Most seeds sink in water. Flotation serves as a method to separate viable seeds from seeds of poor quality.
Produces Normal Seedling
Seedlings that sprout from good seeds have healthy radicle, strong stem, healthy cotyledons and vigorous growth.
Good Physical Purity
A good lot of seeds are free from debris like sand, stone, chaff, husks, soil, etc. They are also free of seeds of other varieties or species; immature, broken, undersized, shriveled, diseased and infested seeds.
High Genetic Purity
Good seeds are produced from plants that are bred to preserve the desirable traits and suppress the undesirable traits for a particular crop. Good seeds with high genetic purity consistently displays these traits.
Appropriate Moisture Content for Storage
Good seeds are not too moist that it supports the growth of pathogens and not too dry that seeds lose viability during storage.
Free of Disease and Pests
Seeds that are free of diseases and pests is the start of a good harvest.
Sterilized growing media – sterilized coco peat works well
Sowing tray – a shallow plastic tub with drain holes at the bottom works well
Fill the sowing tray with a layer of moist growing media 2-3 cm thick. Level the media.
Scatter the small seeds uniformly and thinly. The amount depends on your need. Consider provisioning for extra seedlings by about 15% to account for the seed germination rate and other factors that can result in seedling loss.
After sowing, water liberally as needed. Expect germination in 3 to 5 days.
Water the seedlings as needed until they are ready for prickling.
Seed packets usually indicate the batch date or the sow-by-date of the seeds in the packet. When buying seed packets select the ones with a recent batch date or with a sow-by-date that is months into the future. The freshness of the seeds have significant impact on their viability and these dates are a reliable measure of how fresh the seeds are.
To maintain high germination rate of seeds in an open packet, keep them in their original foil packets with the open end folded shut. Keep them in a sealed plastic container and keep them refrigerated.
That’s it! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. Good luck and happy growing!
Replenishment of the SNAP working solution inside the grow box is an important part of maintaining the SNAP Hydroponics system. The amount of working solution inside the grow box will decrease overtime as the solution gets depleted through evaporation and transpiration. In addition, the concentration of nutrients in the solution will decrease as the plants consume them to power their growth.
When initially set up, the bottom of the seedling plugs are immersed in the working solution by about 1-2cm. The working solution enters the cup through the slits and saturates the growing medium. Because of this, the seedlings grow in water logged condition.
To survive being water logged, the plants grow aerial roots. These are roots that are not totally submerged in water and are exposed to the moist air within the grow box.
As the plant grows, more roots will develop and make their way into the working solution. Evaporation and transpiration will reduce the working solution level until it is no longer in contact with the bottom of the cups. At this point, if everything is going well, the medium is no longer in contact with the working solution but the plants still have access to the working solution because roots have grown out of the cup through the slits and into the working solution. The rate at which the working solution level decreases will increase as the plants grow larger.
As the plants develop further, more of the solution will be consumed. It is important to regularly check the working solution level and never let it dry up.
To replenish the working solution add fresh working solution or plain water (details below) to increase the working solution level so that it is just below the bottoms of the seedling plugs. DO NOT return the working solution level to its initial level because this will very likely submerge a majority of the aerial roots and cause the plants to wilt and eventually kill them.
Leafy vegetables generally reaches marketable size by around three to four weeks after transplant and normally doesn’t require replenishment. In cases that they must be kept beyond a month or if the working solution level has gone down faster than normal (specially in the summer months) and the working solution level must be replenished, they should be replenished with plain water. This is because the working solution still has enough nutrients to fuel their growth.
For vegetables that require a longer growing period, replenishment with fresh working solution is required every month. In most cases, the working solution level will go down sooner than a month especially for large plants that transpire water faster. In this case, replenish the working solution level with plain water.
That’s it! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. Happy growing!
The correct mixture of water and SNAP Nutrient Solution for Hydroponics A and B is called the working solution. This diluted mixture contains all the nutrients a plant needs in order to grow. The working solution also regulates its own pH making sure it is in the proper range for optimal nutrient uptake.
How to Prepare the SNAP Working Solution
Start with ten liters (10L) of clean water. Water from regular sources, tap water, well water, etc., works well. The use of pure rain water and pure distilled (reverse osmosis) water is discouraged because pure rain water and pure distilled water has a neutral pH. Sometimes they are even slightly acidic due to the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide gas.
Add 25mL of SNAP A. Mix well. Add 25mL of SNAP B. Mix well. Please note the emphasis on mixing well after adding SNAP A and SNAP B. Either SNAP A or SNAP B can go into the mixture first but do not add both at the same time nor mix SNAP A and SNAP B together before adding them in water. This is because the components of SNAP A and SNAP B will react with each other and will render the resulting solution useless. This is also the reason why SNAP A and SNAP B are in separate bottles.
When properly mixed the resulting working solution has a slightly yellow and cloudy appearance.
Different volumes of working solution can be prepared by mixing SNAP A/B and water in a 2.5mL per L ratio, i.e, 2.5mL of SNAP A and 2.5mL of SNAP B for every liter of water.
To prepare one (1) liter of working solution half a teaspoon may be used because one teaspoon is equivalent to 2.46mL.
SNAP nutrient solution sets from authorized resellers usually comes with measuring cups. To use them fill up the cup with nutrient solution up to the level indicated in the picture below.
White and powdery precipitates may appear in the working solution just after mixing or after a few days or weeks after transplanting seedlings onto the working solution. This is normal, it is not harmful and in will not effect the growth of the plants.
For larger applications, the use of a large 200L drum is recommended. A drum with a 200L capacity can be used to prepare a 201L working solution by simply mixing 500mL of SNAP A (the whole bottle) and 500mL of SNAP B (again, the whole bottle). This 200L working solution is enough for 20 styrofoam boxes which can grow a total of 160 heads of lettuce or other leafy vegetables.
That’s it! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. Good luck and happy growing!
Grow boxes or growing boxes are an essential part of the SNAP Hydroponics system. The grow box acts as a reservoir for the SNAP hydroponic nutrient solution. The grow box also holds the seedling plugs in place. This post is an easy to follow step-by-step guide on how to properly construct grow boxes from used styrofoam boxes (styrobox).
Boxes made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) known commonly as “styrofoam box” or simply “styrobox” make excellent materials for grow box (or growing box). The size recommended for use with “SNAP” Hydroponics is 20â¨‰16â¨‰6. These boxes can hold 10 (ten) to twelve (12) liters of nutrient solution and has enough room to grow up to eight (8) leafy vegetables and up to five (5) fruiting vegetables. Styroboxes of this size are used to transport US-imported grapes and are typically common during the months of September to January. For details please see this styrobox guide.
Styrofoam boxes has ventilation holes running along the edges. In order for the bottom half of the box to hold the nutrient solution it must be lined with a sturdy waterproofing sheet. In this guide we’ll use 20â¨‰30 inch polyethylene (PE) plastic bags.
A styrofoam puncher is required to make holes on the upper half of the grow box for the seedling plugs. A tin can of the appropriate diameter for the seedling plug can be made into such a tool. For details please see this guide on making DIY styrofoam puncher.
This will be used to hold the lining material in place and optionally cover the ventilation holes.
A bamboo stick or similar implement is used to draw guidelines on the styrofoam. It is also used to safely remove the styrofoam piece from the styrofoam puncher after each cut.
Prepare the Styrobox
Although styrofoam grape boxes are of the same size, the way their upper and lower halves are designed to fit together are different depending on the manufacturer and the manufacturer’s type designation as discussed in the video below. This means the upper and lower halves of the styrobox won’t fit properly if they are not of the same type.
The styrobox has a locking tabs to keep it shut. To open the box press on the lower half at the middle of one of the shorter side to release the lock then pull the upper half away.
We recommend wiping the styrobox down with a clean rag to remove dust, grease and/or moisture. These can cause tape, which we will be using to hold the plastic liner in place, to fail.
Work on the Upper Half of the Grow Box
Turn the upperhalf of the styrobox over and place it on a flat surface. You may also put a piece of plywood or cardboard in between the surface and the styrofoam to prevent the surface from being damaged by the styrofoam puncher during the cutting step of the procedure.
Draw guide lines connecting the ventilation holes from opposite sides of the box as illustrated below. A hole should be made where the lines cross.
To make holes, put the sharp end of the styrofoam puncher on the styrofoam and apply pressure to score the surface. Hold the tool by the handles and apply pressure while moving the tool in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction making tool cut deeper through the foam. Continue this process until the tool cuts through the foam.
Gently pull out the styrofoam puncher. A circular piece of foam will be left on one end of the tool. Use the stick to safely push one side of the piece into the tool. This will cause the piece to rotate and the other side be pushed out of the tool allowing you to safely grab and pull it out the styrofoam piece from the styrofoam puncher.
Repeat this process to create the rest of the holes.
It is strongly recommended that you use packing tape to cover the ventilation on this half of the styrobox if your growing area does not have protection from mosquitoes. This will deny mosquitoes access to the nutrient solution and stop them from breeding in the grow box.
Work on the Lower Half of the Grow Box
Start by preparing pieces of packing tape roughly 3 inches long. Position the 20â¨‰30 plastic liner as shown below. Since the box is 20â¨‰16 in size, the plastic liner should exceed the length of the box by 5 inches on both ends and exceed the width of the box by 4 inches on both sides. These measurements makes it easy to center the plastic liner on the lower half of the grow box.
Fold both ends of the plastic liner as shown below.
Fold both sides of the plastic liner allowing the plastic liner to fit and “fall through.”
At this point the edge of the plastic liner should be flush along the length of the grow box. Tape them in place at the center of the length of the grow box as shown below.
Add tape on the same sides of the grow box but towards the corner as shown below. Note how the tape only holds the side flush edge of the plastic liner and not the folded part of the adjacent side.
Repeat for the rest of the corners.
With the plastic liner fixed into position by tape you should now be able to grab the folded ends of the plastic liner and pull it towards the side of the grow box. The plastic liner will make a triangular shaped fold at the corners.
With a helping hand or with the use of clip to hold the plastic in place for you, tape the ends of the plastic liner to the side of the grow box. Tape the corners first then tape the center. Note that the plastic exceeds the height of the grow box’s wall along its width and the plastic will go over the styrofoam as you tape it in place. Repeat this process on the opposite side.
Your grow box is now complete.
Remove the Locking Tabs (Optional)
The upper half of the styrobox has tabs that locks it in place on top of the lower half. When the grow boxes are packed close together this locking mechanism can make it difficult for you to open the grow box to examine what’s inside. You may opt to remove them by cutting them off with a box cutter.
That’s all there is to it! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. As always good luck and happy growing!