A zero maintenance hydroponic planter allows local food production in arid environments with minimal water consumption and eliminates detrimental runoff.
My device consists of
1) The reservoir
2) a fixed-position seed grid
3) a planter section
4) a reflective decal and
5) biomass base.
The reservoir provides 150% of the water required to grow the plant to fruition.
Initial setup requires filling both the reservoir and planter section with water/nutrient mixture then adding a layer of mulch/compost to the bottom.
This device uses non-circulating, hydroponic methodologies (http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hawaii/downloads/Three_Non-circulating_Hydroponic_Methods_for_Growing_lettuce.pdf).
As such, the full planter initially irrigates the sprouting seed.
As water evaporates and transpires through the plant, 50% of the roots will be exposed to oxygenating air.
The remaining 50% of the roots will penetrate the mulch layer to reach to reach the water and nutrients below.
The level of available water is then held at a constant level by the vacuum effect in the reservoir.
The purpose of the optional reflective decal is to back reflect incident sunlight in low light environments or seasons.
Set up the device in 5 minutes, then return 90 days later to harvest the hydroponic vegetables.
This innovative design eliminates all moving parts making the device fail proof.
It is easily manufactured via extrusion molding of two pieces, which are then heat fused into one, leak-proof assembly.
It is extremely marketable to the home gardeners as well as commercial applications. Lastly, it provides a zero maintenance alternative for live office plants.