I would like to have advices and informations about the feasibility of my little project.

I would like to create a table with plants in it.

I'm planning to carve a rectangle in my wood table in order to fix some kind of tray under. Then fill this tray with hydrogel beads and fix a LED strip all over the edges.

Then (here comes the point) I would like to have plants living in there !

But as the table still needs to be... A table ! I'll cover that hole with some glass / plexiglass...

So what could be your advice against that project ?

What kind of plants can grow only in hydrogel beads ? (Is there at least one ?) And which of them grow horizontally or at least not that tall because the tray won't be very tall ... ?

Here is a scheme of what I have in mind (Would be good if the tray was much smaller ... ) :

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Pretty much all plants grow towards the strongest source of light. So depending on where your table will stand, that might very well be the led.

Now to actually grow a plant in there, you will need the air to exchange with the air outside the table. Otherwise the led will heat up the air too much and whatever plant you put in, will die. (Yes, even with led there is still too much heat).

But that is not the only reason for having ventilation. Plants evaporate water and so increase humidity. You need to get rid of that too, or the whole thing will rot.

I don't know a lot about hydrogel, but I guess it does not contain any nutrients. You will need to put them in the water. You will also need a way to replenish water obviously.

Edit: You can buy liquid nutrients that are spezialised for hydroponics, so I guess the answer is yes. The light will be needed by your plants, so unless you don't plan to feed them their majority of light through the glass, then it will have to be on for pretty long times. If you plan to let the light through the glass, then the plant will not be growing sideways.

Some small holes will probably not do. You will need to pump fresh air in and have some holes where the surplus can escape.

Now if you plan on making a bottleplant like described in the link from @gardengems, then you will want a closed air system. So no holes, no vents. Also no drainage or watering system, as you water it once before closing the container and that's it. But notice that this can only work, if water condensating on the sides or on top will find it's way back to the roots of the plant.

  • Does liquid nutrients that can be mixed with water exist ? Regarding the Heat of LED ... The table won't be always ON ... I'll turn off light as often as possible. For the air changing system... Does only a small amount of holes in the tray would be sufficent or I need to introduce some fans ?
    – Seba99
    Dec 6 '19 at 9:06

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