Have you heard about the Slucket, yet? More than just a fun thing to say, a Slucket is a simple hydroponic grow bucket invented and made right here in the USA. Slope + Bucket = Slucket.
After coming across Slucket at the Maximum Yield Expo in Novi, Michigan, in spring 2016 for the first time, I knew it would not be the last. Their innovative growing technology combined with their positive spirit encourage me to delve more into what exactly they are doing and how their presence in the industry will impact growers around the globe. Joshua Carmody, director of operations at Slucket, shares how they got started, what they’re focusing on these days, and where they see themselves in the future.
How and when did Slucket get its start?
Matt Carmody, CEO of ZW Plastics and owner of Slucket, created the Slucket system after being an avid gardener for many years. Between the two companies, we own both the plastic recycling centers and injection mold shop where the Slucket is manufactured in Michigan. This is a one-stop shop from beginning to end. The Slucket 10-gallon bucket has been on the market since January 2016, when we did our first industry trade show in Denver, Colorado. Our biggest takeaway from the expo was that there is a huge demand for a multiple-use hydroponic system that uses containers such as ours. We have since improved upon our original design, which hatched a new, revolutionary way of using the Slucket.
What is your signature product and how does it work?
Matt created a new process for recirculating deep water culture (RDWC) with the Slucket. The Posiflow by Slucket system has two manifolds: the lower manifold to force the water up through the port at the bottom of the Slucket, and the top manifold for returning the water back to the control bucket. This allows growers to have a central bucket for controllers and dosing nutrients. One of the greatest features of the Posiflow system by Slucket is that it allows for the total evacuation of the nutrient solution, leaving zero residuals behind when doing water changeouts. This is achieved by using the same pump that floods the system to empty it as well through the centralized drain in each site. Growers will save massive amounts of time while maintaining a cleaner system overall compared to other RDWC systems.
What’s been the response so far from gardeners?
Growers with prior RDWC experience are thrilled they are finally able to drain the entire content of the system in minutes, which keeps the system cleaner and running optimally for longer periods of time. This feature helps to maintain a more sterile environment in RDWC, which is crucial due to the increased threat of waterborne diseases. The Posiflow system also allows each growth module to fully cycle every four minutes, so you don’t have to wait for the water to pull through your entire system since each module is independently fed.
What level of expertise is your system best suited for?
The Posiflow system by Slucket is user-friendly and effective for growers from beginners to advanced. Regardless of skillset, most growers value that the system runs efficiently and is easy to maintain. These systems come ready to grow within 10 minutes of opening the box. All the parts are packaged and ready to assemble with no need to cut or glue any pieces. It’s literally like putting Lego pieces together.
Do you have other products or developments in the pipeline?
We are working on producing a container for the soil and coco market. These containers will have a front drain port, making it easier to hook up drain lines. We are also developing multiple hydro bucket sizes to make the system more customizable.
What does Team Slucket enjoy doing during their time off?
Matt, the owner, is huge into dirt car racing. We sponsor a local car, and during the season we spend our Saturdays out at the track. Working in the garden is also a big part of how we spend our time—it’s a great way to relieve stress!
Where do you see the business in the future?
We have many containers that will hit the indoor gardening industry within the next five years. In this market, we ultimately aim to offer the only growing container gardeners will ever need. Through our extensive experience with the entire industrial process of recycling plastics, we have overengineered the Slucket to ensure durability in the growroom. Our team also plans to take our patents into other markets, as there is a universal demand for containers that have a bottom drain.