How to Assemble a
Homemade Hydroponic System
Hydroponic Gardening involves growing plants without needing to use soil. Anyone with a little bit of space and some time on their hands can assemble a hydroponic garden with ease. Here is how you can do so.
What You Need
- A bucket
- A garden hose
- A pump
- Possibly a grow light if you’re doing it indoors.
- A pH test kit. Have buffer solutions too
- Clips for plants.
- A nutrient tank, preferably 50 gallons.
- PVC Pipe
Getting all of this can be costly, but luckily, you’re all set once you have it.
Step 1: Location
Figuring out where you should put your garden is the obvious first step. Some people will want to put it in a greenhouse, a basement, a deck, or anywhere else in their yard that can fit it. There are many places you can grow your garden, but the most important step is the fact that you need a place that allows for the water and nutrients to evenly cover the area. An outdoor garden may need protection from the wind and other elements, and you need to be mindful of the temperatures. If it’s indoors in a place that lacks light, use some grow lights. This can help substitute the sunlight for artificial light that helps the plants grow.
Step 2: Put Together the Hydroponic
You need to assemble the goods together. You may need six 6” PVC pipes complete with s PVC trellis and stand. In addition, you’ll need to put a tank under the tubes. Put a pump inside the tank to help pump nutrients into the plants. The tubes also have a drainpipe, which puts the water back in the tank. Each tube for the nutrients will have smaller holes that cover the roots of the plants. The water jet can give oxygen via air bubbles, too.
There are many ways you can assemble this. We recommend looking at some tutorials for more information.
Step 3: Combine Water and Nutrients
The tank should be filled, and then add nutrients. Read the label and see how much you need. It’s usually a couple cups, but you may need more or less depending on the type of nutrients. Once you have everything, run the system for about an hour. This makes sure everything is mixed properly.
Step 4: Put the Plants in the Growing Tubes
Planting the tubes can be easy, especially if you have seedlings. This allows you to skip the hassle of seeds, as growing them can be annoying. Purchase healthy seedlings, get rid of the soil. Put it in lukewarm water to wash everything off. Make sure it’s lukewarm, as anything else can hurt the plant. Handle the roots gently and make sure there is no soil. Even a little bit can cause the nutrient tubes to clog.
Put them in the planting cup and use clay pebbles or other filler to keep the plant in its place. This will allow the plant to stay there without hurting the roots.
Step 5: Tying Time
When that is done, make sure you tie your plants to your trellis. This will keep the plants up. In order to be the most effective, tie it loosely on top. Clip and string the plant’s bottoms. Wind the plant’s tips in a gentle manner. Make sure you practice a few times beforehand.
Step 6: Turn it On and Check on It
Regular maintenance is important. Every day, look at the water levels once or twice a day. Make sure the pH and the nutrients are balanced. Also, be mindful of the water levels since the pump can burn when it’s too dry.
Step 7: Look at the Growth
After a few weeks, the plants will grow and surround the trellis. Hydroponic growing allows for fast growth. Clip and tie accordingly and make sure the plants are secured. If you don’t, the plants could become undone.
Step 7: Look at the Health
You should try to proof your garden of pests. Ensuring you have enough ventilation with a properly-sized inline fan is an important step. If you see any signs of pests, or disease, act accordingly. A plant that is chewed or has diseases can hurt the other plants. Take out any plants that are damaged and make sure you’re controlling for pests accordingly.
Examples of pests include caterpillars and other insects. Outdoor growing can especially have a problem with pests, and if they’re inside, you may want to call a pest control.
A hydroponic system is a challenge, but if you’re up to that, you can have a fruitful harvest. Putting together the system is a hassle at first, but if you’re up to the challenge, then you can have a gardening system that may be even more convenient than a regular, soil-based gardening system.