How to Start a Homemade Hydroponics System


Hydroponics systems allow you to grow plants indoors in a small space without the need for soil. Instead of soil, hydroponics uses a nutrient solution that is mixed in water to provide the nutrition needed for your plants to grow. One of the simplest, and cheapest, ways to start a hydroponics garden is using the buckets system. Using 5 gallon buckets and an air pump to keep the solution moving, this simple system is cheap and easy to execute.

Step 1

Place your pot on top of the lid of your bucket and draw a hole that is wide enough to allow the pot to hang into the bucket but not fall through. Cut out the circle of plastic from the lid.

Step 2

Drill a hole into the lid the size of the air hose and feed the air hose through.

Step 3

Fill the inside of the bucket with your nutrient solution, mixed according to the instructions on the label and to your specific plant's needs.

Step 4

Attach the air hose to the air pump and place the air pump outside of the bucket. Connect the other end of the hose to the air stone and feed the air stone to the bottom of the bucket. Turn on the air pump and test its functionality.

Step 5

Fill the mesh pot with your potting mixture and moisten it with a small amount of nutrient solution. Place your plant inside the potting medium and place the pot in the hole at the top of the bucket.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • 1 air pump
  • 2-foot air hose
  • 1 airstone
  • 3 to 4 inch mesh plant pot
  • Growing medium (perlite or grow rock)
  • Nutrient solution
  • Power drill
  • Knife


  • First Marijuana Growers Page: Basic Hydroponic System
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Home Hydroponics
  • University of Arizona: Six Systems that You Can Build
Keywords: homemade hydroponics, hydroponics system, how-to hydroponics system

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.