Hydroponics uses a water-soluble fertilizer to deliver nutrients to a plant whose bare roots are exposed to the solution or to the roots, which are held in an aggregate such as perlite, vermiculite clay pebbles or another inert material. Simple hydroponic systems are made using recycled materials, and they reuse the nutrient solution that is not absorbed by the plant roots. Nutrient solution is available at most gardening centers as well as from online retailers.
Mix the nutrient solution according to the instructions on the label. Test the pH of the nutrient solution and ensure the pH level is between five and six, notes Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Fill your plastic container with perlite and slightly wet the material by using the nutrient solution. Place a brick under one end of the container so that the container is tilted slightly.
Plant your plants according to the instructions, or at the same depth you received them from the garden center, greenhouse or nursery.
Water the potting media directly one to three times daily using a watering can. Place the second watering can under the spout of the container to catch the runoff. Replace the nutrient solution every 10 to 14 days to keep it fresh.