Hydroponics allows you to garden year-round without the worry of cold temperatures and soil-borne diseases. Homemade deep-water hydroponic systems are inexpensive to make and allow you to learn and experiment with the hydroponics growing process. Hydroponically grown plants grow at a faster rate than those planted in a garden, since you can control the amount of nutrients available to the plants for growth.
Place the cover from an 18-gallon plastic container on a flat surface. Place 3-inch- diameter hydroponic netted pots with the lip side down in three rows and trace around the lip of each netted pot to mark a circle. Find the center of each circle with a compass and draw another circle 1/2 inch inside the marking.
Cut out the inside circle with a sharp blade. Make cuts spaced 1/2 inch apart from the edge of the inside circle to the traced circle. The cuts will bend and hold the netted pot when placed into the cover.
Drill a 1/2-inch-diameter hole above the handle on the side of the container. Feed the air tube through the hole and attach the air stone to the tubing end that is inside the container. Attach the opposite end of the tubing to the air pump on the outside of the container.
Elevate the container by placing it on top of three wood slats to make it easy to clean up spilled water. Set the air pump at least 12 inches from the container and cover it with a small container to prevent water from spilling onto it.
Secure the cover on top of the container and place one netted pot into a hole as a guide for adding water. Fill the container with water until the netted pot is submerged 1 inch into the water. Remove the netted pot for planting and add hydroponic nutrients to the water according to the nutrients' package instructions according to the volume of water in the container.
Plant seedlings into the netted pots by rinsing all soil from the roots and planting them in a soil-less hydroponics medium. Place the planted netted pots into the cover holes, making sure the pots submerge at least 1-inch of water.