Organic Homemade Hydroponics

Overview

Building an organic homemade hydroponic system requires a few basic materials, along with an understanding of how best to use nutrient flow rates to create a soil-free, regulated growing environment for your plants. The materials involved in creating and maintaining a hydroponic system are easy to obtain. Almost every needed resource can be purchased at non-specialty stores.

Basic Setup

Purchase or make a rectangular, watertight container. The plants will need to be suspended about three inches above the bottom of the container on an open shelf. Line the bottom of the container with an absorbent material, also referred to as "grow media," that will soak up water and nutrients. Popular absorbents include coconut fiber. Install lighting above your container to provide the energy for growth. Try to use HID, or high-intensity discharge lamps, as this lighting puts out a great deal of heat, and tends to last longer than other forms of lighting. Treat your lamps like the sun; hook them up to a timer so that you have "day" and "night" sessions for your plants. Make one hole in your container for a pipe that will lead to your nutrient source. You should seal the edges where the pipe meets the container so that it will not leak.

Creating a Flow of Nutrients

The most vital component to any homemade organic hydroponic system is the flow of nutrients. Because hydroponic systems do not use soil, plants must receive all the nutrients they would normally receive in soil, including regular exposure to oxygen. A standard aquarium pump, hooked to a timer, will provide your system with the needed flow and subsequent removal of nutrients through the pipe in the container. As nutrients gradually are absorbed into the grow media at the bottom of the container, the draining action pulls in the sufficient amount of oxygen that the plants need. Selecting the nutrients for your plants will vary depending on what you are specifically trying to grow. Also, the number of times you should activate your nutrient pump to flood the container varies on how large your plants are, and how quickly the excess water is absorbed. Make sure to change your grow media on a regular basis, so that your excess water is absorbed at an appropriate rate, and you do not inadvertently starve your plants because you are waiting for oversaturated grow media to absorb more excess water. Generally speaking, you should flood your container at least three times a day. Do not allow your system to dry out.

Keywords: hydroponic system, nutrient flow, hid lamps
Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Organic Homemade Hydroponics