Hydroponics Waterfarm Bucket Instructions


General Hydroponics WaterFarm Bucket systems are a great setup for the beginning hydroponic gardener. They are self-contained and can support five small plants or one large plant, and can be operated as either a deep-water culture or an ebb-and-flow system. Growing vegetables and herbs in a WaterFarm Bucket is relatively simple, and its compact size means that you can grow plants in even the smallest space.

Get the Lighting Right

Plants need ultraviolet (UV) radiation in order to perform photosynthesis. Find a location with plenty of sunlight to set up your WaterFarm Bucket. If you do not have an ideal location, you can supplement the available sunlight with artificial UV radiation from specially designed hydroponic grow lights.

Choose the Right Plants

A WaterFarm Bucket can grow five small plants or one large plant. Carefully rinse as much of the dirt as you can from the roots of the plants and transplant them into the clay pebbles in the growth tray. If you choose smaller plants, space them evenly around the outside of the drip ring. If you choose one larger plant, place it in the center of the growth tray. You can grow tomatoes, beans or peas, or other vine plants in a WaterFarm, but be sure to supply a support structure. A net-style support, with strings pulled tight between two posts, works well because it does not block the available sunlight. Weave the young plants through the netting every few days.

Monitor the Nutrient Solution

You will need to monitor the nutrient solution daily. One large plant can consume over half of the solution held in the bucket in a single day. Replenish with plain water to avoid mineral salt build-up. Every two weeks, flush the system with fresh water, and refill the bucket with fresh nutrient solution. When you top off the bucket, pour the fresh water directly over the clay pebbles. This will wash any build-up mineral salts back into the nutrient reservoir. Depending on the plants you choose, you may want to run the pump continuously or buy a timer that will turn the pump off at selected intervals to let the roots dry out a bit.

Who Can Help

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About this Author

Tricia Ballad has written professionally since 2004. She has authored three books, as well as numerous articles on parenting and website content involving green living. Her work has appeared in Natural Family Online and Budget Artists. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing specialization from Bradley University.

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