Homemade Hydroponic Growing Systems


A hydroponic growing system is designed to grow plants without soil. The plants grow with their roots supported by a soil-free material such as vermiculite or rockwool, or they may grow with no support by floating in liquid. The plants produce a high yield of vegetables and grow hardy because they receive all of the nutrients that they need, right when they need them. You can make a hydroponic growing system at home using a few items that may be found at any garden center.

Step 1

Remove the bottom, liquid-holding chamber from a commercially sold self-watering container.

Step 2

Fill the container with vermiculite.

Step 3

Hollow out a planting hole in the center of the vermiculite. Rinse soil away from the roots of the plant that you are planting.

Step 4

Place the root ball of the plant into the vermiculite.

Step 5

Fill a large tub, such as a watering trough or a wash tub, with liquid plant nutrients.

Step 6

Place an air stone from an aquarium into the bottom of the large tub. Run a hose from the air stone to an aquarium air pump outside of the stone.

Step 7

Fill the tub with loose gravel until the gravel is even with the top of the tub. Place the self-watering container directly onto the gravel bed.

Step 8

Fill the tub with liquid nutrients. Turn on the airstone to oxygenate the liquid nutrients. The liquid nutrients will wick up into the self-watering container from the gravel bed to water the plant inside of it.

Things You'll Need

  • Self watering container
  • Vermiculite
  • Plants
  • Large galvanized metal tub
  • Aquarium air stone
  • Aquarium tubing
  • Aquarium pump
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Liquid nutrients


  • University of New Hampshire Extension: Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening

Who Can Help

  • All About Planters
  • Indoor Guide to Organic and Hydroponic Gardening: Hydroponic Growing Systems One-By-One
  • Simply Hydroponics and Organics: Basic Hydroponic Systems and How They Work
Keywords: growing plants, hydroponic growing system, raising plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."

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