How to Build a Hydroponic Gardening System


Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. The plants receive their nutrients through water infused with micronutrients. Hydroponics gardening eliminates problems with weeds and many outdoor pests. Deep water hydroponics systems are easy to make with products available at most hardware stores. Hydroponics growing is compatible with most vegetable plants and allows for indoor gardening during inclement weather seasons.

Step 1

Remove the lid from the tub and place it on a flat surface. Place the netted pots lip side down on top of the lid. Line the pots in three rows with four in the first row, three in the second and four in the third.

Step 2

Trace around the lip of each pot with a permanent marker. Find the center of each circle and draw a line 1/2 inch inside the circle with a compass.

Step 3

Cut out each circle with a sharp knife, following the inside line. Cut slits 1/2 inch apart from the hole to the outer line. The netted pots will fit in the hole without falling through.

Step 4

Drill a hole near the top of the bin for the aerator stone hose. Some tubs have vent holes in the handle that will fit the hose. Place the aerator stone on the bottom of the tub and feed the hose through the hole.

Step 5

Set the pump outside the tub and hook the aerator stone hose to the pump.

Step 6

Place the bin indoors or outdoors. You may want to set it on slats for easy water spill cleanup indoors. If placing outside, set a small plastic container over the pump to keep it water safe.

Step 7

Fill the tub with water so the netted pots are submerged at least one inch. Add micronutrient plant food based on the amount of water in the bin. Plug in the pump to verify it is aerating the water.

Step 8

Snap the cover onto the tub with netted pots in each hole. Attach zip ties to the cover if it does not stay on the tub because of water distorting the tub. Drill a hole that goes through the lid and tub in each corner. Thread a zip tie through each hole and pull tight.

Step 9

Fill each netted pot with hydroponics medium. Plant the young seedlings in the center of each pot. If the plants were started in dirt, gently rinse their roots prior to planting.

Step 10

Add additional water to the tub if the netted pots are not submerged in at least one inch of water.

Things You'll Need

  • 18-gallon plastic tub with cover
  • 11 netted pots
  • Permanent marker
  • Compass
  • Sharp knife
  • Drill
  • 12-inch aerator stone with hose
  • 3-watt water pump
  • Slats
  • Small plastic container
  • Water
  • Micronutrient plant food
  • Zip ties
  • Hydroponics medium
  • Seedling plants


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Keywords: deep water hydroponics, homemade hydroponics, hydroponics boxes

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.