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How to Make Hydroponics at Home

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How to Make Hydroponics at Home

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Overview

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in a sterile medium with no soil. The medium wicks up a nutrient solution from a tank to feed plant roots. Because nutrients and light can be optimally controlled, hydroponic flowers and vegetables often grow much faster than in an outdoor garden. Hydroponics also allows you to grow vegetables indoors in the winter.

Step 1

Select a large opaque plastic container like an opaque Rubbermaid container. The container needs to be opaque to help minimize algae growth in the hydroponic solution.

Step 2

Turn one of your hydroponic mesh pots upside down on the lid of your container. Mark the circumference of the lid. Turn the pot over and mark the smallest size of the base. Mark the locations for the other pots on the lid. Most larger containers can support six mesh pots, but the total number will depend on the size of the pots you select.

Step 3

Mark the mid-point between the two lines and cut the holes in the top of the lid with a hobby or utility knife. If you find that one pot sits higher than the others in the lid, enlarge the hole slightly.

Step 4

Fill your mesh pots with vermiculite, perlite or sterile coconut fiber. The purpose of these materials is to support the plants and root structure; all nutrients will come from your hydroponic solution.

Step 5

Measure the distance between the bottom of your pots and the rim of the tub. Mark a line in the tub that is 2 inches above the bottom of the pots. This will ensure that the bottom 2 inches of your mesh pots are submerged in the hydroponic solution.

Step 6

Mix your hydroponic nutrient solution per the manufacturer's instructions and fill the tub to the fill line. Place your lid and pots in the tub to make sure the mesh pots submerge properly.

Step 7

Place your young plants in the growing medium and place the lid on the hydroponic solution.

Step 8

Put the container in a sunny window or under a grow light or fluorescent light.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you add an aquarium air pump, make sure it is placed in a dry area. Most aquarium air pumps are not water-resistant.

Things You'll Need

  • Opaque plastic bin, medium or large
  • Hydroponic mesh pot
  • Hobby or utility knife
  • Sterile growth medium
  • Hydroponic nutrient solution
  • Grow light (optional)

References

  • Hydroponics at Home: Home Hydroponics the Easy Way
  • Gardening Resources: How to Make Hydroponics Systems
  • Backyard Garden & Patio: Grow Hydroponics Novelty Foods for Fun and Profit
Keywords: homemade hydroponics, hydroponic gardening, hydroponic vegetables, hydroponic flowers

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.