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How to Build a Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

By Jennifer Loucks
A deep-water hydroponic system requires few supplies.

Build a home hydroponic vegetable garden by making you own deep-water grow box out of household items available at most home supply stores. The deep-water method of hydroponic gardening is low in cost and perfect for a beginner who wants to experiment with growing vegetables indoors throughout the year. This method also works well as an outdoor hydroponic garden during the spring and summer months. Vegetables that grow well in a deep-water hydroponic garden include tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, lettuce and herbs.

Place the container cover on a flat surface. Arrange the netted pots on top of the cover in three rows with the top facing down. Trace around the pots to mark the placement for cutting holes.

Locate the center of each mark, tracing with a compass. Mark a circle at a 1/2 inch inside the netted pot marking.

Cut around the inside marking of each circle with a sharp knife. Cut 1/2-inch clips around the edge of each circle to the traced marking. This creates flaps to prevent the netted pots from falling into the container.

Drill a 1/2-inch hole above the handle on one side of the container. Feed the pump tube through the hole so one end remains outside the container and one end is inside the container.

Attach the air pump to the outside end of the tubing. Attach the aerator stone to the inside tube end and set the stone on the container bottom.

Arrange three bricks in the location you want the hydroponics unit and set the container on top. This prevents moisture building under the container. Cover the air pump with a plastic container if the hydroponics container will be outdoors.

Fill the container with water to 3 inches from the top. Add hydroponics nutrients based on the application ratio listed on the packaging for the volume of water.

Secure the cover on top of the container. Place one netted pot into the cover to verify the pot submerges a minimum of one-inch. Add more water, if needed.

Plant the vegetable seedlings into the netted pots using a hydroponics medium. Rinse the roots with water to remove soil and gently cover the root balls with medium to hold them in the netted pots.


Things You Will Need

  • 18-gallon plastic container with snapping cover
  • Marking pen
  • Netted pots
  • Compass
  • Sharp knife
  • 3-watt pump
  • 3 feet of tubing
  • Aerator stone
  • Wood slats
  • Hydroponics nutrients
  • Hydroponics medium
  • Plastic cover, optional
  • Drill, optional
  • Zip ties, optional


  • Add hydroponics nutrients to the container each time you add more water or refresh the water.
  • Secure the cover to the container with a zip-tie if the cover does not snap tightly in place. Drill a hole through the edge of the cover and container and string a zip-tie through to hold in place.

About the 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.