The benefits of a homemade hydroponic system are numerous. They are quite easy to make and can be measured to fit any available space.
As a hydroponic gardener, you can either choose one of the hydroponic kits or enjoy making your homemade hydroponic growing system. Creating a hydroponic system yourself makes you know the source of the food, how hygienic it really is, and who handled it.
While setting up a homemade hydroponics system, you will need these basic materials:
- Pots - made of mesh or nets
- A growing medium
- Nutrient solution
- Air stones
- Tubing and an air pump
- A box cutter or sharp knife
- A measuring tape
Choosing a Good Reservoir
A bucket, bin or a fish tank could serve as a good reservoir. In fact, any container that fits all your desired number of pots for your plants could serve as one. If your reservoir is transparent, you will need to paint it black. This is to prevent the growth of algae and other bacteria each time light penetrates into it.
In the reservoir, the plants will be sitting with its roots filled with nutrient solution. Constant air bubbles will gently be provided by an external air pump to the solution, supplying oxygen to the roots. You could also cut an extra hole in the lid for air to pass through to the bottom of the container.
Mark a Gauge
The next step is to mark a gauge. This can be drawn with a straight line; it helps to monitor the nutrient solution and water level. At that point, use a measuring tape to get the dimensions.
Now, cut the Styrofoam into pieces – typically 1/4th of an inch smaller than the size of the reservoir. This ought to be on top of the nutrient solution as it serves as your floater can also adjust to water level changes.
Cutting Holes to Place Your Pots
It is time to cut holes where you will place your pots. These pots should be placed evenly on top of the Styrofoam, creating enough space for sunlight. Also, make another hole for the air to pass through freely. Connect the free end of your air pump to the air stone.
Filling the Reservoir with Nutrient Solution
Run the tubing through the end opening of the Styrofoam and place it in the reservoir. Then again, fill the pots with the growing medium along with the seeds. Put them on the floater, turn on the pump, and that’s all!
After successfully setting, place your homemade hydroponics in a window that receives direct sunlight. In the absence of sunlight, a fluorescent lamp or a high-intensity discharge lamp should be used.
If you find this process difficult or you don’t have time to set up a hydroponic system, go for a kit. The kit includes growing guide, pH kits, nutrients, and everything needed to start up. Just make sure you select the one that best suits your desires!