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A hydroponic system is an extremely efficient way to grow plants without the use of soil. With only water, nutrients, and a growing medium—such as perlite, rockwool, and peat moss—you are able to grow just about anything inside your own home.
Hydroponics is one of the most efficient methods of gardening, because it removes the barriers between the nutrients and the roots of the plant. Without soil, the roots are able to "suck up" all of its nutrients almost effortlessly. Not only is it proven that plants are able to grow faster, but it is also much cleaner to have inside your house!
There are multiple ways to set up your own hydroponic system, and this is what we used to built ours. Feel free to adjust and customize your own!
Purchased from hardware store:
Purchased from Amazon:
Tools you will need:
Overall, this is an inexpensive setup compared to the prices of hydroponic growing systems sold in store and at online retailers, which can cost up to around $300 and are also much smaller. Please keep in mind that you will need some sort of light source for your plants, whether it be natural light from a window or light from a grow light that you may already have.
There are many ways you can improve this system, such as adding a drainage line so that you can easily empty the system when doing water changes, or even add in a float valve and extra water hole with a water reservoir so that gravity will re-fill the tub for you. When your plants get large enough, you will definitely have to fill your tub daily with more water, so adding a reservoir would allow for less maintenance.
After the inside of your hydroponic system is finished, you will then need to install the net cups into the lid of your tub.
Once your hydroponic system is built, you are ready to put your plants into the system with the growing medium of your choice. Using clay pebbles was the easiest growing medium to deal with in our opinion. We thought it worked really well because seedlings are very delicate, so you could place each individual pebble right where you wanted to in order to help the seedling stand up right. We also liked this medium because it semi porous, so it tends to hold on to a little bit of water, but not too much.
Since our system has been running for a while now, we have some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your system.
© 2019 Britney Bernard and Cassie Midura