3 Popular Homemade Hydroponic Systems

120In recent years, hydroponic gardens have become increasingly popular among home gardeners. Homemade hydroponic systems are a different and fun way to grow fruits and vegetables at home without using soil. Below are a few of the most popular homemade hydroponic systems.

The Tank System

One of the easiest homemade hydroponic systems to assemble is the water culture raft system, which makes use of an old fish tank or aquarium. This system works well for vegetable gardens especially, and you can assemble one for around fifty dollars using materials you can get at your local hardware store. You may even have some of the materials just lying around the house.

To make this system, cut a 1″ thick Styrofoam sheet to fit the top of an old fish tank or similar container. Then make holes in the Styrofoam for your plant roots. Make two small holes near the top of opposite sides of your fish tank for air tubing to go through. Attach this tubing near the bottom of the tank with air stones and attach the other end of the tubing to the air pump.

Cover the tank with foil so that light does not get in to the tank. Fill your tank with nutrient solution, then float the Styrofoam on top of it. Place your plants in the holes you cut for them in the Styrofoam in such a way that their roots dangle in the solution. You can hold the plants in place using filter floss.

The Bucket System

Another one of the most popular homemade hydroponic systems is the “ebb and flow” system. This system can be made with two large buckets. Simply drill a hole in both buckets about a half-inch from the bottom and connect them with tubing. You should have enough tubing to place one of the buckets on a platform while the other bucket, which will hold the nutrient solution, is left on the floor.

Place a couple inches of gravel in the bucket that your plants are to grow in, then cover it with a fine mesh plastic screen. The screen should fit tightly to the sides of the bucket. On top of the screen, place perlite, rockwool, coconut fiber, or whatever other growth medium you have chosen to use.

After you have planted your seeds in the growth medium, fill the second bucket with nutrient solution and cover it with a lid to keep out foreign debris and dust. Then lift the nutrient bucket so it is on the platform with your grow bucket. This will allow the nutrient solution to flood your plants.

After your plants have been well soaked, place the nutrient bucket back on the floor. This process of flooding and draining your grow bucket will need to be repeated several times a day.

The Wick System

A third easy-to-make hydroponic system is the wick system. It is built much like the bucket ebb and flow system except that the two buckets are connected with a highly absorbent wick rather than tubing. As the growth medium gets dry, more solution is pulled up the wick by capillary action, eliminating the need to continually lift and lower the nutrient bucket.

The wick method allows plants receive a steady flow of solution without being flooded and drained several times a day. It is best to use this system with water-loving leafy vegetables, since the grow medium always remains soaked.

These are just very brief descriptions of three simple homemade hydroponic systems. There are many variations of these systems for the beginning gardener. To learn more, you might want to consider buying a book on hydroponics, or browse YouTube for instructional videos on how to make your own hydroponic system.

Hydroponic Mediums

119Hydroponics is defined as the growing of plants through the use of mediums other than traditional soils.

This means that plant roots do not need to gather nutrients from the soil, instead taking it directly in from the water. Faster nutrient gathering is indeed one benefit of hydroponic systems. These systems tend to take up less room than traditional gardens, allowing people with limited areas to grow substantial amounts of food. One drawback is the volume of water and nutrients that are needed to propagate the plants.

One of the most important decisions for your hydroponic garden is the type of medium that you will use. Each medium has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as differing system types that correspond to each medium. Listed below are some different types of mediums for growth.

Rock Wool is the most widely used medium in hydroponics. It is made from molten rock that is heated and spun into filament fibers. In this process the medium becomes capable of capillary action. One disadvantage of rock wool is its classification as a possible carcinogen.

Perlite is volcanic rock that has been molten into glass pebbles. If not contained in plastic sleeves, the pebbles can float if a flood and drain system is utilized. Perlite can also be used in potting soils to decrease soil densities.

Pumice is a lightweight volcanic rock similar to perlite. It is readily available and relatively cheap. Sand can be used as long as it is sterilized between uses.

Sand is also cheap and readily available, however, it drains quickly, so plants need to be monitored closely.

Gravel can be used as long as the water and nutrients are continuously pumped through the medium. Any small gravel/pebbles are acceptable as long as they are thoroughly cleaned.

Polystyrene, commonly known as packing peanuts can be used for an inexpensive, readily available and green medium. Make sure they are not the biodegradable version as this can lead to decomposition into sludge.

Wood fiber can be used as an effective organic medium for hydroponics. It tends to keep its structure for a very long time, however, it can easily grow bacteria that harm plant roots. Care should be taken to monitor the cleanliness of the wood.

There are numerous other substrates that can be used for the mediums in any hydroponic garden including, brick shards, vermiculite, coir, and expanded clay. Any form of medium can work, depending on the type of system you are using and how extensive your knowledge

Growing Wheat Grass With Hydroponics

118Hydroponics is a simple method of growing plants without soil. It helps save gardening space, is less expensive and is highly beneficial in many ways. Hydroponics method helps grow bigger yields, requires less space and is both cost-effective and eco-friendly. Indoor gardening is possible with the help of hydroponics. You can have full control on the temperature, humidity, plant nutrition and climate of your hydroponics garden. If you have basic understanding of gardening you can successfully build your personal hydroponics garden!

Wheat grass is a nutritious plant that can give you many health benefits. You don’t have to go to the market or field and waste your time anymore to collect wheat grass which may or may not be juicy or of good quality. With hydroponics you can plant your own healthy wheat garden. Hydroponics is the cleanest method to produce wheat grass. With the precise nutrients and water supply you can successfully grow wheat in your hydroponics garden. The speedy cultivation of wheat grass with the help of hydroponics will blow your mind!

You can grow wheat grass indoors with the help of hydroponics at anytime of the year and as often as you wish. To build a simple and basic hydroponic wheat grass garden all you have to do is follow the basic hydroponics gardening steps: (1) just like traditional gardening you have to start hydroponics wheat grass gardening by purchasing seeds from a local dealer; (2) place the seeds evenly in the tray in such a manner that it covers the entire floor of the tray; (3) submerge the seeds in water the halfway. Note, do not cover the tray fully with water; (4) now you can cover the tray either with second tray or any plastic cover, because seeds need no light initially; but see to it that you do not seal the tray because seeds need air; (5) water your hydroponics wheat grass every day with the help of spray bottle and once you see your plants have begun sprouting gently pour enough water gradually as your plants grow bigger.

Besides this simple homemade wheat grass growing method, you can purchase hydroponic wheat growing kit from your local hydroponics shop. This wheat growing kit will come with all components you need to grow your hydroponics wheat efficiently. With an initial little investment you can have your own tray of fresh healthy wheat grass. Take special care while choosing your hydroponic wheat kit because not all trays guarantee freshness or good quality of the hydroponic wheat grass!

Growing Hydroponic Vegetables

117Vegetables are very good for our health that is why we are recommended to include them in our daily diet. However, not all of us like the bitter taste of most vegetables. If you are one of them, then you should try the vegetables grown hydroponically. Hydroponic vegetables are those that are grown without soil but only in water containing dissolved mineral nutrients. Compared with organic vegetables, the hydroponic greens are sweeter and more tender.

Hydroponics is a low-cost technique that allows the use of recycled materials and soil-free medium such as sand or stone. Growing hydroponic vegetables is very useful in urban agriculture. This is because hydroponic vegetables can be grown in limited urban spaces or places that have not been considered before for food production like the balconies or rooftops. It also eliminates the need for using pesticide solutions because soil-less gardening means less pests and no weeds.

Other benefits of growing hydroponic vegetables include little use of water and production of high quality and harmless food. Hydroponics uses less water because the system recycles the water in a closed system. However, it is required that only clean rainwater or drinking water should be used. Hydroponic gardening can also be a good source of income for the family or microenterprises. And aside from being a source of nutritious and healthy food, growing hydroponic vegetables also make a good landscape decoration.

Hydroponic gardening has grown its popularity because it can easily be controlled. This means that adjustments in the strength of the nutrient solution, temperature and other components of the system can be quickly made to provide a good growing condition to your produce.

Most people who choose hydroponics over organic gardening are those that have busy lives and have not enough space for a garden. They like it better because they can get the fresh vegetables at their own convenience whenever they want them.

Growing hydroponic vegetables are convenient as it can be done indoors and it does not need soil. Although light source can be supplemented if lacking. For photosynthesis, vegetables grown using the hydroponic gardening system can use its own light source. The vegetables that you can grow using this system are lettuce, carrots, beans, radish, parsley, and more. Today, the number of vegetables grown this way has also increased compared to those grown in soil.

When it comes to taste, hydroponic vegetables are more delicious and robust than the organically grown ones. They don’t have chemical taste as well and their size are bigger than the organic vegetables.

Since growing hydroponic vegetables is totally opposite from growing organic vegetables, many believed that their long-term health effects might be opposite as well. Another negative effect of hydroponics on vegetables is the lack of the effects applied by bacteria on similar vegetables grown in soil. So, it is believed that soil-grown vegetables can give you the benefit of stronger immune system compared with the vegetables grown using the hydroponic system.

Enhance Gardening With Hydroponics Breakthrough

116Many people knew nothing about hydroponics yet for an agriculturist, and even a gardener, hydroponic spells produce at its best, higher yields, environment friendly technology, minimal labor and high return in investment, in short, MONEY!

Hydroponic technology has been proven to maximized food production in the modern agricultural procedure and food production plants. The technology has been labeled in its efficiency due to its reduction in variable costs of farming or cultivation with the pest control procedure and precise nutrient intake being introduce to the plants. Moreover, the technology requires less water that only 5% of water is required in comparison to the water requirement of the farm yet produces the same quantity of produce.

The new agricultural technology have been a breakthrough in the need for a less spacious venue for farming yet guarantees maximum yield to the producers; and safe and unblemished produced.

Hydroponics is means of plant cultivation without the use of soil in growing of plants. This uses solely water with administered minerals. Such procedure introduced nutrients to the plants by means of ionization. This was through the study made that plants deem the soil useless and only makes use of its mineral for its growth. With the hydroponics procedure, optimum results can be achieved in combination of controlled cultivation environment such as the greenhouses where the heat and level of carbon monoxide can be efficiently managed by the producer, and pest, bacteria and molds eliminated with proper monitoring of the greenhouse temperature.

Not only that hydroponics is being utilized in agriculture but also in gardening. This is due to the built-in feature of hydroponics that the usual household can assemble it in its garden. Books and manuals have also made it to the home’s archives on procedures in the plant watering system and nutrition feeding. Simple may it seem but proper administration is needed to exactly formulate the nutrition for the plant. Nowadays, there are hundreds of Hydroponic gardening centers throughout the United States that aims to take it as an alternative gardening method.

Though there are claims of its disadvantages, since plants share the same nutrients supplied thereby the risks of sharing bacteria and diseases, such condition can be controlled with proper administration and management of the technology.

Through the web, interested consumers can gain access on how to reach hydroponics distributors and the material itself. The consumer industry had followed the trend that the end-users have developed a liking to the said technology