How to Create a Homemade Hydroponics System
A homemade hydroponics system is an excellent method of growing plants in urban areas.
As the name implies, it’s a crop grown in water or without soil. It just requires nutrients and a little space, and it’s widely used by restaurants, shops, and houses.
What does a hydroponics system do?
Hydroponics is an agricultural practice that allows producing plants for consumption without using soil. The roots grow in sand or rock-based substrate. You also add a solution that contains nutrients through irrigation.
It’s ideal for plants that grow in aquatic environments, such as lettuce, radishes, parsley, cilantro and a variety of other vegetables. It can be built out on a terrace, a patio, a balcony or other urban areas.
For commercial production, you have to use larger spaces, such as sheds.
How to create a homemade hydroponics system
You can create your own garden using a homemade hydroponics system and monitor your plant’s growth.
You can carry it out in special containers that can contain essential elements for plants to grow.
Most importantly, this system requires a functional irrigation system. You can guide yourself using the following steps:
1. Make a nursery
First of all, you must make a nursery for the plants you want to cultivate. To do this, build a base using styrofoam or disposable cups. Place them in a space with plenty of light and monitor the irrigation.
2. Gather everything you need
Organize what you’re going to use according to the number of plants you’re going to grow. Some of the main utensils include:
- A container, a tray or a fish tank that’s approximately 25 cm deep.
- An air pump similar to the ones used in fish tanks to supply oxygen to the water.
- Nutrients: you can go to a specialized dealer and obtain a special nutrition solution for your type of crop.
- Substrate: serves as a base for the plant and retains the nutrients that the crop needs. It can be sand, rocks, perlite, and vermiculite, among others.
- A wooden board, rubber plugs, and other necessary materials.
A dark-colored container is ideal – or you can paint it black – to protect the roots from the sunlight. Otherwise, you’ll also need dark bags to cover them.
It can be built out on a terrace, a patio, a balcony or another urban area. For commercial production, you have to use larger spaces, such as sheds.
3. Prepare your homemade system
Once the seedlings have reached a height of about 12 cm, you can put together your homemade hydroponics system.
To do this, you must open a hole in the base of the container that you’ve chosen and insert a plug. The idea is that this will serve as drainage for the water when it comes time to change it.
Apart from that, you’ll need to make holes along the wooden board with equal spaces between them. The number of holes will depend on the length of the board and the number of plants you want to grow.
4. Get the ball rolling!
Once you have everything ready, you can put your homemade hydroponics farming system to work. First, remove the plants from the nursery and eliminate the substrate – and always remember not to damage the roots.
Then, insert the plants into the holes you made on the board, taking care not to damage the plant, and keeping the stem above the water line.
Make sure that the plant is safely secured in the substrate so that it can be nourished with the nutrient solution present in the water.
Lastly, turn the pump on daily to provide oxygen to the plants. Once you do this, all you have to do is wait for the plants to grow.
Recommendations for a successful homemade hydroponics system
Hydroponic systems are excellent agricultural alternatives that are becoming more common day after day. However, for it to succeed, you must take into account the following recommendations:
- Avoid direct sunlight. Lighting is necessary but in small quantities.
- Change the water at least every 10 or 15 days and add the correct specialized nutrient solution.
- Monitor the plant’s growth to detect anomalies in time.
In conclusion, it’s been said that homemade hydroponics systems are the future of agriculture. Learn how to produce your own plants and avoid over-fertilized commercial crops.
The best part is that it can become a project you can do together as a family, especially with children.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Stoughton, R. H. Hydroponics. Nature (1953). doi:10.1038/171364b0
- Jones, J. B. Hydroponics. A Practical Guide for the Soilless Grower. Hydroponics (2004). doi:doi:10.1201/9781420037708.ch1
- Sorenson, R. & Relf, D. Home Hydroponics. Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009).