DIY Hydroponics Kit Basics
Making a garden is one of the fulfilling hobbies you can do while at home. It does not only gives you a possible bountiful harvest but also can be a form of relaxation. However, making one proves to be difficult if you’re living in an apartment with a small area. Fortunately, hydroponics is now a trend in gardening, which enables people to create small patches of gardens in their balcony, terrace, rooftop, or even in a sunny window.
How does Hydrophonic Works and Why Have One?
Hydroponics is derived from Greek words, which means “ working with water.” As the name suggests, its a method of planting that relies on a nutrient-saturated liquid, usually working in a closed system. It means that the system should be able to sustain the growth of the plant without sourcing its nutrients from the soil. Here are advantages of having a hydroponic system:
Hydroponic does not require a large area for planting and can be done indoors.
You don’t need to prepare or look for sources of soil.
Your plants can grow faster since you can control the availability of nutrients.
You don’t need to be wary about pests and parasites from the soil. Thus, limiting your use of pesticide.
If you’re interested in making your very own hydroponic garden, but you don’t know where to start. This article will be listing down the basics and tips to achieve your garden goals DIY. Read on.
Plan Your Location
Although the hydroponic system does not require a large area for growing plants. It’s still crucial to look for a suitable place for it. Your set-up should be exposed to sunlight for your plants to grow. It should also be placed on a leveled surface to make sure that water will flow sufficiently. You have to make sure that your system will be safe against strong winds, rain, or overexposure to sunlight.
Plant Chamber Or Growing Tray
Your plant chamber is an essential part of your hydroponics as it houses the root of your plant. The chamber makes sure that the plant’s root zone is safe against physical deterrent and exposed to the nutrient-rich liquid of your system. You can use different materials in building your plant chamber. Some of which can be found in your home. Here are some tips on how to choose suitable materials for your DIY plant chamber.
Stay Away from Metallic Materials- Since your system is exposed to water, any metallic material may corrode and reacts with the nutrients present in the liquid.
Look For Old or Unused PVC- Most DIY designs for hydroponic found online utilizes PVC as a plant chamber. You can make holes where the plants are inserted and where water can pass along. You may also use plastic bottles, containers or tray as long as you can easily put holes in it.
Make Sure Your Plant Chamber Can Fit Your Plant- The shape and size of your plant chamber must accommodate the type of plant that you will be using for your garden. Bigger plants will entail a larger chamber since it will have a bigger root system.
Your reservoir holds the nutrient solution for your garden. It is vital as the nutrient solution brings life to your hydroponic system. Once this is compromised, your plant can stop growing, or it can die. Although the needed material for building your reservoir is easily found at home, there are some essential things you have to consider before making or buying a reservoir for your garden.
Your reservoir should be capable of holding enough water for your plant. Make sure that there is no leak in your tank since your plant depends on the nutrient solution for survival.
It’s important that your container should be light proof. It ensures that algae or fungus will not grow on your nutrient solution, which can be a source of competition or contamination for your plant.
Put a lid on your reservoir. The cover is crucial to prevent dust, algae, and fungus from entering your system.
A submersible pump is responsible for the transfer of the nutrient solution from the reservoir to the plant chamber. It’s essential for those hydroponic designs with elevated plant chamber. You can easily buy a submersible pump from garden supplies stores or hydroponic supply shops, and they are usually very affordable.
An air pump supplies additional oxygen to the water and root of the plants. It also helps in circulating and mixing the nutrient along with the system. It keeps your plant from suffocating since they are soaked in the water for an extended period. However, installing an air pump for your garden is optional, and you can still make one without it.
The conducting system of your hydroponic is responsible for delivering and the continuous flow of your nutrient solution. It is crucial if you have several plants in your hydroponic system. Your conducting system can be customized according to the design of your garden by using PVC tubings and connectors. Its also advised that you prepare spare pipes and connectors since these conduit systems are prone to clogging.
Your hydroponic garden will not be complete without your plants. Although hydroponic cannot sustain all plants compared to a soil garden, there are still a lot of options for you to choose from vegetables to herbs. Its also advised that you steer away from deep-rooted plants and those that need large spaces. If you’re not sure what to use, Here are some example you can try:
Vegetables- lettuce, kale, spinach, beans, tomatoes, pepper, and cucumbers.
House Plant- Chinese evergreen, Devil’s Ivy, spider plant and money plant
Herbs- Chives, basil, and mints