An introduction to hydroponics for beginners How to build your own
Starting with hydroponics
Are you interested in growing hydroponics on your own? Do you want to make your own system using recycling the materials you already have? The hydroponically-grown garden at home offers numerous benefits. A regular supply of fresh, healthy food will surely keep you from making a lot of trips to the supermarket!
There are numerous hydroponic systems. We will focus on the easiest-to-understand one in this article. We will outline the basic principles of a Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System and help you construct the system yourself.
Which hydroponic system is the best for novices?
Deep Water Culture (DWC) is the most simple type of hydroponics system you can create and maintain at your home. In this system, the plants are grown in direct submersion in nutrient-rich, nutrient-rich water. For home gardeners, it is possible to achieve this through the use of large opaque storage containers, or buckets. Commercial growers utilize floating rafts which float on large amounts of water. They work as conveyor belts with the young plants on one hand and the other until it is time to harvest.
DWC systems are easy to construct and cost-effective because there aren't moving components. DWC systems do not allow water to recirculate. Instead, the water stays in the reservoir throughout the time of the plant. To replenish the oxygen utilized by the roots you will require aeration of the water.
The air pore spaces of soil provide oxygen to roots. In hydroponics systems that recirculate, water is aerated as it circulates. We can remedy this by using a DWC system with an air pump equipped with an air stone (used in tanks for fish) to ensure that the water is oxygen-rich.
What can I do to grow within my DWC system?
The best plants to plant within DWC systems are Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Bok Choy, Basil, and Parsley. These aren't very heavy plants. DWC systems aren't very well anchored. This can mean it will be difficult to cultivate tall plants such as tomatoes. If you are able to grow them, the support will need to hold the plant in place.
How to make a DWC hydroponic system at home
Container or bucket to store items
Airpump with air stone
Hard Water Liquid Nutrients (A & B)
Arbor saw with a hole
1. Choose a suitable container for the system
The best results are achieved when stored in buckets and containers that are deeper than the water reservoir. This is due to the fact that the nutrient solution will remain steady if the container or bucket is deeper. It will be necessary to replenish the water more often due to fluctuations in pH and nutrient concentrations. The light should not be able to penetrate your container, as there is a good chance that algae may form in your water.
2. Drill holes in the lid of the container
The plants will grow in net pots, these are pots with plenty of holes that roots can grow through. The next step is to make holes in the lid of the container, where the net pots will sit. A hole saw is all you'll need for this project. They are inexpensive and simple to make use of. To keep them from being smashed through, the net pots must be bigger than the hole.
3. Assemble your air pump
The reservoir has to be free of the air pump. The check valve is included in the air pump. This will ensure that the water doesn't get back up once it's shut off. If it doesn't come with a check valve, you need to maintain the pump above water level.
Attach the check valve and air stone by the length of the tubing ensuring the arrow on the check valve is in line with the air stone. Next, connect the check valve to the air pump in exactly the same manner.
4. Fill the reservoir, include nutrients and adjust the pH.
The system is quite heavy when full, so ensure you know where your container will be placed before filling it up! Fill it almost full with water, but leave a couple of centimeters of room at the top.
5. Assemble your system
Plug in the air pump and place the airstone inside the reservoir. You're nearly done!
It is easy to put your plants in. I simply put the plants that were grown in Rockwool into the net pots. Seedlings can be grown in soil too, however, we recommend using a medium that doesn't make a mess. Rockwool plugs or hydroton clay pellets can be a better option for cleaning.
If you're interested in creating a simple hydroponic system then consider this method. We would love to see what you've created on Facebook.
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