How to make a home hydroponic garden

Do you know what a hydroponic garden is ? Also known as hydroponics or hydroponics, it is a system that is increasingly used around the world, both at the level of large productions and at home. It is a different way of farming than what we are used to today, although it was actually used already in ancient times. What makes it different and, as its name indicates, is that water is used as a base for crops instead of soil.

We explain in a simple way how to make a home hydroponic crop step by step. Take notes and learn how to grow easily and ecologically.

What is the home hydroponics system and its characteristics

The hydroponics systems are a set of techniques that do not use the soil or land to grow and take care plantations, but in this agriculture without soil water is used. Among the characteristics of hydroponic cultivation we find that it replaces land or soil with the use of water , that it can be done with very simple structures and complicate them according to needs and that it works perfectly with a wide variety of organic crops , but especially with plants. herbaceous type and many types of garden plants.

It allows plants to be grown both indoors and outdoors, such as in greenhouses, roofs, terraces, gardens or in fields where the soil is not fertile.

Benefits and advantages of making a home hydroponic culture

There are several benefits and advantages that we can find in hydroponics, which should be known to know what we can obtain and why it is considered part of an organic farming system, provided that good use of water is made. Thus, the main advantages and benefits of hydroponic cultivation are:

  • It is not necessary to have a lot of space, so it can be used at home and is cheaper since the land yields more and the cultivation is intensive.
  • It does not depend so much on the weather conditions. This allows for more variety of crops throughout the year.
  • It is used for the land to rest and recover from previous crops, gaining fertility again, so it is good to combine it with more traditional systems.
  • It is perfect for areas where the land is worn, infertile or there are few areas suitable for agriculture.
  • It is more difficult for plants to have pests, diseases and, in addition, there can be no weeds.
  • A constant adequate humidity is ensured.
  • The risk of ponding of the roots is reduced, since the water is graduated, at the same time that it allows the entire root zone to be irrigated evenly.
  • It greatly improves the quality and quantity of production.
  • The waste of water is avoided, as it is rationed and reused.
How To Make A Home Hydroponic Grow - Benefits And Advantages Of Making A Home Hydroponic Grow

How to make a homemade hydroponics step by step

If, after knowing what it is and all its benefits, you want to start implementing this method at home, you will have to get a homemade hydroponic kit as they are sold in stores specialized in gardening and agriculture, or collect the materials that you can reuse to create it.

Next, we explain how to make a home hydroponic culture step by step and, for example, you can make a home hydroponic culture of tomato , lettuce, radishes, basil and countless plants and aromatic herbs.

Material to make a homemade hydroponics

  • Dark container or box , such as a box or bowl, that is between 8 and 12 inches deep. It is better to be dark or opaque so that the sunlight does not affect the roots too much.
  • Air pump , that is, a pump to produce oxygenation in the water, like the one used in aquariums. The oxygenation that it will produce will help the roots feed better and the plant grow, as well as prevent water contamination.
  • Substrate with the right texture and nutrients for the crop you have chosen. In the store the specialist will be able to guide you better to choose.
  • Nutritive solution , either the hydroponic solutions found in specialized stores or made at home if we know what nutrients the plant needs.
  • Seeds, sprouts or germinated seeds of the plants you have chosen.
  • Wooden board or plank or the lid of the container or box itself, to act as a lid that supports the crops while allowing them to reach the water and protect both the roots and the water itself.
  • Plastic or rubber stopper, it cannot be cork because it will be in contact with water.

Steps to make a home hydroponic grow

  1. Use germinated seeds, sprouts or cuttings, in fact if you are going to use new seeds that you have acquired new, you will have to germinate them first.
  2. Punch a hole in the bottom of the box or container you have chosen. This hole is the one that you will use to drain the container to make the water changes, so you will put the plug in it when it is necessary to retain it.
  3. Fill the box with water without reaching the top.
  4. Make holes in the lid, with the help of a small saw or a drill. The holes must be the same size.
  5. Place the roots of the germinated seeds through the holes, being careful not to damage them, and allow them to be well covered in the water, but the stem remains out.
  6. Secure the sprout with the chosen substrate, which will serve not only to give stability to the plant, but also to better absorb the nutrient solution.
  7. Place the hydroponics in a suitable indoor or outdoor area, where it receives enough natural light but not direct sun for many hours.
  8. Place the aerator bottle to oxygenate the water, try to activate it at least every 3 hours for a few minutes.
  9. Add the nutrient solution to the water and the substrate. Try to follow a calendar according to the needs of the species you grow; in the specialized store they will be able to guide you in this aspect.
How to make a homemade hydroponics - How to make a homemade hydroponics step by step

What is and how to make an NFT hydroponic growing system

There are several hydroponic systems apart from the one we have discussed. Some examples of the hydroponic systems that we can use are substrate hydroponics, the NFT system, the floating root, aquaponics, aeroponics and the modular Cascade system, among others. Apart from the one we have mentioned, one of the most used is the NFT hydroponics system ( Nutrient Film Technique or Nutrient Film or Film Technique ).

It is a vertical system of inclined channels or pipes, which contains a nutrient solution that circulates constantly . The plants are placed on the upper surface of the channel, in holes at the same distance, and the roots are always in contact, to a lesser or greater extent, with the nutrient solution. The inclination allows the solution to fall from one pipe to another to a container that will be at the bottom, in which a water pump must be installed, apart from the air one, to make the water rise with the solution again up to the first channel, therefore, the NFT hydroponic system is a closed loop.

It is advisable to get a system already assembled and install it at home on a suitable wall, where it can be vertical and fixed, or else acquire one in the shape of a pyramid, with shelves, which does not need a wall. You can also make an NFT hydroponics with several PVC pipes with the holes, plastic tubes or hoses of medium thickness, a large container, air pump, water pump, a little substrate, the solution in nutrient water and the sprouts.

Steps to make an NFT hydroponic system

  1. Drill the holes and fit the pipes.
  2. Connect the tubes or hoses to the top pipe and the large box or container that will go all the way down. Depending on the angle you give the system, you may have to place more hoses to connect the pipes between them and with the box below that will collect the water, it will depend on the design.
  3. Fix all the pieces well between them and the wall or support in the form of a pyramid.
  4. Add the water with the nutrient solution or film.
  5. Place and operate the two pumps.
  6. Place the shoots in the holes with a little substrate at the base and make sure that their roots touch the water.
How To Make A Homemade Hydroponic Grow - What Is It And How To Make A NFT Hydroponic Growing System

Tips to make a successful home hydroponics grow

Here are some tips for making an effective home hydroponic grow :

  • The size of the container that we have indicated is indicative, you will have to look for a container or several depending on what you want to grow and the quantity. You can opt for PVC-type plastic bar systems and metal structures. However, the optimum minimum depth is between 20 and 30 cm.
  • Keep in mind that the box or container has to be opaque so that the light does not pass through.
  • You will always need a system to ventilate the air in the container and oxygenate the water, so a simple option is an aquarium pump but there are other ways, to find out about the options in the market, find out at a specialized store.
  • The nutrients needed for most hydroponics are oxygen, sulfur, copper, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and nitrogen, among others. Most are achieved with continuous irrigation, but if you observe that some plants become ill, check the pH and composition of the water and include the necessary nutrients in the water if any are missing. Back in the store they will help you specify and fix it.
  • There are various substrates suitable for hydroponic cultivation, but pumice stone, sand, expanded clay, rock wool or vermiculite are often used. In addition, organic compost can be used .
  • Until you learn how to use this technique well, we recommend that you start using already germinated seeds, as it will be easier to grow them.
How To Make A Home Hydroponic Grow - Tips For A Successful Home Hydroponic Grow
How to make a home hydroponic garden

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