Greetings and salutations! I’m here today to talk with you about a few easy ways to dip your toes into the hydroponic world. From tomatoes to salad greens, you too can enjoy the efficient growth that hydro provides, and it’s not as hard as you think! Here are a few simple DIY projects we can help you with at your local Fifth Season Gardening Co. store.
An offshoot of more traditional hydroponics, aeroponics is the process of growing plants in a mist of diluted nutrient solution. One easy off-the-shelf example is the EZ-clone line of products sold in the store. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s really not all that difficult to fashion your own aeroponic cloner, and many of the parts can be bought right here in the shop! Ingredients list below!
5 gallon aeroponic cloner
- Ecoplus 396 submersible pump
- Five (5) gallon bucket w/ lid
- Short length of 1/2 in. PVC tubing, (less than a foot) w/ 1/2 in. end caps
- 1/2 in. x 4in. threaded PVC riser
- 1/2 in. PVC “T” fitting
- 5 360 degree aeroponic misters
- 5-12 2-inch net cups, with a corresponding number of 2 inch Neoprene inserts
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
Deep Water Culture is what people typically picture when they hear the word “hydroponics”. It involves growing with the root structure partially or entirely submerged in an aerated nutrient solution. A turnkey solution would be the (excellent) WaterFarm from General Hydroponics, a hybrid DWC/top drip. A simple DWC system can be set up using a 5 gallon bucket, a net lid, and air stone with an attached air pump.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
In Nutrient Film Technique, a small pipe is used to channel a shallow stream of nutrient solution. Plants–typically lettuces, due to their small root structure, simple nutrient requirements and positive response to an unlimited water supply– hang their roots into this solution, taking in as much water or nutrient as they desire, while the root structure suspended outside of the water is fully oxygenated.
Hopefully this brief introduction to hydro helps you to “think outside the dirt” for your next gardening adventure. We are happy to talk with you about any of these DIY projects!