Kids might consider gardening as a boring chore, but the discovery of DIY hydroponics transformed it as a great activity that everyone can enjoy. It may be surprising for conventional gardeners to grow anything without any soil or sunlight. But you will find this a much better approach in speeding up the growth rate of plants. Once fully grown, your plants are healthier with thicker roots, bigger fruits and are more flavorful.
Good DIY hydroponics kits come with everything you need to grow your own food. These include the equipment to build your hydroponic garden, the necessary nutrients and step-by-step instructions.
Below is a brief summary of what you may need for a start:
- A hydroponic kit may include a tank lid with a hole, an 8-cube slab of sponge for seed germination, a packet of LECA or hydroballs that will hold the plant in place, two hydro pots, a packet of seeds, and a packet of ready-to-use two-part formulation.
- Other DIY hydroponics kits may include a hydroponic rack, a growing tray, grow lights, a number of net pots that can be reused, some Rockwool plugs and cubes, spongy ceramic beads, a reflective and closed-foam planting bed, a hydro-pump, a mesh-screen support structure, a nutrient scoop and a pH test kit.
If you want to build one from scratch, there is nothing to worry as well because the Internet can help you figure things out. In fact, this can give you an opportunity to get creative and make use of unconventional items around your home.
An example of this may include the use of:
- plastic soda or water bottles as containers
- lemon or lemon juice and baking soda to regulate the pH level
- litmus paper as a ph tester
- straw as an aerator,
- pieces of a cotton shirt and shredded pieces of fabric for wicks
- Lego blocks and shredded paper as growing mediums
For a much complex hydroponic system, there is a long list of materials. So familiarize yourself about them before making a decision. This way, you will be able to figure out which kit is suitable.
Now that you have a general idea on the materials which are likely to be used in setting up a DIY hydroponics garden, you can get started by deciding on the size of your garden, what you want to plant and how much you want to spend. You can choose to go vertical if you have a limited space or build a greenhouse if you have a wide area. Perhaps, you can make use of medium-sized plastic storage containers.
Suggested plant varieties that can be grown hydroponically include lettuce, wheat berries, arugula, chard, edible flowers, herbs, wheatgrass, rye, oats, barley, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli, beans and grains.
Keep in mind, that depending on how sophisticated your DIY hydroponics system is, you may be able to grow whatever seeds that you want regardless of the season or the weather. If you system includes grow lights and temperature control, then you are controlling the environment and are no longer dependent on seasons: you create the ideal growing environment indoors, when you choose.
There is so much to explore on the Internet so make sure you set aside the necessary time and effort to do your research and get the understanding you need. Remember, most DIY hydroponics kits are of good quality but no two homes are the same and the right kit will depend on your situation and needs. It does not have to be hugely expensive, as long as it meets your functional requirements.
Search out good articles, join some of the many DIY hydroponics forums where you can ask questions and learn so much from other enthusiasts. Some of the bigger online stores provide a helpline and will always be keen to assist you. Shop around, ask questions and pay attention to what other gardeners have experienced while using a particular kit for their hydroponic garden.
It will take a while for you to become an expert in DIY hydroponics, but you should find the experience incredibly rewarding as you build up your knowledge and develop new skills. Just be patient and do not forget to take notes as you continue exploring.
I hope that you succeed in making this new project a reality and everything goes well.