Fun with Plants (experiments in Hydroponics)

My freind Jason came to me one day and pointed out a $70 hydroponics kit that used some buckets and a pump. He thought it was pretty cool, so I said “I can make you one for a quarter of the price” and so the challenge was accepted.

This is the story of me building my first hydroponics system.

When researching on what was needed and how much everyone was charging, thought this was a piece of cake! And it was!!

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So to get started you will need a few things……. and prices I paid

5Gal bucket with lid. $2 from Firehouse subs
submersible pump. $14.95 + free shipping
Tubing. $2.50 for 10ft at Homedepot
Growing medium. (i used Fish tank gravel, but rock wool or ceramic pelets or what ever you think is a good growing medium….its up to you) $free
basket (hydroponic growing basket) or a plastic flower pot. $3.00 from meijer
Airpump (optional). $8.00 from meijer

Total = ~$25.00

My design was simple compared to his setup, but he wanted to grow strawberries so he made one that was vertical. His was a little more expensive and requires a little more work, but well worth it. (pics of his at the end of the Post).

 

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To build this little fun project, you need to drill some holes in the side of the bucket, as close to the top as possible…….if you drill them too low you will spill water when trying to move it.

2x 1.5 in holes, one for the water tube, the other for the power cord

1x .5 in hole for the airation tube (optional)

and 1 large hole on the lid for your basket or baskets….(depending on how many you want to fit on top of it)

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the rest is just fitting everything in the bucket and making sure the water does not collect in the basket.

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The pump I selected

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You will need some fertilizer.  I bought this from amazon.com for about ~$20 and depending on your setup, this should last you along time. Just make sure you follow the ratios and using less then what is recommended, because you don’t want to kill off your plants when first starting.

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Box of the plant that I bought on clearance from Meijer for $2.50

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Now some ideas to make your own…… here is one that i helped my friend with.

.facebook_1050859991.facebook_606566432.facebook_-906886312It is nearly the same setup except for smaller baskets and is vertical farming/planting.

 

As this plant gets bigger and I find out more about hydroponics I will have more posts and updates.