Here’s a system my wife and I have used this year, and yes she’s the brains behind it…
It’s sooooooo easy, yes you can do it ! Here’s a quick list of some of the Items You Will Need to Build this simple system.
Tools- power drill, 2 inch hole saw, hack saw or sawsall,tape measure, marker, and chalk line.
Materials- 6 inch PVC pipe, pvc end caps, PVC glue, 30 gallon plastic storage tote with lid, fountain pump, black pump hose, fish aquarium air pump, mesh pots ( you can make these or buy), grow stone or other medium, patience.
First, cut the PVC pipe to a manageable length depending on your space and needs. We used a chop saw to accomplish this.
Assembling the PVC Pipes
Once we cut the pipes to the length we wanted we then laid the pipes out for drilling the holes for our net pots. We used the front lawn as our work area to measure and cut the Plant Holes. To help make a straight line we used a chalk line to mark the top-center of the PVC pipe before we cut out individual plant holes. Be careful and go slow for this part we learned that a little off center to either side will make the hydroponic system leak. It is helpful to use a chalk line to snap a line down the very top center of each tube before you begin cutting the holes. We used a 2 inch hole saw from harbor freight to cut the holes.
We hung our system to the inside of our privacy fence since its summer, once we can move to a colder climate we will maybe use a greenhouse on sawhorses or something. Grow lights would come into play here, which I know nothing about..
Next my wife used pvc glue to secure the end caps onto the pipes and caulked around it. We used Net Pots from Amazon, but you can make them out of plastic cups.
The black pump hose was used to connect the pipes together and to return the water to the reservoir. Thank god my wife can figure stuff out !! It’s trial and error and Internet research.
The reservoir should have at least one air bubbler in it to keep it oxygenated. We filled the bin with water and liquid fertilizer. Next we turned on the water pump and waited until there was just as much water returning to the system as there was being pumped into the system. Here’s where the patience and trial and error comes in.
Place your seedlings and grow medium in the net pots and watch them grow !! It’s a lot more than I explained, but that’s the gist of it. This system is prone to leaks because the water level in the system needs to be kept close to the spilling point in order to give the plants’ roots enough area in which to grow. We had a problem with the volume of the root mass of our basil in the system blocking it. We ended up having to take it out and dry it .
Like I said its a lot more to it than this, but not much. Just read up on the basics and you can do it, we did !