Pictured here is my DIY hydroponic initial testing project.
1) 1 plastic bin
2) 4ft plastic tubing
3) 1 foot pedal air pump
4) 6 plastic water bottles
5) 6 peat seed starting plugs
6) 1 empty onion mesh bag (cut to size)
8) rock (to hold hose in place on bottom of bin)
You can use other items as replacements for the ones I used; mine were all on hand so that’s why they were chosen.
I started by choosing my growing medium, the peat was left over from my attempt last year at seed starting and growing vegetables long after they were out of season. In regard to the water I had started composting in a bucket several weeks back so I used a gallon of it with nine gallons of water. I added crushed eggshell, Osmicote fruit and vegetable food, and a small amount of ash to round out the fluid mixture.
The bottles were cut just taller than half way with quarter inch wide and an inch a half tall openings from the bottom up. I did four of these cut outs per bottle to allow the roots plenty of area to reach into the water. I always keep the mesh bags when I have eaten store bought fruits or vegetables and this came in handy. I cut sections from the mesh then slid this into the bottle making a suspension net for the seed in the plugs .
I used tape to keep the mesh in place on the bottles. You most likely noticed tape on the side of the bin as well, this is to add support due to pressure of the water (a precaution as I don’t want the bin busting and the compost water all over my porch!).
The purpose of the pump is to aerate and circulate the water. This promotes microbe growth to give the plants a healthy life. I centered the hose end on the bin bottom then weighted it down with one a rock.
This unit has three Apollo arugula and three mixed mini bell pepper plants. Always remember to plan whether you want to have your plants to remain in such a unit or if you are only using it to grow seedlings as that determine the strength you need to make your “potting”.
I look forward to providing updates on this project as I hope you will enjoy them.