Building a hydroponics system is actually really easy, and it doesn’t have to cost that much either. I will show you my first build with a box and some pots.

Hydroponic Growing 1

What we are going to start with is

  • 22 liter (6 gallon) box
  • six pots,
  • A marker
  • Carpet knife
  • Duct tape
  • Black garbage bag
Hydroponic Growing 2

Trace the pots and cut out holes for them.

Now that we have holes for all the pots, it’s time to work on covering the box.

Hydroponic Growing 3

Since this box is transparent, we need to cover it so no light reach the water. If left uncovered, the probability for algae build-up is much higher.

You can do it the easy way and spray paint the box black, or do it the slightly harder way and cover it with a black garbage bag. Since I didn’t have any spray paint at home, I had to do it with a garbage bag. Don’t forget to cover the lid as well.

Hydroponic Growing 4

When you are done, it should look something like this, all nicely covered.

Hydroponic Growing 5

Now it’s time for the plants, I’m going with tomatoes and Basil. I grew the tomatoes from seeds and the Basil is from cuttings. They all come from growing in soil and they don’t have really good root systems, but I hope it will work anyway.

Hydroponic Growing 6

Place the plants in the pots and fill up with some material that will keep them in place. I’m using LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) to prop up the small plants.

Time for the water!

Since we are using just water and no soil, there will be no nutrients, so we must add it.
Use a nutrient that is made for hydroponic growing, a nutrient that includes micronutrients. Mix water and nutrients as instructed on the package.

The level of water should be a bit under the pots, but since my plants had such short roots, I filled the box to reach a bit over the bottom of the pots.

Hydroponic Growing 7

Now we have created a hydroponic system with cheap material and hardly any effort.

Sit back and watch the plants grow.

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