Homemade Hydroponics for the Homesteader
At Homestead Hydroponics we are going to explore homemade hydroponics for those who want to try this type of gardening, but who don’t have a huge budget. For most homesteaders, money is usually pretty tight, so learning do-it-yourself, cheap ways to set up a hydroponic garden system can be a real money saver.
So with that…let’s learn everything you ever wanted to know about hydroponics…and more.
Homemade Hydroponics Essentials
Homemade hydroponics is easy thanks to modern innovations such as PVC pipe. The durability, fluid flow capabilities and other properties of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing is unsurpassable. Most modern plumbing systems use PVC pipes to convey water, waste and other fluid materials. The best thing about PVC pipe is that it is inexpensive.
PVC PipeUsing PVC pipe as your primary nutrient water delivery and recovery system for your homemade hydroponic garden will cost pennies. Larger diameter PVC pipe can be used as holding containers for closed aeroponic systems.
TubingFlexible tubing like the kind used in commercial milking production can be used for complex designed ebb and flow system as well as vertical gardens. This tubing is very flexible, durable and lightweight. Individual hydroponic containers can be fed easily using this type of tubing. Developing a complex system with a visually aesthetic property can be accomplished by using single containers.
Submersible PumpsThe passive wick absorption system is the only hydroponic system that will not need a pump of any type. All other hydroponic systems will need a submersible water pump or an air bubble pump or both. The submersible pump will move nutrient water to and from the reservoir to your plants, and should be large enough to move about 100 gallons an hour.
This estimate is based on an active hydroponic system with at least one twenty gallon container that contains the nutrient solution. The pump doesn’t run every hour, because in most hydroponics gardens, the nutrients are pumped to the plants for thirty minutes every four hours during the daytime.
BubblersBubblers are small pumps that oxygenate your nutrient solution. Air bubblers are used to oxygenate the water for all hydroponic systems except the wick system. The bubbler should be large enough to produce bubbles that will float to the top of the reservoir before popping.
LightsThe type of light fixtures you choose for your homemade hydroponics project will depend on many factors. If your garden is growing during the winter, you will want large, high intensity reflecting hood fluorescent fixtures. If your garden is growing in a green house in the summer where natural sunlight is available, smaller brood type incandescent lamp fixtures will be sufficient. Vertical hydroponic systems can employ both rectangular fluorescent and bulb type brood lamp fixtures. Lighting will be one of the most expensive parts of any homemade hydroponics project.
NutrientsThe water that is used to feed your plants must be pH balanced and contain the proper amounts of the necessary minerals for your plants to thrive. It is possible to make your own nutrient water. Liquid nutrients are also available in concentrated form to add to your water.
Homemade hydroponics is a cost effective, creative way to provide environmentally friendly, healthy food for your family. Whether inside or out, a soil-less garden can be a place of beauty and functionality, and the great thing is that it won't cost you a fortune.
We hope you find this information helpful in setting up your own homemade homestead hydroponics garden.