5 DIY Hydroponic Systems - Backyard Boss
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5 DIY Hydroponic Systems

Skip the dirt and say hello to water!

Hydroponic garden systems are a fantastic way to encourage plant growth using only water. But why use a hydroponic system? Indoor hydroponics can produce food and growth any time of year, winter or spring!

The best part of hydroponic systems is that they aren’t always elaborate. There are hydroponic farms with scientifically advanced tools and equipment, but you don’t need that! You can create a hydroponic system from the comfort of your own home!

Ready to start? Pick out the plants you love and take a look at these five DIY hydroponic systems that you will want to try!

Mason Jar Hydroponic System


Based on a deep-water culture system, the Kratky method is an easy hydroponic system to make at home. Done with jars and netted cups, grow your favorite plants with little effort. This system works best for smaller plants. 

To make this system, take a large jar and fill it with water – any mason jar will do. Then place your plant in a netted cup, letting the roots escape. Attach this netted cup to the top of the jar, so the roots are touching the water. Voila — an easy DIY hydroponic system! 

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that the roots are the only thing to touch the water. If the plant stem or leaves are submerged, this damages the plant and may lead to disease and decay.

Bucket Hydroponic System


The bucket DIY hydroponic garden resembles the wick system. The wick system uses a string to allow plants to absorb the water they need when they need it.

To create this hydroponic system, have large buckets with lids and string at the ready. A thicker string allows more water to absorb up towards your plants. Hydroponic wick cord is even available for purchase (if you prefer to perfect it the first time!).

Once you have all your materials, begin by cutting holes the size of your netted planter pots in the lid. Insert your plants into the lid holes, then attach them to the root area using your cord or string. The string must touch the root system and drape down into the base of the bucket.

Larger plants that require more water absorption likely will not survive this hydroponic system. This system is best for smaller plants that do not need significant amounts of water. Lettuce, herbs, spinach, kale, and even strawberries are good options!

Finally, fill the bucket up with water about halfway, ensuring the roots are not in contact with the water. Then close the lid, and let your plants soak it all up!

Bottle Hydroponic System


Just as you can make a hydroponic system with mason jars, the same is achievable with old bottles! Use any water, soda, or juice bottles, to DIY a hydroponic system.

To do so, cut your bottle in half and insert the top opening into the base portion of the bottle. The top of the bottle is where your plant grows, while the bottom half holds the water.

Insert your plant into the top half, storing it in a netted cup or other substrates (soilless growing media). Some substrates include rock wool, marbles, pumice, or perlite.

Fill the base of your bottles with water, so the plant roots make their way through the opening. Remember to change the water in your DIY hydroponic system around every two weeks for the best growth results. Note that changing your water too often can negatively affect your hydroponic system. 

Grow Tower Hydroponic System


For those who like a challenge, a grow tower is an awesome hydroponic system to try!

The grow tower hydroponic system allows your plants to grow vertically, saving you space. You will construct a watered tower of plants using materials like buckets, PVC, a water pump, and tubing.

The pillar is made with small holes along the vertical tower that house your plants. A bucket is added to the pillar’s base, which stores the water. To get the hydroponic system working, you must have a pump. This pump circulates the water upwards, dripping down into the hollow tower from where the plant roots are sticking.

Now all you have to do is select your favorite plants! Plant them on your chosen substrate, with the leaves and stems sticking outwards, and let them grow.

Wall NFT Hydroponic System


A hydroponic system on your wall, winding its way downwards to feed multiple plants without lifting a finger? Yes, please!

This wall Nutrient Film Technology (NFT) system is excellent for those who like to design. It is perfect for those willing to do the work and calculations to complete it. The best part is that it does not require a large budget — just time and effort to create it!

What you use to create your wall NFT hydroponic system is up to you. However, many gardeners like to use connecting tubing and piping. To make this system, drill openings into the winding maze of tubing for the plants to reside.

This wall hydroponic system works through a continuously flowing system and a timed pump. The pump is connected to a water reservoir that, once built, continues to feed your plants water for ultimate growth.

It’s Hydroponic Time!

Ready to create a hydroponic system that allows you to produce your favorite plants all year? With a bit of time and effort from you, these DIY hydroponic systems provide tremendous opportunities for plant growth.

What hydroponic garden system do you think would work best for your space? Are you planning to make an indoor garden system or an outdoor one? Comment below and share your hydroponic plans!

Happy growing!

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