DIY Hydroponic Gardens: How to Design and Build an Inexpensive System for Growing Plants in Water
- Publisher : Cool Springs Press; 1st edition (28 March 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 200 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0760357595
- ISBN-13 : 978-0760357590
- Dimensions : 20.32 x 1.27 x 25.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 27 in Biology & Life Sciences Textbooks
DIY Hydroponic Gardens – Contents
This book makes hydroponics accessible to gardeners of any experience level. You’ll learn both the science of hydroponics and its practical applications and see that DIY hydroponics is not just a way to avoid purchasing expensive hydroponic systems; it’s also a way to create a beautiful garden better suited to your needs. Offering build guides for hydroponic gardens that range from simple to complex, this book shows systems suitable for nearly any environment or application. The build guides include many options for customizing the design so you can create a garden catered to your space, crop selection, and budget.
The equipment you’ll need for a hydroponic growing system depends, of course, on what kind of system you want to create. Except for the most basic systems, hydroponics usually includes a pump to recirculate the mixture of water and fertilizer. The recirculating water is important because it is through movement, and in some cases an airstone with tubing, that oxygen from the ambient air is supplied to the liquid and then to the plants. These pumps, along with the tubing and joining connectors, are the heart of the system and probably the most important equipment you will buy.
3 Hydroponic Growing Systems
DIY Hydroponic systems are a great way to create a custom garden catered to your location, crop, and desired aesthetics. Many beginning hydroponic growers decide to build their own systems because of the cost of retail systems, but from personal experience, I have found building DIY systems may not always be the cheapest option, especially if there are mistakes in the system design. I love creating original systems built for specific locations, but creating original systems can often involve a lot of expensive mistakes. I’ve purchased items that don’t fit, or wouldn’t hold after I glued them into place, or broke, or didn’t provide enough light, or didn’t provide enough drainage . . .
DIY Hydroponic Gardens – Contents
4 Starting Seeds And Cuttings
Growing a healthy, robust seedling or root cutting is often one of the biggest challenges for new hydroponic gardeners. The ideal conditions for germination or root establishment are dependent on crop selection. Refer to the crop selection charts in the appendix to find recommended germination temperatures for various crops.
5 Plant Nutrition
Plants cannot tell the difference between natural and synthetic fertilizers. Plants have specialized pathways that only allow them to uptake a very short list of ions and simple molecules. In traditional soil-based gardening, these ions and molecules are often derived from manure or decaying plant matter broken down by a series of biological processes.
6 System Maintenance
At some point, even the most basic hydroponic gardens will require some upkeep. Hydroponic system maintenance includes everything from monitoring and adjusting nutrient concentrations to regularly flushing the system, and even the occasional scrubbing of pots and reservoirs.
7 Common Problems And Troubleshooting
Now that you have learned to be a system builder, an indoor gardener, and a maintenance worker, it is time to learn to be a doctor. Here is a brief primer on how to diagnose and troubleshoot your hydroponic growing system.
Growing System: Bottle Hydroponics
Hydroponic systems don’t get much simpler than bottle hydroponics.
A quick google search of bottle hydroponics will reveal the many ways to use bottles in hydroponics. Unfortunately, most of these are either complicated, ugly, or both. These simple hydroponic bottles are easy to build, low cost, low maintenance, require no electricity, and look great.
Kratky Method and Aeration
The Kratky method is the easiest hydroponic growing technique. No pumps, no complex irrigation systems . . . just plants sitting in water. Most of the early hydroponic research focused on static water systems like the Kratky method. These systems worked, but, as scientists tend to do, they kept experimenting and eventually found there was an increase in plant growth rate when the nutrient solution was aerated. This discovery spurred the development of circulating hydroponic systems with increased aeration, like nutrient film technique (NFT) and top drip irrigation.
- Suitable Locations: Indoors, outdoors, or greenhouse
- Size: Small
- Growing Media: Stone wool
- Electrical: Not required
- Crops: Leafy greens and herbs