I have been interested in hydroponics from a very young age when a relative gave me a "grow light".
Being young, I didn't realise hydroponics meant growing without dirt, but that didn't stop me trying to grow plants under my parents stairs!
Ever since seeing my strawberries growing under that purple fluorescent glow, I was mesmerised by the idea of growing plants in different ways.
When I learnt that hydroponics was about growing without dirt (and not artificial lights!), I was hooked even more.
I have researched for years, and recently took the plunge growing a small hydroponic chilli plant, that shot up above it's dirt bound siblings. That was it for me, I wanted more, and I wanted bigger!
So here is how I built my new hydroponic garden, I hope to inspire others to jump in, it is a great hobby!
Step 1: The Green side of life
Hydroponics use as little as 10% of the water needed for plants grown in dirt , and results in higher yields due to the plants always having the necessary nutrients available to them when they need it.
Being a closed system, it also means that fertiliser is kept out of the water table, which is great for the environment.
An added benefit is that there is a less chance for weeds and dirt bound insects to attack your plants, so there is less of a need for chemical poisons.
Keeping with the green spirit, this instructable uses recycled materials where possible, and uses a low power pump, to keep electricity use low.
From using old PVC pipes, an old wooden baby's crib and other miscellaneous junk, not only is the cost kept down, but so is the waste.
As for power, the only thing needed is a water pump.
A small submersible pond pump kept the power usage down to a small 18 watts, which is about that of a CFL and less then a third of an Aerogarden!
When it comes to lights, it is hard to beat the Sun!
Free, effective and carbon neutral, it provides the exact spectrum that plants have evolved to use.
By growing food in my garden, it is a little bit less food I need to buy, a little less food that has been shipped across country, by trucks.
No packaging, and no transport makes this food the greenest in my kitchen.