Growing plants can be one of the best psycho-therapeutic hobbies to people of all ages.
In this instructable, I will present the process of creating your very own vertical hydroponic system, which you can mount on or lean up against a wall, or create a self standing unit. This system will allow you to grow beautiful flowers, cooking herbs, and other air purifying plants. Enjoy! - MrEnvironment
Step 1: Tools:
In this instance, I chose a clear plexiglass construction in order to create a state of transparency and allow the visualization of the inner workings of the system.
- 3 PlexiGlass Sheet
- 2 Zinc-Plated Slotted Angle (Or a short open top plastic box can work as a substitute as the two above)
- 1 Nylon String
- 4 Rockwool Cubes (5 Inch)
- 10 ft. Thread Rod cut into 4 pieces to be slightly larger then width of system
- Black plastic Tubing for Water pump (1/2 inch outside diameter
- 1 Clear Silicon
- Hack Saw
- X-acto Knife to cut the plexiglass
- Power Drill and 3/8th and 1/2 Drill Bits
Build Time: 2 Hours
Silicon Dry Time: 24-48 Hours
Step 2: Build the Box
I was able to maximize the utilization of the plexiglass by carefully measuring out one back wall, 2 side walls, a floor, a roof, a shower plate, and a little front piece for the shower chamber.
Once I had those dimensions using the Zinc Angles I constructed a metal frame, held together by 4 threaded metal rods running horizontally secured into place with inner and outer nuts.
The of the ends of the rod is in the order as follows: Inner nut - Plexiglass - Foam weatherstrip tape - Zinc Angle - Outer nut. Two rods for the top and two for the base.
Step 3: Water and Nutrient Shower System
Drill an array of 3/8th inch and 1/2 inch drill holes throughout the shower plate. Its important to spread out holes to spread the water to the whole system.
In the top section of the system i created a sealed chamber by adding a front and bottom piece of plexiglass with the silicon which was about an inch and a half tall that fills up a quarter of that way up with water when water testing.
With the base of this chamber you will want to drill moderate size holes spaced apart after some water tests to create an ideal shower to get both the rock wool cubes and hydrocorn you will be placing soon wet.
Do not attempt to drill too small of holes because I had first tried this but a lot of the water droplets had a tough time squeezing through.
After you water test your system when you're almost complete find out where the water accumulates and drill in one or a couple drain holes depending on your specific system at the bottom.
Step 4: Fill Her Up With the Growing Medium
I found it ideal to have a hydrocorn back and the Rockwools in the front. Trim up the rock wool cubes to fit your specific dimensions. I had the average big 5 inch cubes and cutting them in half worked perfectly.
Rockwool from past experiences has been my go to choice for my main hydroponic growing media. It gives good support to hold the plant and traps in vital nutrients and water to keep the plants healthy.
I chose the hydrocorn in the back because I wanted to get that cool view of the roots and also thought it would bring advantage into drainage of the system. The rock wool does a great job holding everyone together as well.
Step 5: Secure Everything
Once you've placed(Or beforehand like i did) , drill in little holes on the top of the edges of the system so you can guide your string through and create a lattice like configuration to hold all of your growing medium and plants in place. Then start from the bottom and work your way up, make sure you create a snug fit. No growing media should be placed in the shower chamber noted above.
Since my drilled holes were about the diameter of the string, all I needed to do to get the ends of the string to grab ahold and hold the tension was I tied a knot so the rest of the string couldn't pull through. Also best to do this with it laying down like the pictures above. Once secure you can stand it up easily.
Step 6: Almost Done!
I used a 18 Gal container for the base because it was convenient and minimized chance of spills taking place. Place your pump in the reservoir and connect your hose to a drilled top entrance point.
Now just visit your local hydroponic store or order your plant nutrients offline. Put in the specified ratio of water to nutrient. Place on a mechanical timer to water 3 times daily (Each time duration of pumping water should saturate the system) or more depending on your local climate.
I suggest placing on either a well lit wall or place a grow like such as a LED over top of it.
Now just stick in your favorite seeds or clones once your system has been saturated and get to growing!
I love seeing people pursuing hydroponics and beginners getting into it all. I appreciate every single vote for the indoor growing competition as well! :) If you all have questions or comments, please keep them coming! I will attempt to answer all questions to the best of my knowledge.
Cheers! Happy Growing!