Cheap Window Sill Hydroponics System

Introduction: Cheap Window Sill Hydroponics System

What is Hydroponics?

Simply put, it is a way to grow plants using a mineral nutrient solution in water, without soil. While more complicated options may seem overwhelming, this system offers an easy-to-understand method that will inspire you to get started.

Without further ado, here's a cheap and easy way to begin your first window sill hydroponics garden!

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Step 1: Materials

- 11"'x19" x3"-4" plastic tray (we used a kitty litter bin) or aluminum roasting pan
- 2 1/2' to 3' of 3/8" I.D. vinyl tubing
- plumbing sealant
-   ~2"x4"piece of galvanized or fiberglass screen
- Perlite, gravel or sand- only inert growth media
- clamp or clothespin
- 1 gallon pitcher
- your choice of plant food solution
- seeds

OPTIONAL: seedling starter tray or discs

Step 2: Constructing Your Tray

Drill or cut a hole that will accommodate your tubing into one corner of the tray.

Insert at least 2-3" of tubing into your tray. Now put a watertight seal at this entry site with your plumbing sealant, while also securing the tubing to the tray bottom.

After this has dried, use your plumbing sealant to secure your appropriately sized piece of screen over the tube entry. This will prevent particulate from draining along with solution.

Step 3: Add Your Growth Media

Add enough Perlite, sand or gravel to reach within 3/4" of the tray's top edge.

Use only inert growth media.

Step 4: Seeding

Place seed starter discs with seeds inside them or  your started seedlings securely into Perlite or growth media.

You can place seeds in the media directly but they may move during solution wettings and may grow randomly and perhaps not where you initially placed them.

Step 5: Plant Solution

With the tube clamped to the top edge of the tray, add enough of your chosen plant solution from your pitcher to cover the growth media.

The solution will not drain when the tube is clamped above the tray top.

After your pitcher is emptied or the tray is filled, drain the excess solution by unclamping your tube and placing it into your pitcher that you have now placed below tray level so that your hydroponic setup may drain by gravity.

Repeat as necessary.

Step 6: Watch Your Window Sill Garden Grow!

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Does anyone have experience with this set up and can post photos? Every time the grow bed needs to be flooded I have to lift the fluid container above the bed, is that right? How many times per day does that need to be done? Is there anyway to automate this?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I made one of these in my window vertically useing plastic bottles. Turned out pretty good and was around 100 bucks all in all
    You can check it out at youtube


    8 years ago on Introduction

    As I picked the last of my cherry tomatoes I kept thinking I wish there was some way for me to bring it indoors; three days later I'm surfing Instructables and find this. Although I'm not sure how I'd keep a tomato from toppling over. Maybe I could rig some kind of hanging support from the ceiling. Anyhow, thanks for the inspiration!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    That's a really cool and practical setup! I was thinking of trying a similar but larger setup since I am planning on growing several herbs. I was just concerned that there would not be enough circulating water running inside the tube if I put it in a high rise area. So I am figuring out the best stand that I could use for it in the meantime.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    very easy and space saver too. I will try one this week and show what I get!!