Recently, I've become interested in constructing herb gardens that can be found in the cities, where there is limited access to fresh soil. Most could use pots and soil bought at a local Home Depot or Lowes; however in small apartments these may be hard to use because of space and attention needed. With a hydroponic, one can maintain the life of the plants without the constant handling since the pump does most of the work. Taking inspiration from other designs, I developed my own plan for constructing a independent hydroponic water system that can support the life of varying different plants; in this case, herbs
Step 2: Gather Your Minions!!!(Materials)
2 PC Pipes (I used two pieces of PCV that were 24 inches long, if you can't find one, simply get enough so you can cut two 24inch pieces )
Clear plastic tubing ( 2 feet and 4inch)
Plastic storage box
Garden fountain pump
Fittings- Charlotte pipes 3/4
Plants-(I recommend herbs as a starter plants, basil seems the most adaptable to this process
Drill Saws- enough to drill a 3/4 hole
drill bit approximately .5 in diameter
Epoxy ( I suggest 2 packages)
A pair of scissors(to cut tubing)
Step 3: Create Your Garden Holders
2 PVC Pipes- cut to 24 inches each
Piece of carstock
1. Determine what diameter you wish to make the holes in your plant holders. In my case, I used 1-1/4 diameter, however as long as the holes allow sunshine to reach the plants and allow space to breath.
2. Use the cardstock and sharpie and trace your desired hole size, cutting it out.
3. Trace the circles 7 inches apart, with 1-1/2 space on either side
Set aside for a later time
Step 4: Create Stands
Take ply wood and cut: One into 21 inch strip and the other into 2 into 10X5 in wood
Step 5: Create and Fitting the Caps
PVC Pipe Caps (appropriate for the size you chose)
1. Measure the diameter of your fillings and drill the appropriately sized hole close to the bottom of your PVC pipes.
2. Twist fittings into the holes until they are snug and then apply epoxy to seal it (this will ensure no water leaks). Make sure the nozzle is facing down.
3. Once this is complete, push cap onto ends of the PVC pipes, securing them with a layer of epoxy.
This step is repeated four times for each end of the two pipes.
Step 6: Cut and Connect Tubing
1. Measure the distance from the bottom of your storage container to the end of the pipe; then add on at least 5inches.
2. Next, cut another piece of tubing which measures the distance from the far end of tubing one to the far end of tubing 2.
3. Finally cut a piece of tubing which reaches from the top of the tubing to around the mid section of the storage bin.
4. Take the same drill bit used to make holes in PVC pipes and put to holes into the storage bin, both around the midsection on either ends
5. Take the longest piece of tubing and loop it through the hole in the storage bin and connect it to PVC #1. This should leave it with one end connected to a fitting and one end hanging loosely in bin
6. Take the shortest tubing and connect both ends of PVC pipes 1 and 2 (use the un-connected side of PVC #1 and the side of PVC #2 which is adjacent)
7. Take the mid-sized piece of tubing and connect it to the last un-connected fitting, Take the other end and loop it through the hole on that end.
8. And the end, this should create a full cycling circuit for the water to run through.
Step 7: Connecting Pump
1. Take the small fountain pump and connect it the unconnected end of the longest tubing.
2. Take a drill bit and drill a hole in the lid of the storage to allow the cord to go through and plug into an energy source
3. To secure the pump in place, use adhesives such as duck tape or even small amounts of epoxy on the feet
Step 8: Creating Pots and Putting in Plants
1. Take the six water bottles and cut them down the middle. Take the top half and remove cap.
2. Take screwers and poke holes through both sides; so that screwers will create an x-formation. Make sure that screwers are long enough so that a good portion extrudes from the water bottle.
3. Take adolescent basil plants and wash off the dirt, leaving only the roots. Portion the plants into the containers, just enough so that there's no overcrowding.
4. Place the containers into each hole and ensure they're nicely balanced.
Step 9: Create Water Solution
1. Take liquid plant food and water and create a solution that is 1/3 plant food and 2/3 water
Pour into tub and turn pump on; watch for a bit to ensure there are no leaks. If water begins going over edge, poke holes into the cover of the plastic tub so that it drains back into the tub of water
Recommended plant food brands:
Miracle-Grow Liquia feed