Build a Hydroponic System - Hydroponics Farming and Gardening

Before you build a hydroponic system, you should know the advantages to growing your own garden without the aid of soil. Some of the benefits to hydroponic gardening include:

Photo courtesy of Jeinny Solis S.
  • Complete control over nutrient balance
  • Significant reduction of pests and diseases found in soil
  • Much better spacing efficiency due to smaller roots
  • Ability to grow more in a smaller space
  • Reduction of water waste due to concentrated feeding

Better for the Environment

Hydroponic gardens produce the same as traditional gardens in one-fifth the space. Due to recycling, hydroponic systems use as little as 10 percent of the water that traditional gardening uses. Hydroponic gardens use none of the herbicides and pesticides that are used in soil gardening.

Five Common Systems

If you are going to build a hydroponics growing system, you will need to decide which system to build. Some of the systems used today are:

  • Wick System
  • Water Culture System
  • Ebb and Flow
  • Drip System recovery/non recovery
  • Aeroponic System

Building an Ebb and Flow System

If you are going to build a hydroponic system for the first time the Ebb and Flow is a good choice for beginners. It’s easier than some of the more complex systems and the few things you need, include:

  • Flood Tray
  • Nutrient Reservoir
  • Ebb and Flow Fittings
  • Tubing
  • Water Pump
  • Growing Mediums

Constructing Your System

The steps to build your system include:

  • The first thing you will need to build a hydroponic system is to build the structure to hold the flood tray. It should be high enough off the floor to allow the tray to slide in and out underneath, and strong enough to hold the tray.
  • Drill the holes in the lowest part of the tray for the ebb and flow fill/drain fittings.
  • Place the extensions in the fill/drain fittings, which is the overflow for the tray.
  • Place on ebb and flow screen fitting on the fill/drain fitting, as this is the fitting that attaches the pump to the reservoir.
  • Put the tray on the table over the reservoir.
  • Use the tubing to attach the pump to the flood fitting.
  • Fill the reservoir and check for leaks.
  • Plug the pump into a timer that is programmed for the appropriate on and off settings.

A Versatile System

The Ebb and Flow system is a very versatile system that will work with a number of growing mediums like Grow Rocks, gravel or granular Rockwool. You can either spread out the growing medium in the tray or use individual pots for each plant and put those in the tray.

The one disadvantage of the Ebb and Flow system is its vulnerability to the loss of power. You need that power for your timer and pump. You could also experience a mechanical failure with your equipment as well. The interruption of watering cycles will dry out the roots very quickly.

Be Prepared - Build a Hydroponic System

If the world has experienced a complete economic collapse, you may find that paper currency has become obsolete. No longer can you go to the grocery store and purchase dinner. In fact your first concern aside from personal safety is going to be water and food provisions.

If you are going to build a hydroponic system, you will need to purchase some materials. Your new system may need some tweaking as well so don’t wait until your life depends on it before starting to grow your foods hydroponically.

You might want to experiment with different systems until you find the system that works the best for you. Do all your playing around before some type of economic disaster strikes making it impossible to go to the grocery store for your food and water.

Homestead Hydroponics

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