Save Costs With Homemade Hydroponic Kits

October 7, 2009 by  
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Hydroponics is a great way to grow your own vegetables. It’s ideal for urban living, where you might not have any garden space, or have very limited soil. It is also great for those of us who do not have great soil conditions. Even better you can help the environment as this form of gardening does not pollute or impact the environment as much as conventional gardening. Buying a hydroponic kit might be expensive so if you are on a budget it is possible to have homemade hydroponic kits that work just as well as commercial ones.

How To Start

When you are deciding on which homemade hydroponics plans you will be using, there are generally two methods that are easiest to set up. The flow system is usually recommended but it requires more setup when you are building your homemade hydroponic kits. If you want the easiest homemade hydroponic kits for your hydroponic hobby then start with the reservoir system to ease into hydroponics.

You need plastic tubs that can hold about five gallons. The tub you choose should have a lid that fits properly and should also be an opaque color. Start by treating the tub you choose by first washing it with vinegar, then soap and water. This will kill any bacteria in the containers. This is an important step even if your containers are brand new.

You will want to start the next step of your homemade hydroponic kits, which is to make your planters. Choose individual plastic planters; and then place coconut coir, vermiculite, and perlite into the planters. You can then put your seedlings in this grow material.

Next cut holes along the lid of the container of your homemade hydroponic kits, the holes should be about the same size as the diameter of the planters. You also need to cut another hole for some tubing that is connected to a pump that will allow bubbles of oxygen to reach the roots of the plants.

Place the lid with the planters onto the tub that should be filled with your nutrient solution of choice. The nutrient solution should reach the roots. And there you have your very own homemade hydroponic kits. The great thing about this method is the low cost and easy assembly. You will find that the flow system needs a little more tinkering about and if you are in a rush then the reservoir system is definitely the better option.

Use A Homemade Hydroponic Solution

October 6, 2009 by  
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Hydroponics is a fun way to garden if you have limited space; it’s also a great way to start supplying your pantry with fresh vegetables. One thing might stop you from growing your own vegetables are the cost. Hydroponic kits can be expensive and when you are on a budget this can turn you off trying your hand at this method of gardening.

However it is possible to make homemade hydroponic kits. There are several types of hydroponics system however the best type to adopt as your homemade hydroponic solution is the ebb and flow type. This is the easiest and cheapest to set up on your own.

Basic Equipment

You will need some very basic equipment to start your homemade hydroponic solution. You can buy cheap storage totes, you will need two. An aquarium air and water pump is also needed. As well as some plastic tubing, a timer, and one set of flood and drain fittings. You should also have a suitable place for your plants to grow.

One of the totes will function as the nutrient reservoir; this tote will need to be of a darker color. If the other tote cannot be supported by the reservoir then you will need some support structure such as a table to complete your homemade hydroponic solution.

Putting It Together

In one of the totes install the fill and drain fittings. This is the ebb and flow tray, place on top of the support structure of your homemade hydroponic solution if you are using one. Next place the reservoir under the support structure. It needs to be positioned in a way so that the overflow drain from the first tote can flow into it.

Install the pump in the reservoir and then connect it to the fill from the above tote. You will need the flexible tubing for this part of the homemade hydroponic solution. Next connect the pump to the timer, and be sure that the overflow drain is able to drain back into the reservoir.

You have now successfully built your own homemade hydroponic solution. Fill the reservoir with necessary nutrients and put your plants in. it is important to use the right type of plastic containers for your reservoir and flow tray.

The best kind are dark colored and will not allow light to penetrate the containers. Many things can be used for this purpose; you may not even have to buy anything for this part of your homemade hydroponic solution.

Incorporating Variety Into Your Homemade Hydroponics Setup

October 5, 2009 by  
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Homemade hydroponics setups are not just for growing marijuana and other illicit drugs. People are attracted to the hobby of hydroponics for a variety of reasons. Some people live in apartments and do not have a dedicated outdoor growing space. Others reside in harsh climates with short growing seasons—or just want to be able to grow their gardens year-round. Still others are attracted to the scientific experimentation of hydroponics—mixing and optimizing your own homemade hydroponics solutions takes a lot of effort, but yields great rewards. Some people are attracted to hydroponics because of the nutritional value of the organic plants, which avoids toxins that might be present in backyard or commercial soil.

Types of Hydroponics Setups That Can Be Homemade

There are three basic types of hydroponic setups: drip, air pump, and ebb and flow. Each of these methods can be used to grow virtually any plant by anyone from beginners to advanced hobbyists. In addition to the three basic types of homemade hydroponics setups, more advanced methods include aeroponics and the nutrient film technique.

The most basic type of homemade hydroponic setups is the air pump, or bubble bucket system. Bubble buckets are a homemade hydroponics setup that uses a static nutrient solution to grow plants. The key part of this basic system is its use of an air pump, which aerates the water and consequently helps the nutrients bond with root hairs. The nutrient solution needs to be changed at a minimum of once a week, in order to maintain the correct balance of nutrients for optimal growth.

Drip feed systems, also known as trickle feeds, are a homemade hydroponics setup that can be made by drilling holes in PVC pipe. This is a bit more advanced, but improves on the design of the air pump system, and can be used with various setups. In this design, a tube pipes the nutrient solution to each plant individually, and then leftover solution drips down into the reservoir for reuse.

Ebb and flow systems are a bit more expensive, and while they are more complicated to build initially (unless you buy expensive, pre-fabricated kits), they require relatively little maintenance and grow very nice plants. Similar to the air pump system, this homemade hydroponics setup uses a reservoir filled with a nutrient solution, which is kept below the pump roots. Periodically, a pump on a timer draws the solution to the plants roots. As the solution is withdrawn from the roots, oxygen-laden air is sucked into place, providing needed oxygen to the plant roots
At one time or another, most dedicated hobbyists use all three of these methods in their homemade hydroponics setup. In order to get the most of your hydroponics addiction, try all three setups for maximum enjoyment.

Creating Your Own Homemade Hydroponic Nutrients

October 4, 2009 by  
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For people dedicated to “do-it-yourself” (DIY) homemade hydroponics, building their own reservoirs from aquariums or rubber storage bins might not seem like a strange idea. Yet even the most dedicated DIY hydroponic gardeners balk at the idea of using homemade hydroponic nutrients, as opposed to the pre-fabricated nutrients form garden stores. Though they might be scarier to use than the guaranteed success of pre-fabricated formulas, mixing their own homemade hydroponic nutrients is the next logical step for many hydroponics enthusiasts seeking to take their obsession to a new level.

Hydroponics uses a solution of nutrients in water to feed and grow plants, instead of more traditional pot-and-soil methods. Hydroponics can be used to grow virtually any plant out there—from houseplants and herbs to food crops and pretty flowers. Hydroponics can be incorporated either indoors or outdoors; hobbyists grow their plants everywhere, sometimes using elaborate homemade hydroponic setups in closets that incorporate large fluorescent lights to aid in photosynthesis and other times using only simple windowsill setups.

Materials Needed To Create Homemade Hydroponic Nutrients

Creating homemade hydroponic nutrients is not easy, and is not recommended for those creating a hydroponic garden for the first time. For those who already have a couple of successful gardens under their belts, homemade hydroponic nutrients are not only a viable alternative to the expensive nutrient solutions found in online gardening stores, but they also are a way that gardeners, by experimenting with different nutrient mixtures, can tweak their gardens to improve yields.

The three main nutrients that are needed for ALL plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Nitrogen helps plans grow and produce leaves. Phosphorus helps plants flower and grow fruit. Potassium allows plants to use energy they receive from the process of photosynthesis. Homemade hydroponic nutrient solutions must include all three of these in order to be feasible.

In addition to the main nutrients, trace elements are also necessary for thriving hydroponic plants. How much of these to mix into a homemade hydroponic nutrient recipe often depends on what type of plant is being grown. The optimal nutrient mixture for an acidic tomato plant for example, would be very different from what might be needed by a parsley plant. Gardeners experiment with various mixtures of homemade hydroponic nutrients in order to find the right mixture for their plants, which adds to the fun and stimulation of hydroponics. These ten trace elements that must be incorporated in homemade hydroponic nutrient solutions are chlorine, calcium, boron, manganese, iron, sulfur, zinc, copper, magnesium, and molybdenum.

What You Need To Know About Water

Plants use water to distribute minerals and aid in photosynthesis. Beware if you have a water softener—chemically softened water is not appropriate for your homemade hydroponics setup because it is too alkaline and can ultimately kill your plants. Most other water sources are fine, but hydroponic hobbyists should seriously consider using tap water in their homemade hydroponic nutrient solutions, since tap water contains many of the trace elements that can help your plants grow strong and healthy.

How To Create Your Own Homemade Hydroponic Garden

October 3, 2009 by  
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Hydroponic gardening is one of the most fascinating and rewarding hobbies that people can undertake. While sometimes associated only with growing illegal marijuana plants surreptitiously, homemade hydroponic gardens can be used to grow almost any plant in a limited space, including fruits, vegetables, flowers and other decorative plants.

People have been creating homemade hydroponic gardens for hundreds of years. With today’s lightweight plastic materials and easy-to-obtain oxygen pumps, homemade hydroponic gardens are easier than ever to make. The advantage to going homemade with your hydroponic garden is the fact that it will be much cheaper than pre-formed kits available in hobby and upscale garden stores.

The first step in creating your homemade hydroponics gardens is to get a good book on the subject. One book that can serve as your comprehensive guide is “Hydroponics for the Home Gardener: An Easy-To-Follow, Step-By-Step Guide For Growing Healthy Vegetables, Herbs and House Plants Without Soil” by Stewart Kenyon and Howard M. Resh. This and other books on the subject of homemade hydroponic gardens can be purchased from www.amazon.com and other retail websites.

Getting The Materials For Your Homemade Hydroponic Garden

The first part of creating a simple homemade hydroponic garden is figuring out what type of reservoir you want to use. One possibility is a standard fish tank, but you have to paint the sides of the tank black or cover the sides with black plastic, such as from a black plastic bag. The reason why the sides have to be black or opaque is because otherwise algae will grow in your tank, which will interrupt your plant growth. Another possibility for a reservoir is to use a rubber or plastic storage bin. Holes for the pots can be cut in the lid of the storage bin using a sharp box cutter or scalpel. Still other reservoirs are made from two-liter plastic bottles by cutting the bottoms out of them and then using them upside down.

Next, you need to figure out what kind of planters you want to use. Ideally, your pots are made from mesh or similar material, so your roots can hang down into the nutrient solution. How many pots you can fit in your reservoir depends on the surface size of your reservoir and the size of the pants. Most chap aquariums have limited surface space, so it would be appropriate to plant four small to mid-size plants in them. Large storage bins can hold larger plants, or a significant amount more of smaller plants.

Other materials you need to buy include an air pump. Homemade hydroponic gardens need to employ them in order to constantly aerate plant roots. Again, expensive air pumps can be purchased from specialty garden stores, but for your homemade hydroponic garden, a cheaper alternative would be an inexpensive aquarium pump you can buy at any pet supply store. Another mandatory supply for your homemade hydroponic garden is a nutrient mixture that is water-soluble, and which you can buy at garden supply and some department stores. These are not prohibitively expensive, but to save even more money, or if you just want more control on what you are feeding your plants, you can purchase a guide that will detail how to mix your own homemade hydroponic nutrients.

Finally, you need to find something that will serve as a medium to anchor your plants. In nature, this function would be done by the soil, but since homemade hydroponic gardens do not use soil, you need to use something to hold the roots of your plants. Mediums include everything from clay pellets to “rockwool cubes.” Once you have obtained these materials, you are well on your way to creating your own homemade hydroponic garden.

Starting Your Homemade Hydroponics Hobby

October 2, 2009 by  
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For people looking to combine scientific interest with a stress-busting hobby, starting a homemade hydroponic garden is a great way to enjoy your spare time in your own home. Hydroponics refers to any of several methods of growing plants with a water-nutrient solution instead of soil. Homemade hydroponics is a brilliant way of growing virtually any plant, and can be employed anywhere, from greenhouses to garages.

Hydroponics, in its simplest form, was recognized in the 17th century when Sir Francis Bacon published his research about it. Elements of hydroponics might even have been used in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon thousands of years ago. Hydroponics are also used by commercial entities to grow plants, including airlines who do not always have the ability to fly in fresh vegetables for airline meals at remote stops. Anyone, from botanists to beginning amateurs, can grow delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers using homemade hydroponics.

Why Homemade Hydroponics?

With homemade hydroponics, hobbyists and professionals can grow better food and decorative plants than their traditional alternatives. Plants grown via hydroponics have constant access to oxygen and optimal nutrient mixtures that are not possible to maintain in soil. Some studies indicate that hydroponic plants grow up to 50% faster than their soil-bound colleagues, due to the fact that, using homemade hydroponics, people can optimize the balance of nutrients fed to their plants.

Hydroponic plants spend all of their energy growing and creating fruit, whereas plants grown in soil expend energy searching for and extracting nutrients from soil. Another huge advantage of homemade hydroponics is the fact that, gardeners can avoid toxins that are even found in the soil of backyard gardens.

Homemade hydroponics can be grown a variety of ways in many varied places. They can be placed in window boxes, greenhouses, garages, and closets. Hydroponic gardeners use many different methods, such as the traditional “ebb and flow” method, according to the taste and capabilities of the grower. In this day of excessive use of pesticides by commercial growers as well as the exorbitant costs of “organic” fruits and vegetables, homemade hydroponics are an excellent way to get chemical-free plants at reasonable prices.

How to Begin Your Homemade Hydroponics Project

Hydroponics can be an expensive hobby, with four-plant kits selling for anywhere between $100 and $400. A cheaper alternative is to make your own homemade hydroponics kits, which can be made for a fraction of the cost of the kits sold in specialty hydroponics and gardening stores.

Many of the items needed to create a homemade hydroponics garden include items that you can buy at stores like Wal-Mart and other department stores that sell aquarium supplies along and simple garden supplies. A host of informative websites and books detail different ideas to begin a homemade hydroponics garden, a simple hobby that is nevertheless fascinating and self-fulfilling.

Get Your Equipment At A Hydroponic Supply Store

October 1, 2009 by  
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Hydroponic gardening is a great method of growing plants for any individual who does not have a garden or access to good fertile soil. With hydroponic gardening the medium of soil is not actually necessary. Hydroponic gardening relies on an artificial nutrient and mineral solution which is provided to the plant via a pump on a timer and plumbing equipment. Plants can be grown with hydroponics either outdoors in the sunlight or inside a house with the use of grow lights. It is possible to make your own homemade hydroponics system if you know what you are doing. However, most people choose to buy the majority of the equipment they need from a hydroponic supply store.

What They Sell

At a hydroponic supply store one can purchase everything that is deemed necessary to grow plants using this horticultural method. You can visit a hydroponic supply store in person or via the web in order to purchase the basic starter equipment if you are just a beginner. Experienced hydroponic gardeners can also use these stores to purchase more advanced equipment.

If you take the time to visit an online hydroponic supply store you will see an extensive list of different items available for purchase. Typical hydroponic equipment and supplies include grow lights, irrigation and plumbing systems, nutrient solutions and powders, growing mediums such as gravel or pumice, pesticides, reflectors, fans, air conditioning systems, CO2 generators, pesticides, additives, dark rooms, timers, pumps, trays, flood tables, replacement bulbs, informative literature and more.

In fact hydroponic supply stores sell all the equipment necessary for this type of gardening. They cater to beginner and intermediate hydroponic gardeners. They even have all of the supplies necessary for those individuals who have a particularly large or sophisticated plant growing operation.

Shop Wisely

There are hydroponic supply stores all over the United States and you can choose to visit them in person. There are also several hydroponic supply stores that have websites on the internet for those who wish to purchase their supplies online. Since there are numerous hydroponic supply stores the quality and prices of equipment obviously varies somewhat from one retailer to the next.

Because there are so many hydroponic equipment retailers it makes sense to compare and contrast the quality and prices offered at different outlets when you are purchasing equipment. By doing this you can find the best quality products at affordable prices. After all, having the right hydroponic equipment can make all the difference since it means that it will be much easier to grow an abundance of healthy thriving plants.