Simple To Build Hydroponics System With Kids

September 24, 2009 by  
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Teaching children about gardening and plant life is easy when they have had a little hands on experience with watching plants grow. Hydroponics is a great way to teach children about plant biology as the plants grow more quickly than when planted in soil. What’s more to actually build hydroponics system with children is both simple and fun.

A bucket system that uses an automated system is an easy teaching tool to use. If you home school your children then this could be a great project to embark on as it incorporates more than one subject. It should be noted that this is not the best option for indoor hydroponic systems.

Building From Scratch

This system is easy for children to put together as it is very similar to traditional gardening. The only difference is that it incorporates an automated watering system that requires a little parental guidance. This easy to build hydroponics system uses two five gallon buckets.

The first bucket needs to have several holes drilled into the sides of the bucket. These holes should go around the bucket, and measure more than three eights of an inch. They should also be about an inch and a half away from the bottom of the bucket. This bucket needs to be filled up with growing medium before seedlings, or rooted cuttings are planted.

The second bucket that will be used when you are about to build the hydroponics system serves as the reservoir for the plants. This is where the adult supervision is needed when you are about to build the hydroponics system. Mix water and whatever nutrient solution you choose and add to the reservoir bucket.

Attach a drip line to a submersible pump and place the submersible pump into the water. You will also need to have an air pump; the air pump should be outside the reservoir. The air pump needs to be connected to an airline that is put inside the reservoir and attached to an air stone.

The submersible pump needs to be attached to a timer; you can use a digital timer without any problems. The timer should be set to go off once or twice a day for about a minute. The drip line should reach the base of the plants you are growing in the first bucket. This easy to build hydroponics system can be a starting point for hydroponics. It is a good system for large plants such as tomatoes, and peppers.

Making Hydroponic System Plans At Home

September 23, 2009 by  
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When you decide to start hydroponics as a hobby one thing that might put you off is the cost. Like any hobby it requires a little investment on your part. There is still a way to indulge in this hobby even if you don’t feel like you have much spare cash to indulge in this hobby. Homemade hydroponic system plans are a great way to save cost.

While you might not find that you have the impressive crop yields that are associated with hydroponics, you will still be able to get a decent crop yield when you build hydroponics system at home.

The Hand Watered Bucket

The hand watered bucket is one of the easiest hydroponic system plans that you could decide to build on your own. It requires very little equipment and is very cheap to build. Both very attractive features of any hydroponic system plans.

Use a five gallon bucket that has been cleaned with vinegar, and then some soap and water. Drill some holes on the sides of the bucket, the holes need to be around an inch and a half above from the bottom of the bucket. You will probably need about 6 to 10 holes, the bigger the holes are the more likely it is for the growing medium to dry out.

If you find that your growing medium does not hold together well, or you are particular about the area around your hydroponic system plans being clean, then you might want to have a little window screen on the inside of the bucket. This stops the growing medium from falling out. Hold it in place and use a little silicone sealant to glue it to the bucket. Wait for this to dry before adding any growing medium to your hydroponic system plans.

Next all you need to do is add the growing medium to the bucket. Before adding the growing medium to your hand watered bucket hydroponic system plans you will need to treat the growing medium. This means either washing or soaking the growing medium, depending on the type of medium you have chosen.

Mix up the hydroponic nutrients that you want to use, and check the pH level. This is important to make sure that you have the right nutrient levels for your plants. Then add this solution to the bucket until you see a little water seeping out of the holes you have drilled in the bucket. Remember that you should pour the nutrients in very slowly.

A Common Choice: Hydroponic Drip System

September 22, 2009 by  
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There are different places where hydroponic system plans can be obtained, either for free or for a price. In addition, there are companies that will sell hydroponic drip systems pre-made so that the individual does not have to try to follow a plan to get the system built. Building a system from scratch, although fairly simple with most systems, still leaves the possibility of not doing something correctly which will make the system ineffective. Buying a pre-made system allows the individual to have a product that is guaranteed to work for years to come.

Wick versus Drip

There are two systems that are most commonly made from scratch and those are the wick system and the drip hydroponic system. The wick system is very simply constructed. It uses a tray that holds the plants which sits on top of the reservoir that holds the water and nutrient solution. These two pieces are held together by a wick which allows the water solution to transmit these elements into the tray with the plants. The down side to this system is that there is not a way to regulate the amount of solution that is getting to the plants, which means that a small amount of plants can be grown at one time.

The drip hydroponic system is built in much the same way with the tray that sits on top of the reservoir. In this system, however, instead of using wicks to transmit the solution to the plants, there is a submerged pump system that transmits the solution to the plants at whatever rate the person sets on the meter. The solution goes into the tray a drip at a time so that there is a constant flow of nutrients without the plants becoming overly submerged like in other systems.

There are benefits to using the drip hydroponic system, such as the fact that the individual does not have to monitor the system as often as other systems since the pump and timer handles everything automatically. In addition, since the flow rate can be regulated, there can be larger plants grown as well as larger numbers of plants grown at a time in the system. One down side to using the drip hydroponic system is that it is more expensive than the wick system since the pump for the system has to be bought as well. However, this is a popular system, especially for use in greenhouses where larger numbers of plants are grown at a time.

Simple Homemade Hydroponic Systems

September 21, 2009 by  
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There are many different types of hydroponic systems that can be either made from scratch or bought on the market today, such as the wick, water culture or drip hydroponic system. When the system is bought in the store or online, the individual needs to look at the product and make sure that it is made of sturdy materials that will last and that the warrantee is also a long lasting warrantee. There are some products and companies that make different types of hydroponic systems but do not use quality materials and do not give a very good guarantee of their product because of the inferior materials.

Types to Make

One type of homemade hydroponic system is the wick system. In this type of system, there is a tray in which the plants sit which is hooked to the reservoir of the water and nutrient solution by a wick. The wick allows the water and nutrients to be siphoned up into the tray for the plants to utilize. There is also an air stone in the water reservoir that serves to add oxygen to the water which is good for the plants. The problem with this system is that, although easy to built and maintain, the plants cannot be very large nor can there be a large number of plants in the tray. The wick cannot pull enough nutrients and water into the tray for those larger numbers.

Another type of homemade hydroponic system is the water culture system, which is similar to the wick system in that there is a water and nutrient reservoir that is oxygenated by an air stone. The difference is that the plants do not sit in a tray above the reservoir, but instead sit in Styrofoam floating planks which sit in the water reservoir. This allows the plants to directly pull the water and nutrients from the reservoir when they need it rather than relying on these elements to be pulled through the wick. The downside to this homemade hydroponic system is that it does not work well for those plants that do not like a lot of water.

In addition, a drip homemade hydroponic system is commonly used, however it is used more in a greenhouse situation than in the home. In this system, a reservoir is also used which holds the water, nutrients and air stone, but instead of a wick system or sitting directly in the water, the tray is above the reservoir tank and the water solution is pumped into the tray a drip at a time at the rate that the person sets.

Concepts behind a Hydroponic Growth System

September 20, 2009 by  
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There are about six types of hydroponic growth systems on the market today and each has its advantages and disadvantages. There are some systems that can be bought already made and others that can be constructed by the individual. There are also advantages and disadvantages to each of these. If a person chooses to buy the hydroponic growth system, he should check to see what the materials are in the product to make sure they are quality materials. It used to be that the best hydroponic growth systems would have titanium piping in it so that they would last for a long time without having to be replaced. With PVC piping today, however, PVC is a great replacement for the titanium piping and is much less expensive. Additionally, if a person is going to buy a system rather than make a homemade hydroponic system, then he should check out the warrantee on the system. The longer the warrantee, the more the manufacturer is certain that their product will not break down, leading to a problem free environment for the person who bought it.

Types of Systems

The first type of hydroponic growth system is the wick system. This type has a tray that is held on top of a reservoir which has the water and nutrient solution as well as an air stone to oxygenize the water. The tray and the reservoir are connected to each other by a wick which allows the water solution to come into the tray and give the plants what they need to grow. They hydroponic growth systems are popular because they are easy to construct and maintain and are also very inexpensive. The problem with the system is that it cannot support a large amount of plants since there is only a limited amount of nutrients that can flow through the wick at a time.

Another type of hydroponic growth system is the water culture growth system. This one is also a fairly simple one to construct, which makes it a popular choice as well. In this system, instead of a tray being set on top of the reservoir, the plants are placed into a Styrofoam strip that floats on top of the reservoir where the nutrients and oxygenizing system is in place. This is beneficial to use since the nutrients can be drawn straight into the plant rather than having to flow through the wick. The downside to the system is that plants that do not need a lot of water do not enjoy this system where they are sitting in the water solution at all times.

Building a Hydroponic System

September 19, 2009 by  
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There are many people who become interested in hydroponic systems because they enable individuals to grow their plants indoors in a controlled environment year round. There are many different types of plants that can be grown by using this method, from fruits and vegetables to flowers and other plants. The basic idea behind a hydroponic system is that the plants do not have to be in soil to grow adequately, instead, they just need to have the nutrients and water that they need in order to grow healthy and strong. There are many different types of hydroponic systems on the market, from types that a person can buy pre-made to those that the individual can build from easy to find materials. In addition, the hydroponic growth system has to be modified slightly depending on the types of plants that are to be grown in it.

Concepts

There are several primary types of nutrients that plants need to grow. There are three main elements that are needed and these are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If the plants have these nutrients in the proper balance then they are best enabled to grow. There are also some secondary elements that are needed for the plants to grow healthy and strong and these contain primarily calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and sodium. There are other secondary ingredients that will have to be monitored during the growth cycle of the plants, but these are the main elements that are needed. If these elements are not kept in the proper balance, then the water that the plant is growing in will become toxic to it and it will die. The individual who has a hydroponic system will need to constantly monitor his tanks so that the pH balance stays constant for them.

In addition to the pH balance in the water, there also has to be a lighting system that is put in place for the plants to grow properly. There are different types of lighting that can be used and each has different effects on the plants that are grown. What is interesting is that plants naturally use different types of lighting during their growth cycle to get what they need. For instance, when they are on a high growth cycle, plants will use the blue light, so using this type of light in the hydroponic system during this stage is ideal. When the plants are in the flowering stage, they will use the red or orange light of the color spectrum, so using that type of light in the hydroponic system during that stage is ideal.

Extend the Gardening Season with an Indoor Hydroponic Garden

September 18, 2009 by  
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Gardeners who are always sad to see the growing season come to an end now have another option in gardening that allows them to extend their efforts year round. Hydroponic gardening has received plenty of attention in the gardening community in recent years because of its many benefits, including year round gardening potential through an indoor hydroponic garden. This method of gardening uses a manufactured growing medium instead of soil that allows nutrients and water to get directly to the roots for healthier, faster growing plants. An indoor hydroponic garden can be a simple endeavor when attempted on a small scale, so nearly any gardener can try their hand at this technology.

Getting Started
The easiest way to get started with an indoor hydroponic garden is with a kit from a local garden center. The kit will provide all of the necessary supplies to grow crops, including a growing medium, nutrient solution, artificial lighting and a pump to circulate air and nutrients. Plants are frequently started from seed with an indoor hydroponic garden, and seedlings can be transplanted as needed. Gardeners often find that plants will grow much more quickly and compactly, since energy doesn’t need to be used for roots to stretch out in search of nutrients and water. In the case of an indoor hydroponic garden, the roots are given nutrients and water directly, allowing the plants energy to go into growing large and healthy, and producing flowers and fruit more quickly.

What to Grow
There are many flowers, herbs and vegetables that can be grown in an indoor hydroponic garden. Some of the most popular vegetables include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. It is important to look for varieties of these crops that have been proven to do well in an indoor hydroponic garden for best results. Flowers and herbs of just about any type can be grown through this method as well, including many popular flowering house plants. The advantage to an indoor hydroponic garden, besides the ability to grow crops year round, is that the gardener can completely control the environment to ensure the healthiest plants possible.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to enjoy a juicy tomato fresh off the vine in the middle of winter? How about a colorful flower garden or a fragrant batch of herbs? Many gardeners are tuning into the many advantages of the indoor hydroponic garden today. Since many nurseries will offer a hydroponic system that comes equipped with everything you need to get started, an indoor hydroponic garden has never been easier. Check out the supplies at your local garden center or go online to find everything you need to get started with your very own indoor hydroponic garden.