Sustainable living is the latest fad and being able to grow your own plants for sustenance is one of the best sustainable living methods. However, not everyone is able to grow their own vegetables in their living area. This is largely due to a lack of space. With Hydroponics, this is no longer a worry as Hydroponic vegetable gardens can easily be set up indoors and within smaller spaces.
How To Set Up Your Indoor Hydroponics System
Setting up an indoor hydroponics system is fairly simple but it does require some research beforehand and planning. Here, we will go through a simple guide on how you can set up your own indoor hydroponics system.
There is no set rule for how you should set up your hydroponics system or exact measurements. That’s the great thing about hydroponics – you can customize it to suit your needs. But here are a few basic materials and equipment that you’d need for your set up.
1. Nutrient Reservoir
Basically, this will be what holds your nutrient solution. For simplicity, it can be a bucket. Or if you are planning to grow more plants and have a more sophisticated setup, this could be a tank. However, you would want this reservoir to have a lid as you would not want it to become a breeding ground for mosquitoes or pests.
2. A Submersible Pump and Tubing
This is a pump that you’d place within the nutrient solution. You would connect it to tubing and place it such that the nutrient solution can be pumped and directed to the plants. This does not have to specifically be hydroponics equipment. In fact, you could easily use the pumps sold for fish tanks at pet shops too.
3. LED lights
This is dependent on where you’re intending to place your indoor garden and what you’re planting. If the location is somewhere that receives sufficient light, you could potentially not need LED lights. Or, if the plants you’re growing are ones that require little to no light, then you could also not procure LED lights for use. Otherwise, you would need to get some LED lights to place around your garden to ensure that your plants get sufficient lightning for their growth.
4. Support Structure
A basic support structure is needed for your plant containers too. This is especially if you are building a vertical hydroponics system. This can be as simple as a shoe rack or several fence posts nailed together.
5. Plant Root Container
Most importantly, you would need a place for the plant roots to be placed in. This is fairly simple to create. You could get a PVC pipe and create equally spaced holes all along the pipe. These holes could then be the spaces for the plant roots to go through. If DIY is not your thing, you could also purchase pre-constructed containers to use.
Most importantly, you would want a container that is opaque and allows no light through. This is to ensure that no algae can grow within it.
This is another important step for your entire system. You would need to get airstones. These are typically used for aquariums as they help to provide good water circulation. Basically, airstones help to create continuous cascades of tiny air bubbles, instead of large air bubbles. This helps water to move more smoothly and is important for your set up.
7. Other Materials
Apart from that, you would also need other basic materials like seeds for the plants you’re planning to grow, nutrient solution, saws, or drills for the construction of your set up.
1. Creating Your Nutrient Reservoir
Firstly, you’d have to prepare your nutrient reservoir. If you’re using a bucket, you would first create an opening on the lid. According to your post side, cut a suitable opening for that. The post will later go into this hole.
Next to it, you’d also cut a smaller round hole and then glue the inspection port bottom into this hole. You would then screw the cap into it tightly to ensure that the bucket is kept airtight.
Lastly, you’d have to drill a hole for a grommet. This is where the tubing will run through.
2. Constructing Your Plant Root Containers
The simplest way to create your plant root containers would be to drill holes into a length of PVC pipe. These holes can then be the places where you place your plant roots into. Depending on your set up, you could vary the length of your PVC pipe. Choose one that suits your space constraints.
Depending on how many levels of pipes you’d want, you’d need twice the number of pipe connectors. The idea is simple, you want to be able to connect all these pipes together with more pipes so that the nutrient solution can flow freely throughout the system. This is how your plants will receive their nutrients and water.
3. Putting It All Together
Once everything is together, you can use the support structure you have to hold your pipes up better. You would also connect the tubing for your pump to your pump. Place the pump outside your reservoir and run the tubing into it through the grommet. Remember to place the air stone inside the bucket too. At this point, you should fill the reservoir with your nutrient solution.
Now, insert the post into the bucket and close the lid. Plug your pump in and turn it on and check if your water is flowing correctly through your system. If this is all working well, you are ready to place your plants in.
With hydroponics, you would have to germinate your seeds into seedlings first. If you aren’t starting from seeds but rather plants that have already grown roots, you can simply wash the roots clean and then place them into the openings on the PVC pipe.
If lights are needed, mount your lights around the setup and ensure that your plants can receive the necessary amounts of light.
This is a quick and basic guide to how you can set up a hydroponics system within your house. To get a high yield of plants, you should always read more and understand how your chosen system works before getting into it. This ensures that you don’t waste any time or money on failed efforts. All the best in setting up your home hydroponics system!