If you’re thinking about starting a hydroponic grow system or struggling with the one you’ve got, this article is for you. Hydroponics is arguably one of the wonders of the world-both ancient and modern, but let’s face it, it is also not the easiest to master.
Contrary to what you may read elsewhere, growing hydroponically requires time, money, and patience–usually. It also requires a little background knowledge such as what lighting to use and at what intensity, what nutrients to use and at what concentration, evn what ph levels the water should be.
And if you’ve just landed from the moon and are still wondering what is hydroponics: It is, in its simplest term, soilless planting, i.e. planting in a medium with only nutrient-rich water–no soil. At the end of the day, you want to have a successful hydroponic grow system, and you’re willing to try anything to achieve your goals.
If this is you, then continue reading to learn of the 4 outrageous ideas for your hydroponic grow system that requires little time, not much money, but a lot of patience.
According to Cannabis Tech, “aeroponics is a method of growing plants in an environment with no soil”, which means it is clearly a form of hydroponics. However, compared to the other hydroponic systems, aeroponic systems are the most conservative on the water supply, using between 90% to 98% less water than traditional cannabis cultivation methods.
Another difference between aeroponics and other hydroponic grow systems is that other systems use a medium such as coir, or perlite, or peat moss, etc. However, aeroponics dispenses with the growing medium, simply leaving the roots to dangle in the air where they are then sprayed periodically with a nutrient solution.
Sounds outrageous, right? However, according to Cannabis Tech, crops grown in aeroponics have the highest yield of trichomes–the defense mechanism in plants that protect against microbial organisms. As a hydroponics garden you know how important this is. That’s why aeroponics is gaining popularity and may soon become the number one method of cultivating cannabis in the very near future.
2. Mason Jar
Another outrageous idea for your hydroponic grow system is the use of the mason jar. It is low maintenance, easy to build, and with a setup that doesn’t require a pump or electricity. No special skills or tools are required, and it doesn’t take long to set up either.
This grow system works well for small plants, such as herbs and lettuces. Requirement: a quart-sized, narrow-mouthed mason jar and a net cup that sits inside the ring of your jar without falling in. You will of course need your nutrient solution.
To build your hydroponic grow system, fill the mason jar with nutrient solution, set your net cup inside the ring, and put the ring on the jar. Add your plant and growing medium of choice and you’re done! Very economical and time-efficient.
3. Zig Zag Hydroponic System
Another outrageous idea for your hydroponic grow system is the Zig Zag Hydroponics system. With this system, water flows continuously to the plants through four-inch PVC pipes. It gets its name due to the zig-zag pattern in which the pipes are installed on a wooden frame.
The way the system works is that pipes are installed so that they slope gradually to the reservoir. Holes are drilled in the PVC pipes to accommodate net pots or cups. The plants are housed in these media, placed in regular 90-degree angles.
A submersible pump is placed inside the reservoir; the water with nutrients is then pumped to the top pipe, from where it flows down and feeds the system. This is actually a derivative of the NFT technique.
4. Soda Bottle Hydroponic System
Another outrageous idea for your hydroponic grow system is the soda bottle hydroponic system. Here is an innovative way to create a hydroponic wick system using a simple soda bottle. This is cost-effective and also doesn’t take much time to set up.
If you’re a newbie, this is actually a good way to get your plant wet. Requirements:
- An empty soda bottle
- Cotton thread
- Peat moss
- Cling wrap
- Old sock, black marker
- A mixing bowl
- Rinse a 2-litre soda bottle, draw a black line in the middle of the bottle and cut the bottle in two along the line.
- Stick the sock halfway through the soda bottle top to create a wick. You may need to cut the sock, but use a piece large enough to fully block the hole so your medium doesn’t fall into the water reservoir.
- Mix the peat moss and perlite in a 1:1 ratio in a mixing bowl. You only need about 1 cup of each to fill your 2 litre bottle.
- To create the “water reservoir, fill the bottom half of the bottle with water. Place the top half of the bottle upside down into the bottom half. The “wick” should extend at least 1 inch into the water.
- You also want to ensure the sock is completely blocking the hole. Fill your new planter with the perlite/peat moss mix ensuring none of it falls in the water.
- Moisten the medium by slowly pouring 1 cup of water over the top of the mix. Tuck several seeds just under the top layer of medium. Wrap the top of the bottle (the planter) in cling wrap to help the germination process.
- Move your hydroponic system to a dark area that is about 80 degrees. Seeds usually don’t need light and prefer warmth above room temperature.
- Once the seeds sprout up about an inch, relocate your hydroponic grow system to a place where it can get sunlight (remember lighting is very important to grow a system) for continued growth. The kitchen window sill should be perfect.
So that’s it. Four outrageous ideas for your hydroponic grow system: aeroponics, mason jar, zig-zag and soda bottle. Which of these ideas do you think is easy enough for you to try right now? Can you think of other outrageous ideas for your hydroponic grow system? Let us know, in the Comments below.