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Hydroponic Garden DIY Ideas [Systems & How to Create]

Hydroponic garden is a great way to innovatively and systematically grow healthy plants in water without soil.

Generally, the gardens have many hydroponic systems, including Wick, Deep Water Culture, Drip, NFT, and Aeroponic systems. Though these seem different, you can create one depending on the needs by setting up water, light, and an inert growing medium. 

In your hydroponic garden, you can grow vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and many more.

So, stick to the article to create a sustainable hydroponic garden to grow crops and vegetables and forget the messy requirements of using soil.

5 Best DIY Hydroponic Systems for Garden

In hydroponics, plants can grow without any soil mediums as their roots directly contact a nutrient medium.

Moreover, the systems help grow disease-free plants rapidly with minimal effort.

Hydroponics Systems Features
Drip The system allows nutrient medium pass to grow tray from reservoir by drip lines connected to electronic water pump.

It recycles the excess nutrients.

Deep Water CulturePlants grow in the net pots with roots submerged in the nutrient medium and aerated by oxygen from electronic air pump.
WickPlants in the grow medium get nutrients and water from the wick connected to reservoir.
NFTNutrients are passed to the inclined tray or channels through reservoir with the help of water pump. Air pump provide extra aeration.
Excess nutrients are recycled.
AeroponicsPlants are placed in net cups with their free roots that gets enough aeration.

Nutrients get pumped by water pumps and roots are misted with mist nozzle.

1. Drip System

A drip system, also called a Micro-irrigation, solves every problem of aeration in hydroponics.

This system requires a grow tray, reservoir, nutrient pump, air pump, and growing medium.

The drip system is excellent for growing greens, fruits, and vegetables of every type and size without risks of root diseases.
DIY drip hydroponic system
Drip Hydroponics requires low maintenance compared to other hydroponic systems.

As it needs a relatively low-nutrient solution, you can use it in your vertical gardens.

But remember, this system may face a leakage problem due to the use of many pipes. 

2. Deep Water Culture Hydroponics System

Deep Water Culture Hydroponics(DWC) is the easiest system to grow many plants in a single grow tank successfully.

This system allows you to grow buck choy, tomatoes, pepper, lettuce, etc., using an air pump and nutrient solution.

The dipped roots get nutrients from the nutrient solution and oxygen from the air stone inside grow tank through the air pump.

You can easily add the required nutrients into the grow tank whenever necessary.

Note: DWC does not work for vertical gardens and those plants that require less water.

3. Wick Hydroponic System

Wick hydroponic system is the better version of Deep Water Culture as you won’t need electricity or air pumps.

You can easily grow herbs and greens using a grow tank, nutrient medium, wicks, and reservoir.

Moreover, this system reduces the chances of algae growth and regulates nutrients for your plants as required.

However, you can’t use this system for vertical gardens and plants that grow in less water.

Also, this system may not work for large and heavy plants due to nutrients limitation.

4. Nutrient Film Technique

The Nutrient Film Technique is excellent for plants that don’t need much water as root tips only contact nutrient medium.

You won’t need to set up any aerating material as the roots aerate in this system.

Only an inclined tray for plants, a nutrient reservoir, and a water pump to pass water into the tray are enough to continue.

NFT hydroponics allows you to grow greens like lettuce, broccoli, etc., with little water and recycled nutrients.

However, it is not possible for crops like radishes, carrots, etc., and heavy vegetables may not be able to grow due to no support.

Also, plants will not get any nutrients and may be spoiled if cracks occur in this system.

5. Aeroponic Hydroponic System 

The Aeroponic Hydroponic system is the most advanced system where your plant’s roots get even nutrients and aeration.

You need a reservoir, a good-quality water pump, sprayer pipes, and an Aeroponics chamber to create this system.

This system passes nutrients through the pipes, and the sprayers mist the roots using very low nutrients and water.

You can also use the Aeroponic system in vertical gardens to produce different vegetables and flowers. However, plants with complex roots cannot grow in this system.

Moreover, the nutrients are recycled, and you can grow disease-resistant plants with higher yields.

Remember, Aeroponic Hydroponic is costly, uses high electricity, and is unsuitable for outdoor spaces.

How do you Make a Hydroponic Garden at Home?

For a hydroponic garden, you need not use any seedlings or cuttings in direct contact with soil to avoid microbes.

So, always sterilize the seedlings or cuttings and place them on the rock wool cubes to retain the moisture to start your plants.

Mix water-soluble hydroponic fertilizer on distilled or rainwater for the nutrient medium and maintain a pH of 5-6.

You can use pH strips to monitor the pH and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to lower it.

But, before all those preparations, you need to create an easy DIY hydroponic system.

DIY Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System
Never use tap water to avoid unwanted chemicals in Deep Water Culture Hydroponics.

Deep Water Culture is the easiest and most cost-effective DIY hydroponic system for beginners, allowing you to grow various plants without soil.

  • Prepare a plant, a 5-gallon capacity container, net pots, Polystyrene sheets, Nutrients, and a light source.
  • You can also buy commercial hydroponic system kits available in the market.
  • Pour the nutrient medium into the container and place polystyrene sheets after drilling holes.
  • Place your plant on net pots with LECA balls and keep the pots in the drilled holes.
  • You can use PVC pipes to support the sheets but ensure the roots are submerged into the nutrient medium.
  • Place the system in full sun for the outdoor garden.
  • For an indoor hydroponics garden, provide 16-18 hours of artificial light followed by 10-12 hours of darkness.
Always use red grow lights for indoor vegetables and balanced red and blue lights to thrive your houseplants in hydroponics.
Your seeds will sprout in 3-5 days, and cuttings will take only 7-14 days to root in hydroponics.
However, it may take 1-6 weeks for seeds and 3-4 weeks for cuttings to root in a soil medium.
Moreover, hydroponically grown lettuces are ready to harvest in 30 days compared to soil-grown ones, which take 60 days.

From Editorial Team

Additional Tips on Deep Water Culture Hydroponics!

Changing the nutrient medium every 1-3 weeks is vital to avoid pathogens and algae.

Also, never use regular fertilizer as a nutrient medium, as it may cause damage to the pipes and equipment.