Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thrifty Hydroponics

After analyzing last years results of my AeroGarden and the fact that the air pump went out on it shortly after the first year. I've quickly realized that yes the herbs are fresh, fun, and good to eat but not economical. While pondering different hydroponic options that I could experiment with for this next year I stumbled upon the fact that the AeroGarden seed holders will fit perfectly inside the mouth of a Welch's® grape juice container. A hole saw can also be used to make 2" and 3" netpots work as well.

Here is a list of materials for my next experiment.

  • Welch's® Grape Juice bottle or similar container.
  • Aquarium air pump.
  • 3' feet of air hose.
  • Silicon
  • Seed holder
    • Net pot 1.5" or 2" with clay 
    • Used AeroGarden® containers w/rockwool)
  • Seeds
  • Paint (I used black spray paint)

Aluminum foil - to prevent light from reaching the nutrient solution.

Drill a hole the size of the air hose in the top near the mouth of the container and near the bottom preferably on a flat side.

Cut a length of hose just longer than the container is tall. This piece will extend from the bottom of the container up to the top to serve as a water level indicator and a way to drain it when the water needs changed.

Use a hole saw to create a larger opening in the top of the container. I found that the easiest way to do this was to place the cap on the container and use it to help keep the hole saw centered. Be careful to go slow so that the container doesn't tear or melt. When the holesaw starts to bind put drill in reverse.