This clever DIY build produces a steady crop of both sprouts and fully developed crops hydroponically.

Over the last year, we have been working diligently on advancing our hydroponic systems by watching and learning from videos on Youtube. Of course I have customized the system specifically for my family needs. This innovative home friendly grow system enables our people to realize quality growing methods all while being in the comfort of our home. Nothing beats freshly harvested food you grew all on your own. Despite changes in the economy, such as the virus outbreaks, being able to skip the store and harvest your own food is not only comforting but also safe since it’s directly out of your own kitchen. 

Previous articles in my blog detail how we frame our planters. In those articles, I mentioned not having a yard for garden space limiting me to the raised planter beds on the deck and hydroponic systems in my home. Currently, I have more systems in my home than outside. Indoor systems help me reach my goal of having a year round system to produce microgreens, sprouts and leafy greens. 

Hydroponic Reservoir and Grow Tray Setup

Below is a drawing of what a hydroponic system looks like. To build this we are going to take the stand we created in our previous post and then place the grow tray on top of it. The reservoir is a standard plastic storage container with a lid. Directly under it place your plastic tub, aka your water reservoir. Fill the reservoir with water and your nutrient solution. Place the pump in to the reservoir and funnel the hose from the bottom to the top grow tray. When the pump turns on it will fill the top, grow tray, with the nutrient water for the plants to absorb. To prevent overflow and the water rainy to high I have two draining tubs. Tip: Be sure to have your drain tub larger than your fill tube.

Next, we will go over how you get plants ready for a system like this?

Vegetables Scraps You Can From Hydroponics

Using  just water with nutrients in your system can not only be a great money saver, but also a time and space saver. You can start this growth from scraps or from seed. To do this, suspend the veggie using toothpicks just slightly touching a shallow container of water. Once you get roots to establish, shortly thereafter, you should see the sprouts establish out of the top. Now it’s time to transplant that new growth into your hydroponic system or a grow bed.

Here are some of the common vegetables (and herbs) that can be grown in a aforementioned system:

  • Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots, Turnips, Parsnips, Beets and Other Root Crops
  • Lettuce, Bok Choi and Other Leafy Greens
  • Cabbages
  • Basil, Mint, Cilantro & Other Herbs

Clean and Add The Plants

Although you can start from seed in a hydroponic setup I don’t recommend it. I have learned from experience, it’s far wiser to use a soil medium to begin. Start your seeds as you normally would for outdoor gardening, then once ready clean off the roots and transplant into your system.

I do this by starting seeds with my grow tray (dirt) or just getting some from Lowes or Walmart in spring. All you need to do is rince the dirt off the roots with a bucket of water.

Then place that plant into your hydroponic grow tray in rock core medium.