It’s no surprise that many people are jumping in on indoor hydroponics – it is way easier and cost-effective, and need we say less messy? If you have decided to give this high returns investment a try and build your hydroponic garden, there are several components that you need to put in place to ensure the success of the project. Aside from choosing the plants and getting your seeds, it is important to decide on the right hydroponic system that fits your needs.
While there are several hydroponic products that you can buy from different stores and brands, you could give some simple yet effective setup a good run for your money. That said, we have compiled a diverse and creative list of simple systems, most of which are DIY models for you to try. Furthermore, there is an accompanying list of the basic things to look out for when building your hydroponic system. Let’s get right into it.
Best Hydroponics Plans
Easy DIY Hydroponic Kratky System – By Soothing Leaf
- Relatively affordable
- Simple and clean
- DIY craft models
- Compatible with herbs and leafy greens
- Not adaptable for large-scale planting
- Low-quality drainage system
This model is perhaps one of the simplest and easy hydroponic systems that anyone, especially a beginner, might try to build. According to the author, Soothing Leaf, all you need to build this model are simple, everyday household materials. This Easy DIY Hydroponic Kratky system needs a reservoir, which is mostly a wide-mouth glass mixing jar, a net pod that fits with the jar, rock wool as a support base, and clay pebbles. The rock wool and clay pebbles provide support for the plant and prevent algae from growing in your system.
Of course, to ensure that the plants grow, you can use a combination of master blend calcium nitrate, Epsom salt, and potassium. This nutrient solution is sufficient for the complete growth cycle of most herbs and leafy greens but might not work for seedlings from some field crops.
Basically, you don’t need to drain the mixing jar filled with nutrient solution till the growing root completely absorbs it. At this point, you may decide to refill the jar up to an average level to avoid drowning the oxygen roots, especially if the plant isn’t fully grown. As earlier discussed, this model uses DIY craft models, and you can easily get these materials from any store if need be.
Hydroponics for Beginners – 5 Gallon System – By Over 60 Crafter
- Principles are applicable across board
- Step-by-step guide on system setup and maintenance
- Easy and simple to use
- More compatible with soil-based systems
Over 60 Crafter, the author of ‘Hydroponics for Beginners the 5-gallon system’, details the process of preparing the plants, mixing hydroponic fertilizer and solution nutrients, and measuring the pH levels for optimal results. If you are new to hydroponics and you are looking to try out hydroponics, you could try out this system.
One of the tenets of this model is the advice to use hydroton as a growing medium. This is because the material, made from expanded clay pebbles, is pH neutral, light in weight, re-usable, and provides oxygen for your plants. While there are other nutrient solutions that you can try, a pepper and herb formula with N-P-K in 11-11-40 is best advised. With that said, you must consider the acidity or alkalinity of your local water before deciding on the nutrient solution to use for your system. Easy delivery and drainage system is also built with easy DIY craft models.
The fertilizer mixing instructions detailed in this model by the author can be administered across several hydroponic systems. This is generally preferred because there is an easy-to-follow guide and instructional material on preparing the different solutions. Due to the potential risk of delivery and drainage failure in hydroponic systems, especially with a beginner, the nutrient solutions prepared using the model is best used in soil-based systems where it can be effectively dissipated over a larger area.
Cheap and Easy DIY Hydroponics – By Keep on Growin’ with Mike VanDuzee
- Easier than traditional hydroponics
- Cheap and easy DIY models
- Suitable for transplanted seedlings
- Low-quality filtering system
You probably never thought a pool noodle could come in handy in building your hydroponic system, but they are quite useful in this model authored by Mike VanDuzee on ‘Keep on Growin’. This model shows how effectively you can utilize some everyday materials in building your hydroponic system. In this model, you cut inch-sized holes in your pool noodle and set them up in a pre-arranged holder for your nutrient solutions. The pool noodles and rock wool acts as a support for your growing plant. This model is quite easy on your plants because you can trim more of the pool noodle if it gets too tight for the plants.
One of the opportunities this model provides is for everyone to grow their food despite the cost. Additionally, it is easier to build and maintain than traditional hydroponics. Moreover, since it has an absorbent material for support, the drainage system is easier to control. Nonetheless, while the model is easy to clean, it does not have a sustainable filtering system. This could pose a problem for a beginner in hydroponic systems.
A Great Hydroponics System for Beginners – By SleekstaksRule
- 11 plant plate model
- Instructional and informative material
- Easy to use
- Simple DIY model
- Not suitable for transplanted seedlings
- Temperature specific
This Hydroponic system by SleestaksRule is an informational material based on a new hydroponic system available for sale on Amazon. Technically, the system is built from basic materials like other DIY models. It has a plant plate with enough room to cater to eleven different plants. That said, all the plants on the same plate have to be those with similar nutrient needs, with high considerations for contrasting pH levels. This model works with valve gauges, air pumps, de-chlorinated water, and a basin reservoir.
That said, the author of this model recommends MaxiGro as a perfect fertilizer and nutrient solution to use for your hydroponic system, especially if you eat growing edible herbs and leafy green vegetables. It is important that you determine the amount of nutrient solution you need by working within the required pH values. Otherwise, you risk burning the plant roots. The sponges and net pods provide supports for your plants. With this model’s demands, especially the recommended concentration of the nutrient solution, it is advised that you keep the entire plant plate and reservoir under either natural or artificial lighting.
Hydroponics – At Home for Beginners – By TSK-24
- Large-scale system
- Effective drainage and delivery system
- Labor-efficient models
- Easy to use
- Highly compatible with outdoor gardening
Hydroponics at Home for Beginners by TSK-24 details the everyday process and the long-term benefits of using a hydroponic system for your indoor gardening, especially on a long-term basis. Although this model does not use simpler DIY models like others on this list, this production pictorially explains the benefits of hydroponics on your indoor gardening. It also details the importance of a viable drainage system, even in soil-based systems, especially those in tented areas.
In all, hydroponics is quite rewarding if you are ready to put in the work. Think about it: how refreshing and cost-effective would it be to produce a large percentage of the food you consume?
What To Look For When Building Your Own Hydroponics System?
There are lots of things to consider when building your hydroponics system. The productions explained above should get your foot in the door, but you will still require certain specifics to guide you through the process.
Aside from choosing a light source, grow medium, hydroponic nutrient, and supplements in addition to other materials you might need for the process, here are other vital things you should consider for your DIY model.
The difficulty level of your hydroponics is particularly important to consider, especially if you are new to the processes involved in this mode of crop production. Some models work on simple models that are quite easy to grasp. These hydroponic systems are best advised for beginners who may find complex models more difficult to grasp.
In hydroponics, your plants’ success is largely dependent on your comprehension of how the system works. Thus, you must consider the difficulty level of any model before building it.
The size of your hydroponics system might determine the extent to which you can effectively maintain and care for the plants, especially as a beginner. The type of plant you want to grow and the amount you want all factor into the size of the model you will build.
Interestingly, most beginners tend to underestimate the importance of having enough space for your model. This is important because hydroponics models, especially DIYs, are built with the possibility of expansion. So, before you build your hydroponic model, consider the space you have available and the size you can effectively manage.
Aquaponics is an extension of hydroponics in which your model is combined with a system for growing fishes, mostly an artificially made pond. In aquaponics, you are privileged to grow both fishes and plants in a closed and controlled environment. Interestingly, the model utilizes a natural cycle, with one component feeding the other.
That said, an aquaponics system is dependent on the fish, plant, and bacteria component in it, and you have to carefully select the fishes and plants to combine for the highest returns. Certain fishes and plants thrive better at a given temperature and pH level. It is important to know that not all species of fish thrive in an aquaponics system. Therefore, find out the species of fish best suited for your climate and environment before building an aquaponics model.
Indoor or Outdoor
Often, hydroponics is used for indoor gardens and large greenhouses. Of course, most of the models are equally compatible with the outdoor environment. That said, the specific details of the hydroponic system you are building will go a long way in determining if it is fitted for either indoor or outdoor environments. Details such as the lighting, delivery, and drainage system of your model will determine the best environment for it. Find out what you need for the model that is best suited for your needs.
Are you ready to spend some big bucks on your hydroponic system, or would you rather prefer to stick to a budget? Some hydroponic systems, even the DIY and automatic products, cost a lot. Nonetheless, the return on investment for the system is high, and the process is generally known to be cost-effective compared to soil-based systems.
That said, before you spend a lot of money on a particular model, be sure you will get proportionate – if not more – the amount of value for the price. This is easier when you have a clue about other customer’s objective reviews. Check out their comments and reviews on affiliate websites to give you an idea of what you are paying for.
Getting on the journey of exploring hydroponics systems might look a bit tasking and time-consuming from the get-go, but not more so than any other systems. There are many factors to consider in choosing the hydroponics system model, which is best suited for your needs. We believe with the information and guide provided in this article; you are on the right path.