If you are interested in cultivating your own food, you may be concerned with the potential mess and bulk of traditional gardening. An interesting and effective alternative is a hydroponic grow box. Hydroponic gardening is a technique of growing plants in little or no soil, using water containing dissolved nutrients.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic container
- PVC pipe
- Garbage bag
Begin with a plastic container capable of holding a couple of gallons of water. Drill a drain hole about 1½ inches from the bottom.
Pile bricks or stones in the bottom so that the top of the material is level with the drain hole. Do not block the drain hole.
Cut your PVC pipe so it can reach from the bottom to the top of the container. Then cut a piece of wire mesh to sit snugly on the bricks or rocks, with a hole in it for the PVC pipe to go through.
Add soil on top of the mesh--this will keep the soil out of the water. Mound the soil so it is slightly higher in the center.
Make a trench in the center of the soil about an inch deep and add a handful of fertilizer.
Cover the top of the container with a plastic garbage bag, leaving a hole for the PVC pipe to come out. Tie the bag to the container with a string. Then make holes where you want to place a plant.
Be careful not to place your plants directly in the fertilizer. Fill the container with water via the PVC pipe. You will know that the container is full when water begins to leak out the drain hole.
Tips & Warnings
- Use a large container, such as a 5-gallon plastic bucket, for the best results. After you have added your fertilizer, do not cover it with soil. A 10-10-10 blend works great. Use high-quality potting soil or garden soil mixed with compost.
- Do not let your soil dry out. Check it regularly and add water through the PVC pipe. Do not add water directly to the soil.
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