If you are new to hydroponic gardening and are not ready to make a big investment in time and equipment, or if you want to grow in an area without easy access to electricity, passive hydroponics is a great solution. Passive hydroponic gardens supply nutrients to plants without pumping the nutrient solution from a reservoir. Instead the nutrient solution is drawn up through the plants' root system or is provided through top watering, just like a traditional soil garden.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic storage bin with lid
- Power drill with 1/2-inch bit
- 2 sheets of cheesecloth
- Hydroclay pebble growth media
- Nutrient solution
Drill an overflow hole in each side of the plastic bin. The overflow holes should be 2 inches below the rim of the bin. Place the lid under the bin to catch any spills.
Drape a sheet of cheesecloth over the side of the bin so it covers the overflow holes. This will keep the hydroclay from spilling out of the holes.
Carefully fill the bin with hydroclay pebbles, keeping the holes covered with the cheesecloth.
Fill the bin with nutrient solution just to the overflow holes.
Plant your seedlings in the hydroclay pebbles and top off with nutrient solution.
Check the nutrient level every day and top off with fresh solution as needed.
Tips & Warnings
- This type of hydroponic system works best with plants that like a lot of water, such as lettuces. Drier plants don't do as well because the roots are continuously wet.
- While the lid will catch small overflows, it's a good idea to place the whole system on a waterproof surface in case of a larger overflow.
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