Hydroponics is a type of agriculture that uses no dirt, and usually results in larger, fuller plants. I recently became interested in the topic, and decided to start my own vegetable garden using the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). It involves a channel of nutrient enriched water constantly flowing past a plant’s roots. Step 1: The Idea Because hydroponics requires a resevoir for water to be drawn from and returned to simultaneously, and I was just building a small system, my design has two gullies. This allows the water to easily go full circle. Along with the water pump, my system uses gravity to assist the flow of water. Each end of the PVC is one inch higher than the end that comes next in the circle. The end of the tube that water enters from is the highest, and the end that it leaves from is the lowest. To achieve this, I built supports out of lumber for the pipes. The supports also keep them high enough to be above the reservoir, so that gravity will return the water to it. Step 2: Materials 66″ of 4″ PVC Pipe – If I didn’t already have PVC, I would have probably bought plastic gutters. 4 rubber adjustable end caps with hose clamps – about each Submersible pump – I’m using this 16 oz Plastic cups Plants Irrigation tubing Opaque Bucket Plumbing cement Growing medium – I used expanded clay ball Hydroponics Nutrient Step 3: Build the stands Once you figure out the height of your reservoir, you can start designing your stands. Mine is about 13″ tall, so my stands are 13″, 14″, 15″, and 16″. After cutting the lengths, I cut a triangle (with a height of 2.5″) out of each one to hold the PVC. Next, I attached them […]
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