This is a great project for your children to complete during their vacation, not only is is fun and easy to build the hydroponic system, they can also watch their own plant grow.
Have the children decorate the container with paint or stickers to complete the project.
This system is ideal for growing herbs, lettuce and even flowers, I have a Pansy growing in the pictured system. (The nutrient solution has food coloring in it for clarity.)
The plants can sit on any ledge where they can get plenty of sun.
The nutrient solution is contained in a reservoir underneath the plant pot. A wick is placed into the plant pot and run down into the nutrient solution. The wick draws the nutrient solution up into the plant pot where the roots of the plants can use it.
- Select containers big enough for the plant you wish to grow
- The nutrient needs to be kept in a dark reservoir to stop algae growing, you can decorate the outside of the container to stop light getting in
The size of the reservoir is dependent on the size of the plant pot you are going to use, the plant pot needs to sit securely in the top of the reservoir.
In the picture I have used a soft-drink bottle with the top 1/3 cut off and inverted to make the plant pot. The wick has been thread through the mouth of the bottle down into the nutrient solution.
Ensure your reservoir does not let light in and that it is not susceptible to corrosion. Good reservoirs are made of plastic, glass or stainless steel.
The wick can be made from a large number of materials, the material simply needs to absorb liquid. In the picture above I have used a wick designed for an oil lamp (new wick as oil in the wick will stop it from working). For larger systems have multiple wicks.
Here are a few household items that can be used as a wick:
- dish sponge
- dish cloth
- piece of a tea towel
- rope (not nylon)
In the picture Hydroponic Wick System I am using washed Pumice for my Pansy to grow in, other aggregates you can use include washed Gravel, Perlite, Vermiculite and Rock wool. You can find further information on these aggregates here.
Please send me photos of your Homemade Hydroponic Wick Systems as I would love to see them, email them to Henry(?)HomemadeHydroponic.net
NB please replace the (?) with @ in the email address.