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15 DIY Hydroponic Garden Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

hydroponic gardening

Hydroponics is a method of growing vegetables and plants without the main ingredient, soil. Instead of using soil, the hydroponic plants depend on a nutrient-rich solution and coco coir, peat moss, or rock wool. Even though we are not using soil, our plants will still need a supporting material.

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Before you begin

Hydroponics is a very complex technique, and it requires some planning ahead before you jump into doing these projects on your own, but we’ve got some tips and tricks to get you there with minimum effort. Before you begin, make sure you have the right conditions; you’ll need these basics:

  • Fresh water with balanced pH
  • Root Support (coconut fiber, peat moss, clay pellets, or rock wool)
  • Oxygen (between the water container and the base of the plant)
  • Nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and other
  • Light

There are a lot of plans you can make on your own that will help you learn and understand the basics of hydroponics. We will give you a glimpse of what these methods are, how they affect our surroundings, and what are some simple ways to make and enjoy these exciting projects from inside your home. These DIY Plans are fun projects that you can do with your family, and if you end up enjoying the first plan you build, you can even make a hobby out of it.

The 15 Best Hydroponic Garden Plans

1. DeepWater Culture System

  • Materials: 3½ gallon bucket, 10-inch net pot, air pump, air tubing, air stone, Rockwool, expanding clay media
  • Tools: Marker, drill or hole saw, scalpel, plumbers tape or sucker pads
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

This type of technique is the most popular homemade system. This method is considered the easiest to make and use but is a bit more expensive than other DIY systems.

It is built with a glass or plastic container filled with a nutrient-rich solution. The roots are directly suspended into the container, so this system often requires an air pump to help oxygenate the water-based solution, also providing oxygen to the plants. You may need to replace the water solution every 1-2 weeks since plants will be absorbing the water, and the levels may be reducing over time.


2. An affordable desktop system

  • Materials: half a gallon container with a lid, 2-inch net pot, an aquarium bubbler, a control valve
  • Tools: Marker, scalpel
  • Difficulty: Easy

This homemade hydroponics system is incredibly easy and cheap to make. It is a fun project you can do on your own or even include your children to help you make it and maintain it. Almost any plant can be grown this way, even vegetables.

You can make it in any plastic container that can fit on your desk. You can use one container to hold one plant, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a desktop full of hydroponic plants. This is a great hobby to have all year round since you do not require any soil for this project, and all the conditions can be monitored and changed if necessary.


3. Bucket System

  • Materials: 5-gallon bucket and lid, net pots, river rocks, or lava rocks
  • Tools: Marker, hole cutter, or drill
  • Difficulty: Easy

This pumpless bucket hydroponics system is another easy project to do. It requires minimum material to make this system. During summer, you may have to add more nutrient solutions for your plants, but it requires minimal maintenance for plants to grow fast and healthy.

The most important part of this system is to get a non-transparent bucket and ensure no algae is formed. Be careful not to get a black bucket since it will heat faster than others during summer.

Generally speaking, this homemade hydroponics system is very easy to make on your own. It is a great conversation starter and will be a lot of fun taking care of it and watching your plants grow strong.


4. Mason Jar System

  • Materials: Mason Jar with a wide opening, 3-inch net pot, Rockwool, clay medium or pebbles, grow lights if necessary
  • Tools: N/A
  • Difficulty: Easy

A Mason Jar System is another fantastic project that you can do on your own, and it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge. It is a perfect decoration for both your outdoors and indoors. As long as your plants are getting enough sunlight, you can display them in any convenient place.

This interesting technique for building a hydroponic system in a mason jar will be a perfect example of a hydroponics technique called the Kratky method. The Mason Jar system is a smaller miniature version of this method. If you want to make a bigger version, you can use a 5-gallon bucket or container instead of jars. We will explain a bit more about this method below.


5.   Kratky System

  • Materials: 5-gallon bucket, glass jar, or any container, one net pot, Rockwool, clay medium, or pebbles
  • Tools: N/A
  • Difficulty: Easy

As mentioned above, the Kratky method is one of the most famous hydroponics methods since it is effortless and affordable to make. The container size and the number of plants can vary, and it is ultimately your choice.

The way this method is working is by water being constantly absorbed by the plants and leaving room for more oxygen to enter the container. As the plants grow, so does the oxygen level in the bucket. If the plants were dipped in water entirely, they would drown.

This method is powered by the growth of the plant; it follows its life cycle. This project is very interesting to make on your own because you can observe the growth process as it is happening.


6. An Aquarium System

  • Materials: A 10-gallon aquarium, an air pump, air-line tubing, air bubbler, Rockwool cubes, 1-inch thick polystyrene board
  • Tools: Scalpel, marker
  • Difficulty: Moderate

An aquarium Hydroponics System also called an Aquaponic System, is maybe the most interesting hydroponics technique so far. It is relatively easy to make it. You will need some time to plan and acquire the materials for this project.

The greatest part about aquaponics is growing plants in an already working aquarium, which means your fishes will help with the process. For this method, you don’t need any fertilizer for the plants. Your fish will eat, producing waste, the perfect fertilizer for your plants’ growth.


7.   Windowfarm System

  • Materials: 8-ounce water bottle, small squares of sponge, vermiculite plant mix, silicone sealant, rope or cord
  • Tools: knife, lighter, tape measure, hole cutter or drill, pliers, drew driver, nut, and bolt
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This hanging window system is a perfect decoration for your wall. After you acquire all the tools and materials necessary to make this hydroponics system, it will be pretty easy to set it up anywhere to your liking. It doesn’t matter how big or small your living area is; you can resize this system to fit your home perfectly. The best part is growing any vegetable indoors and having a healthy, controlled garden in your room.


8.   Vertical GardenPipe System

  • Materials: 2 PVC Pipes (4-inch pipe; 1 and a half-inch pipe), pipe connectors, pipe cap
  • Tools: Tape Measure, marker, saw, Heat gun, PVC Glue
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This vertical hydroponics garden system is a perfect plan for those of you looking for a creative and innovative challenge. This project is not much harder compared to others on this list but will require more preparation and focus. It is still a fantastic project, and once you are done, you will be left with an excellent handcrafted structure for growing your plants in only water. Like most of these projects, you can place this creation anywhere where it is most convenient for you, whether your house or garden.


9.   Soda Bottle System

  • Materials: Plastic soda bottle, any cotton material, coconut coir or peat moss, cling wrap, small mixing bowl
  • Tools: Black marker, scissors, or scalpel
  • Difficulty: Easy

This Soda Bottle DIY Hydroponics System is an easy way to arrange your hydroponic plants and watch them grow inch by inch in just a matter of days. It can be a fun science project to make with your kids since it doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge. Most of the materials and tools used for this soda bottle experiment are items you can find in your house.


10. Drip System

  • Materials: Water reservoir, 5-gallon bucket, lid with 6-inch net pot, water pump, tubing, clay pebbles
  • Tools: Scalpel, drill, tape measure
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Imagine growing vegetables inside your home during winter and watching them grow every day more and more. An excellent formula to make your plants have a watering system with minimal effort is this homemade Drip System. Once you set up the entire system, you can sit, watch it work independently, and enjoy. It may be a challenging project to make for some people, but if you put in more time and effort, this low-maintenance hydroponic system will surprise you.


11. PVC Pipe System

  • Materials: 3,5-inch PVC Pipe, 2,7-inch net cup, ladder or any wooden structure, water reservoir and water pump, tubing, timer
  • Tools: Drill, scalpel or hole cutter, pipe clamps
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This Zig-Zag PVC Pipe System is an impressive construction to make, and it will surprise most people that see or hear about it. While it does require more effort to make this structure correctly, it is entirely worth it. The interesting part about this hydroponic plan is the water flowing through the PVC pipes, watering your plants in a zig-zag motion. The water flows through the pipes, reaches every plant individually, then goes back to the water reservoir, and with the air pumps, water goes back up again. It is a perfectly organized system that you can make on your own and display proudly as an indoor garden.


12. Aquaponic Garden System

  • Materials: 4 inch PVC Pipes, PVC Fitters, 44-gallon tanks or reservoirs, water pump, black tubing, pot nets, or cups
  • Tools: tape measure, hole cutter, tape, drill
  • Difficulty: Difficult

If you are looking to make an exciting plan and have more time to invest, then take a look at this Hydroponic Aquarium Garden System. This plan is incredibly creative and original. It will look impressive wherever you decide to place it, but the idea of a flowing indoor garden is a hard one to beat. Even though this project is for people with more experience and skill, it can still be a fun plan to build with your friends and proudly place it on display.


13. A Flood and Drain System

  • Materials: Reservoir, timer, water pump, tubing, growing medium, grow bed
  • Tools:
  • Difficulty: Moderate

A Flood and Drain hydroponics system, also called Ebb and Flow, is a technique of hydroponics that you can try out at your home. It works by placing a growing bed on top of a water tank. Once you connect these two containers with tubes and a water pump, you will be able to control the flow of water out of the water reservoir and into the grow bed. Observe the plants’ growth and control the flood and drain of water with a timer that you will attach to the pump.


14. MicroGreens Planter

  • Materials: small plastic container with a lid, a piece of screening net
  • Tools: utility knife
  • Difficulty: Easy

This plan is a great one for letting your kids participate and learn. You can make the MicroGreens Planter plan in less than an hour, but it will be such a fun experience once you set everything up. Time is the only factor for this project since you can only wait and observe the planted seeds sprout and grow out of your miniature container. After sprouting, you can choose whether to continue growing them hydroponically or plant them in regular soil. It is probably the most manageable plan on our list, and you can most certainly find all these materials in your home.


15. Indoors Vegetable Garden System

  • Materials: Reservoir, airstone, air pump, net pots, growing medium, tray
  • Tools:/
  • Difficulty: Easy

Many people are interested in how to grow vegetables indoors, especially hydroponically. The best thing about growing hydroponic vegetables is that you can improvise and experiment with different techniques and adjust them to fit your preferences. You can find a full tutorial on making a Vegetable Hydroponics Garden on your own, at home, with minimal resources needed.

Related Read: 27 DIY Herb Garden Plans You Can Make Today!

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divider 5Final Thoughts

You’ve probably heard of this term many times but have never actually wondered what it means to grow hydroponic plant gardens. These hydroponic plans require a particular level of skills and knowledge to make. Still, anyone is free to try, and everyone who tries will surely succeed at making their own customized and innovative hydroponic plan.

You probably better understand all the different hydroponic gardens you can make. After reading this article carefully, you’ll hopefully realize what this concept means and decide if it is the right hobby for you. You can make all of these plans in just one day, and you can do most of them on your own, although it is a fun and relaxing activity to do with your friends or family.

See also: 6 Types of Hydroponic Systems Explained (With Pictures)


Featured Image Credit: 41330, Pixabay

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