A fiddle with hydroponics

I didnt want to leave hydroponics out of the model. At this stage a fiddle with traditional hydroponics with a longer term view of a trying various organic compounds so as to avoid the cost. But again an educational , fun delve into the world of hydroponics with a slant towards independant (solar) power. The initial mechanism in itself untested but a hybrid NFT/aeroponic set up to learn the practical ropes and to learn the mistakes the hard way. The lure the efficient use of water and the downside the setup costs and sophisticated user requirements.

The build started out with ideas harvested from various web pages. A lot of the components of “off the shelf” systems seemed a bit expensive so I decided to build my own and see what happened. My design was influenced by lack of space originally so I planned to have it on a flat roof. This limited the weight the set up could be so I ruled out Deep water culture (which seemed the easisest to set up) and decided on this design. Of course to make it more comlicated I wanted to bend the internal nozzles to aim directly onto the roots of the plant – so first I had to make a suitable bender out of scrap. Using the bender and heating the risers that I used with a heatgun produced just the result I was looking for.

With the bender in full production it was possible to assemble the body of the system. I decided on 50mm PVC piping because it is lightweight and simple to work with.

Using 110mm piping for the grow tubes,cutting the holes for the grow pots, and dropping in the pots soon had the build looking like this.

Then a quick add of a canopy for shade/plastic /support of the vegetables

Drill the holes in the grow tubes

Add the inflow pipes

Then the feeds to each pot and the out let and we are nearly there

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