Have you ever wanted to have a hydroponic garden, but you just don’t have the space or the funds? Well, here is your solution! We made a space effective vertical hydro set-up that requires minimal purchases; the whole thing only cost us less than $70 to make!
Our friends over at Aztec brewery donated these beer bottle for us to use in this system. One of our hydro experts owns a glass cutter, which is how we were able to cut the bottoms off of these bottles. Check out this YouTube video on How to Cut Glass Bottles with String yourself at home.
3 Glass Bottles (or 3 similar plant holding vesicles)
From Home Depot
- 10 Foot Double Loop Chain ($5)
- 1 – 1/8″ Quick Link ($2.24)
- 2 – 1/8″ ‘S’ Hooks ($1.18 4 pack)
- 18 Gage Wire ($3)
- 5 Gallon Pot, with no holes in bottom ($10)
From SD Hydro
- 1 Eco 132 Submersible Pump ($11.79)
- 5 Foot- 3/8″ Poly Tubing ($1.30)
- 3″ – 1/4″ Poly Tubing ($0.13)
- 1 – 1/4″ Vari Flow Valve ($.50)
- 3 – 3″ Net Cups ($1.26)
- Growstones ($28, or since you only need about 3 cups of stones, ask your local hydro store for samples. Most of the time they will be more than willing to give you some from their store-use supply).
1. For the first step you will need your 10 foot chain, wire, wire cutters, and the bottles.
2. Fold the chain in the middle, so that there are two 5 foot lengths.
3. Cut a 2 1/2 foot piece of wire. Take one your bottles and have someone hold it at the desired height. Remember that you will have three bottles. Wrap the cut piece of wire around the neck of the bottle and through the chains (See picture to the right). I wrapped the wire around about 4 times to make sure the bottle would be secure.
4. Next, cut a 3 foot piece of wire. Wrap the wire around the top of the bottle in the same fashion as you did with the bottom (See picture below).
5. Repeat with the other two bottles, working down the chain. I left about 1/2″ inches of space in between the bottles.
6. Now that all the bottles are attached to the chain, its time to start working on the pump. Gather the reservoir, the tubing, the pump and the valve for the next steps.
7. Attach the 1/4″ piece of tubing to the vari flow valve. This is going to be your drip system. Attach the drip system to one end of the 3/8″ tubing. Then, attach the open end of the 3/8″ tubing to the submersible pump.
8. Fill up your reservoir with water. Attach the submersible pump to the side of the reservoir at the highest possible point. The tubing that is attached to the pump should go up the back of the bottles. The end of the tubing should stop about two inches above the top bottle. You may need to work with the tubing a bit to make the drip system stay in place.
- 9. At this point, you can plug in your pump. Make sure the bottles are all lined up so water is dripping from the top bottle, through the bottom two, and into the reservoir. If this is all working well, it is time to add your plants!
10. Place a net cup in each of the bottles. Take your plants (we took cuttings of plants we had in the store and rooted them in our EZ Clone) and place inside the net cups. Fill in the excess space with Growstones.
11. At this point, your system should be up and running. Let it run for a couple days before adding any nutrients or intense lighting, as the plants need time to recover from the transplanting process. After a couple of days, add the recommended amount of hydroponic nutrients to your system to ensure your plants survive and thrive.