Take your gardening to the next level with Hydroponics.

Hydroponic gardening

For those of you not sure what hydroponics is, it is a method of growing plants without soil but rather in water. There are a number of hydro-cultures, but let’s just leave that for another day/blog. The advantages of using this method for growing veggies in your yard is:

  • A hydroponic greenhouse can use about 10x less water, and a closed off unit can save up to 95% of water over a traditional planting box;
  • Plants in these systems can grow 2 to 3 times faster than in a traditional soil based system.

So, there are benefits to taking your gardening to the next level. In the following blog, we’ll be taking you through the steps of how to build your own, self-contained wall hanging unit. There are multiple ways of creating these units, and they can be stacked in multiple levels, but for this blog let’s start with the basics – building one.

What you’ll need to build a single unit is:

  • PVC Pipe 110mm (think sewerage pipe)
  • Three Gutter Buckets
  • PVC Weld
  • Two Pvc Female Stoppers, 110mm
  • Two Water Tank Adaptors
  • Two Nipples
  • Two Hose Connectors
  • Hose Pipe
  • Circular Drill Bit
  • Spirit Level
  • Grips
  • Hack Saw
  • Drill
  • Wall Screws
  • Primer Based Spray Paint

First-things-first, you’ll need to take some measurements of the place you’d like to mount the unit. A handy tip is to hang it on a north facing wall to maximise its time in the sun.

Once you have identified your hanging spot you’ll need to cut the pipe down to size using a hacksaw – make sure the blade is secured tightly. If the cut isn’t exactly straight it won’t be a problem, as the PVC female stoppers will cover the mistake.

Now that you’ve got the length, apply PVC glue to the pipe and PVC female stoppers, then jam the stopper onto the pipe and let it set for 10 – 15 minutes. You won’t require additional silicone, plumbers tape, or glue to create a watertight seal, but if there are issues, use marine silicone for a double waterproof seal.

After the welding glue has set, it is time to drill your holes into the pipe, but before going power-tool-mad, make some measurements so the holes will be divided equally across the pipe. Make sure that the pipe is securely clamped into place and using a circular drill bit drill holes into the top of the pipe for the pots (we used a 90mm circular bit in the video). Once complete, you might want to sand the edges smooth, but it isn’t required.

The second part of the drilling step is for the inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet (or feeding pipe) needs to be drilled in higher than the outlet pipe (or drainage pipe) so that water will flow with gravity. Don’t place the outlet pipe too low, however, because you want to ensure that the unit always has a reservoir of water for the plants to tap into.

Now that the drilling is done you can paint your pipe whatever colour you like. We used a primer based spray paint (an all in one), but you can use a primer and then the colour you prefer.

For our unit, we used garden hose attachments (10mm), so the attachment would fit into any generic garden fittings. To assemble in the correct order, screw into place:

  • Two Water Tank Adaptors
  • Two 10mm Nipples
  • Two Hose Connectors

After you’ve finished constructing the unit it’s time to mount the brackets. Make sure to mount them in a straight line on the wall using a good spirit level. Use the bracket as a template for the holes. Once this is complete, you’re ready to drill – remember to change the drill to hammer setting.

Now, mount the brackets to the wall (we used the open-ended bracket so the pipes can be taken down for maintenance).

Now place the unit onto the brackets and connect your feed and outlet. Place your pot plant into the unit, and turn on the water source.

And you’re done.

In the video, we didn’t talk about creating a water cycle, or connecting the unit to a fountain pump, because you can simply attach your hose and fill it up. If you are keen to create a full water cycle make sure to purchase a pump that can reach the height required to fill the unit – it needs to reach the inlet attachment. Then you also will need a reservoir tank to hold the water, and make sure it is UV resistant, otherwise the plastic will crack.

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