Growing Plants Hydroponically

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This page talks about growing plants hydroponically in an inexpensive system designed by David of David's Garden Seeds®.

Recently I spent some time in the hospital and on bed rest at home. 

SIDEBAR: When something starts to hurt internally, go and get it checked out.  Don't try to tough it out like I did.  All I did was make the illness worse to the point where it almost killed me. 

What could have been handled with some antibiotics turned into two operations and tens of thousands of dollars to get fixed.  And there was a third surgery I had in February of 2019. It was successful.


I had surgery in February and was not able to keep up with the system like I wanted too.  It quickly got out of hand, over-grown.  I did not have enough ventilation in it and my plants were too close together.

So I scraped the whole thing.  Now we are in the midst of moving to our mini-farm.  We will reset and try again.  This time though, we will have lots of space to work with.

Click here to see what I am growing.

Click here to see us placing the plants in the hydroponic system.  I have to get more plants ready.  My pipes are not quite level so I will have to work on this.

Anyway with all this time to think, I came up with what I believe will be an economical hydroponic system.

The only hydroponic systems I could find cost hundreds of dollars.  So I had to come up with a cheaper way to build a hydroponic system.

I have a 12 x 12 greenhouse that I am going to use to try out my idea.  It is still a bit too hot to try to plant anything but I will start to build it, especially, since what used to take me a couple of hours to do now takes me all day.

Below is a picture of the interior of my greenhouse.

The inside of my greenhouse before the hydroponic system.

What I am going to use is four inch sewer pipe.  It is cheap and easy to use.

If you would like to try this, you will need:

  • 96 feet of 4 inch pipe. 
  • 11 four inch elbows. 
  • 2 four inch caps. 
  • One five gallon bucket 
  • A small pond pump. 
  • A timer.

I am going to lay it out on the shelving shown in the photo.

Phase One

In phase one, I have laid out the 4 inch sewer pipe (pictured below).  I put in two clean out caps, just in case. 

I used a circular saw, with a finishing blade, turned around backwards to make the cuts. 

It took me about two hours to lay this part out.  I did not glue the pipe together.  I am going to see if they leak.  If the joints do, then I will need to glue them. 

I do not want to glue. That way, I can move the system without making any cuts if I want to change it.

My next thing is to lay out what I want to grow.

Starting to put my hydroponics system into my greenhouse as of this morning, 9/11/18.
Starting to put my hydroponics system into my greenhouse as of this morning, 9/11/18.
Starting to put my hydroponics system into my greenhouse as of this morning, 9/11/18.

We ended up having to glue the joints together. 

Click here to see the first half of the video. 

Click here to see the 2nd half of the video.

The next step was cutting the holes in the PVC pipe.  I started out with a 3 inch hole saw but then went to 2 3/4 hole saw which worked a lot better.  I should have drawn a line across the top of the pipe so I could keep them straight. 

Click here to see the video on cutting the holes. 

I do tell you to put on your gloves.  I did not and here is what happened...

I kept telling myself to put on the gloves.  This is why we wear gloves when working with power equipment.

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All of the variety information on the David's Garden Seeds® website, including the days to maturity, color and size are based on data from tests done at specific locations. Many factors, including geographic location, daytime and nighttime temperatures, the availability of plant nutrients, many unknown climate factors and insects/pest interact to determine a variety's performance. For information on which varieties will perform best in your area, we recommend that you contact your local county extension agent or a Master Gardener.

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Here at David’s Garden Seeds®, gardening is our passion. We provide top quality, non-GMO seeds so families can learn about gardening and love it.  In turn, we hope they will pass this passion down to their children and grandchildren, teaching them to grow  delicious food, fresh herbs and beautiful flowers.