Watch the video above to see how to build a cheap LED grow light for your seedlings or cuttings. This light is more energy efficient than a shop light or cfl bulb. This light is perfect for a 10 inch X 20 inch seedling tray.
Configuration for cuttings
This configuration is good for a 10 inch X 20 inch seeding tray. Place 3 bulbs in the fixture. 27 watts of light is more than enough light to root cuttings.
Configuration for seedings
This configuration is good for a 10 inch X 20 inch seeding tray. Place 4 to 5 bulbs in the fixture. This will provide 36 watts or 45 watts of light for the plants. Start wit 4 bulbs. If the seedlings are stretching, ad the 5th bulb.
Configuration for leafy vegetables and herbs
This configuration is good for a 2 foot X 2 foot area. Place 7 bulbs in the fixture. This will provide 63 watts of light for the plants.
Configuration for fruiting vegetables and high light plants
This configuration is good for a 1 foot X 2 foot area. Place 7 bulbs in the fixture. This will provide 63 watts of lights for the plants.
This Howto describes building a 4 plant hydroponic garden. The method being used is a top fed drip system. Th nutrient solution flows out the ends of 1/4 inch tubing.
*A square bucket with lid. (my container is from cat litter. approx 5 gallons)
*A 105GPH fountain pump
*5 feet of 1/4 inch drip tubing
*3 1/4 inch barb tees
*6 small zip ties
*4 net pots
*1 pound of expanded clay rock
*An Air pump (optional)
*Small air stone (optional)
Start by collecting all the required parts.
Our bucket before we get started
The net pots we are using
The major part of this project is cutting the holes in the lid. Below you’ll see the holes drawn on the lid for the net pots.
Lid marked up showing where the net pots will go.
Close up view.
The picture below shows the constructed garden. a 1/2 inch hole needs to be drilled in the center. You can see the tee centered above it. This hole also acts as a drain hole. A one inch hole needs to be drilled for the pump power cord. The 6 zip ties require 2 small holes each. The main tubing connecting the pump should be cut so the pump just rests on the bottom of the container.
The completed garden before planting.
For the first time grower and a system this size a one part nutrient mix is best. There are a few choices on the market. Be sure to use one for hydroponics. I use ‘Super Natural Gro Terra’.
The other item to be concerned with is PH. My city water comes complete with dissolved solids. The big one being calcium bicarbonate.
Replace the nutrient every 1 to 2 weeks. For a small system this is the easiest way to keep everything in check.
Buy The Meters
After having the garden for 2.5 weeks my meters arrived in the mail. They will make a difference on the success of your hydroponic garden.
You’ll need one or more meters that take the following measurements:
My city water has an EC value of 450uS and a ph of 7.5. After mixing the nutrient solution the EC value was 2100uS and a ph of 6.4.
I planted the following Plants.
* Sweat Basil
* Sweat Marjoram
The plants were bought at Home Depot. The plants were removed from their containers and the dirt rinsed off. Don’t buy plants that are root bound.
This garden should provide years of fun. This a great starter setup. Good Luck with your garden. Below are pictures from growing in the buckets.
It is a straight forward process to build your own bulkhead fitting. A trip to the hardware store will yield all the parts you are looking for. I’m going to describe building a bulkhead fitting for 1.5 inch pvc pipe. Although with the information I’m presenting you should be able to build a bulkhead fitting for other sizes of pipes.
Below are pictures and descriptions of the parts you’ll need.
1.5 inch pvc electrical conduit coupler slip x male thread
Do not substitute plumbing pvc couplers. These couples have a tapered pipe thread that won’t work well in this application.
1.5 inch pvc electrical conduit coupler slip x female thread
Gasket used for sink repair.
The gasket should just slide over the threads on the male coupler.
Short length of 1.5 inch sch40 pvc pipe.
This is glued into the bulkhead fitting that is on the outside of the container.
1. Start out by choosing the container the bulkhead fitting will be installed in.
2. Next drill a hole for the bulkhead location. The hole should just be large enough so the male threads just pass through the hole. If the hole is too large
3. Insert the coupler with the male threads through the hole from the inside of the container.
4. Place the rubber gasket over the pipe threads sticking out of the hole.
5. Screw the female coupler onto the male coupler.
6. Glue the pvc pipe into the coupler.
And there you have it. It turns out to be quite easy to build your own bulkhead fittings. Once you do you’ll never buy one again. But for those who want to buy here’s a few choices.