Hydroponics is a type of horticulture which involves growing plants, usually leafy crops, without soil, by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions mixed into water. Terrestrial or aquatic plants may grow with their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid or in addition, the roots may be mechanically supported by an inert medium such as perlite, gravel, or other substrates. Hydroponics is a way to grow crops year round and provide you with a steady supply of nutritious and delicious produce.
Watch this introduction slide show to see information on the different types of hydroponics and what you need to know to maximize your growing success
We have free plans for a 16 plant site grow tower that is easy to build, not expensive with supplies, and a great way to grow food year round.
Click on the files below for directions:
Click below to watch a You Tube video made with the Silent Springs FFA Chapter explaining how to build the tower step by step:
How do I take care of it once I build one?
How much does it cost to build one? Most supplies are available locally in either hardware stores or nurseries.
Interested in building your own hydroponic tower but missing some of the tools? FSWCD is now offering a free two-week rental of a Tower Building Tool Kit. The kit contains every tool required to build your own tower including a cordless drill with the necessary drill bits and hole saw attachments, a PVC cutter, a glue gun, heavy duty scissors, a Dremel 3000 kit, a measuring tape, and a pair of pliers. The kit DOES NOT include building materials (buckets, PVC pipe, grow lights, etc.) The two-week kit rental is completely free but due to the value of the tools included, a $100 deposit is required to rent. The deposit will be refunded when the kit is returned in full. Click the link below to fill out a rental request or call 907-479-1213 ext. 5 with any questions.
Floating Platform hydroponics is also known as deep water culture hydroponics. This hydroponic method of plant production is done by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water. Traditional methods favor the use of plastic buckets and large containers with the plant contained in a net pot suspended from the center of the lid and the roots suspended in the nutrient solution. The solution is oxygen saturated by an air pump combined with porous stones. With this method, the plants grow much faster because of the high amount of oxygen that the roots receive.
Click below for Instructions for building this type of system:
If you have any questions about these hydroponic systems, please call Mel at FSWCD at 907-479-1213 x 5