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.

Introduction Slide Show 

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

Hydroponics PPT (pdf)


Hydroponic Grow Tower

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 file below for directions to build one yourself:

Small Grow Tower System Building 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:

Video Instructions on Building the Modified TowerYou Tube Video of Construction of this system made by FFA Students


How do I take care of it once I build one?

Care and Maintenance Instructions


How much does it cost to build one? Most supplies are available locally in either hardware stores or nurseries.

Supplies Cost Estimate


Tool Kit Available for Rent

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.

Tool Kit Rental Request Form

Floating Platform Hydroponics

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:

Floating Platform (Deep Water Culture) System Directions


If you have any questions about these hydroponic systems, please call Mel at FSWCD at 907-479-1213 x 5


Biologic Fertilizer System

We have been developing an easy method of brewing microbe based fertilizer that is somewhat like sourdough. Happy well fed microbes produce food for your plants. An easy system to build and maintain for a consistent source of low cost plant fertilizer. Click on the links below for information on how to build one:

Memetic Onetai One Page Instruction Sheet

Memetic Onetai System Information and Directions