Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Ebb and Flow hydroponics systems are amongst the easiest to build by yourself and the most practical. They might not be suited for all plants, but for a starting gardener an ebb and flow is the best starting point. Find out how to build one with the help of this article.
Ebb and flow hydroponic systems are amongst the oldest used and that's pretty much a warranty that they don't require a lot of technical knowledge or extravagant materials. If you're new to hydroponics and to diy hydroponics especially, an ebb and flow system is a great place to start. Let's take a look at how the system works, what components you'll need and afterwards we'll see how you can build the actual ebb and flow system by yourself.
Ebb and flow hydroponic systems are built with simplicity and efficiency in mind. A plant tray is placed atop a reservoir where water and nutrient solutions will be added. A water pump is placed inside the reservoir and connected to the tray, constantly pumping in nutrients with the help of a pump timer. The nutrients and water are assimilated by the plants, but in some cases an overflow occurs and the tray gets flooded. If this happens, a drain system allows the overflowing water to come back to the reservoir, recycling the unused nutrients and water. The only disadvantage of this system is that the pH levels of the water get changed when overflow is drained back, so you'll need to keep a constant eye on it.
You can purchase some of the components from your local store (Home Depot, Walmart, etc) or order them online from a recommended hydroponics store.
If you find the process of building your own system too difficult, consider buying one of our recommended hydroponic systems.
Ebb and flow hydroponics systems are generally very easy to set up and use, so once you get the components above, it's time to start building. Place the reservoir in the position you're planning to set up the system in, then add the ebb and flow plant tray on top of it (if you're using support structures for the tray, set them up first).
Next up, install the fill/drain system in the tray and connect the tubes to the water pump and place it inside the reservoir. When setting up the fill/drain system, make sure that the overflow water drains back into the reservoir and not around it.
Lastly, connect the pump timer to the water pump and place the plant pots in the ebb and flow tray and there you go! You've just built your own ebb and flow hydroponics system.
Of all hydroponics systems you could build on your own, ebb and flows are amongst the easiest to handle. They don't require any fancy components that would be hard to acquire and setting them up is as easy as it can get. The only issue that inexperienced hydroponic gardeners have trouble with is placing the ebb and flow tray correctly over the reservoir, so that the overflow water doesn't get drained outside the container.