In this post I will be teaching you guys how to make a simple hydroponic raft system.
Hydroponics is an easy way to grow your own food. It can be made very small and put anywhere you want. It reduces work and you don’t have to water your plants. It happens automatically. So that means that you save more time with watering plants and you save more water because you keep using the same water over and over.
In a hydroponic system you can plant more plants than in the same space in soil.
The plants grow faster than normal and the chance for them to get diseases is less than when they are in soil.
A raft system is a system where the plants grow in a medium and their roots hang in the water. This system is an easy system and is perfect for when you don’t have a lot of space. It is commonly used in very large commercial gardens.
Here are the steps:
- All you need is
-a knife or drill
-a plastic bin (size doesn’t matter)
-some plastic cups
-and an oxygen pump.
- What you do next is you measure the cup’s diameter.
Then you drill holes of a little bit smaller so the cups won’t fall in the bin. If you don’t have a drill, you can use a knife. For example: I used a cup with a diameter of 7 cm. So I made 6×6 cm squares.
If you heat up the knife, you can make the squares much easier than normal.
- After that, you start making holes in the cups.
This is needed for the water to get to the roots. You can make the holes with a knife, scissors or a heated nail.
The more holes you make the better.
- Your next step is to fill the cups with your growing media.
You put them into their holes and fill them with the medium. The best medium is hydroton. This is because it keeps the water at the perfect temperature and also the pH at the perfect level. But at most stores, hydroton is expensive. So you can also use gravel or crushed coconut. But there are a lot of other things you can use.
- Then you are ready to plant your plants in the system!
I’ve planted 3 peppers, 1 celery and 1 tomato. But you can plant anything you want in this system.
You put the airstone of the oxygen pump into the bin with water. Otherwise your plants/fishes will die.
This system can also be used as an aquaponic system.
All you need extra is fish and fish food.
Aquaponics has almost the same advantages as hydroponics.
- It reduces work that has to be done in a garden
- helps you to save more water
- and it requires less space.
And in an aquaponics system you can grow fish while you’re growing vegetables at the same time!
They say that the plants’ roots shouldn’t be in the same water as the fish. But I don’t think that it matters. I have a few pepper growing in a raft system and look at them, they’re growing great!
- If you have another bin, you can fill it up with water and put it in the sun to create algae. This can be feed to the fish.
- If you have a transparent bin, you should paint it white. Otherwise algae will start growing into the bin. And algae take the oxygen out of the water.