How to Build a Poor Mans Hydroponic System for Your Windowsill while recycling at the same time!

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

You can grow delicious herbs and greens in your sunny windowsill

Ever wondered if you could build your own hydroponics system for growing fresh herbs and veggies??? Think you have a black thumb and could never grow a plant??? This system is so easy anyone can have success with it.

You can make this as simple or as complex as you like as long as you follow the basic premise outlined here. I am keeping this as much “On the  cheap” as I can but you do not have to.

Things You’ll Need:

  • aquarium airline tubing about 8 ft long.(99 cents store)
  • scissors (99 cents store)
  • craft iron (local craft or hardware store usually sells for less than $5)
  • 1 empty and well washed out 2 litre soda pop bottle (FREE)
  • 1 empty and well washed gallon water or milk jug. (You can use any container that will fit the windowsill but for this article we are using recycled milk/water jugs) (FREE)
  • 1 light or appliance timer ($5 at Walgreens)
  • 1 small aquarium air pump ($7 at Wal Mart)
  • 1 tube of Silicon aquarium sealant (99 cents store)

Ok here we go… plug in craft iron while using caution not to get burned by the hot tip of the Iron and not to burn surfaces.

Using a sharp knife or Scissors carefully cut the top half off of the gallon milk jug. 2 cut top half off of gallon milk jug and throw it away. You may want your planter pot shorter or taller feel free to play here.

Use the hot craft iron to burn a hole just big enough for the tubing to fit into. using craft iron burn 2 holes into top of pop bottle lid and 1 small hole into the side of the bottom half of the milk jug about 1/2 inch from the bottom on the side.
These holes need to be just large enough that you can force the airline tubing into them.

Cut your  airline tubing into 2 pieces. One piece should be about a third of the size of the other one. Insert one end of the long piece of airline tubing into the bottom of the milk jug from the outside to the inside. It doesn’t have to go in very far, then apply a small amount of aquarium sealant around where you inserted the tubing from the outside of the jug to prevent leakage. The other end of the airline goes into one of the holes in the top of the pop bottle lid, this one needs to be long enough to reach inside to the bottom of the pop bottle.

Insert one end of the short airline tubing to the other hole in the pop bottle so that it is just inside the cap and place cap on bottle. The other end of the airline tubing should be attached to the aquarium air pump.

Plug your air pump into the timer and plug the timer into wall outlet, then set the timer to run 3 times a day for 15 minutes to a half hour.

Fill your planter with gravel. Then make sure that the soda bottle is higher than the planter and then fill planter with water to a point just below the gravel. Now lower your soda bottle to a point below the planter so that gravity can drain water back into soda bottle and mark the spot on the bottle where the water level is. This is where you will fill the bottle up to in the future.
Place the planter in the windowsill and the bottle on the floor or some place lower than the planter.
Now you have a poor mans hydroponic planter!!!
Just add a drop or two of liquid plant food once a week and make sure your water level in the pop bottle stays the same and you are done!

  • If using purchased plants make sure you wash all the dirt off of the roots before you plant it into your gravel.
  • If using seed for your planting you will want to scrape off a small layer of the gravel, place your seeds and then cover with the set aside gravel just like you would if you were planting them into the ground.
  • Children should not be allowed to use hot craft iron or to cut the milk jug.
  • use caution not to burn yourself or cause a fire while using the craft iron.
  • Always use caution with scissors or a knife while cutting milk jug

About Author

Leave A Reply