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Hydroponics is a gardening system where you grow plants in a soilless solution, usually water. A hydroponic garden has a 30-50 percent faster grow rate and a larger yield than a soil garden. Hydroponic gardens also have fewer issues with bugs, pest, and disease. To build your own hydroponic garden, start by constructing the hydroponic system. Then, add the crops to the system so they can grow. Maintain the hydroponic garden as it develops and enjoy happy, healthy plants at home.
[[Category:Hydroponics]]
== Steps ==
===Constructing the Hydroponic System===

Build the flood table. The flood table will hold the water for the garden. You can build a simple flood table out of wood. The width of the flood table will depend on how much you want to grow in the garden and how much water you want to use.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs184[[Image:Build a Hydroponic Garden Step 1 Version 2.jpg|center]]

*For a small garden, make a rectangular frame out of treated lumber that is 4 feet, 1-inch (1.2 metres, 2.54 cm) wide by 8 feet, 1-inch long (2.4 metres, 2.54 cm). Then, line it with a polyethylene plastic sheet. This will hold 20 gallons (75 L) of water.

*You can also use a wide, deep plastic tray as the flood table. Pick a container that can hold 10 to 20 gallons (38 to 75 L) of water. You may want to line the tray with plastic to ensure it does not leak.

Make a floating platform out of styrofoam. To prevent the roots and soil of the plants from rotting, make a floating platform so they can float in the water. For a small garden, use a 4 by 8 foot (1.2 by 2.4 metre) sheet of 1 ½ inch (3.8 cm) thick styrofoam. Check that the edges of the platform can move up and down so the plants can float.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs184[[Image:Build a Hydroponic Garden Step 2 Version 2.jpg|center]]

Cut 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7 cm) wide holes in the platform. Use a plant pot as a guide when cutting the holes with a saw. Cut enough holes to fit all the plants you want to grow. Make sure the plant pots fit snuggly in the holes and do not extend beyond 1/16 inch (0.4 cm) below the styrofoam platform.[[Image:Build a Hydroponic Garden Step 3 Version 2.jpg|center]]

Add drip emitters to the flood table. Drip emitters help to drip out water from the garden to ensure the water does not sit stagnant in the flood table. You can find them in the irrigation supply section at your local hardware store or nursery. They come in different drip rates, based on maximum gallons per hour (gph).http://makezine.com/projects/hydroponic-veggie-garden/[[Image:Build a Hydroponic Garden Step 4 Version 2.jpg|center]]

*For a standard garden, you want the flood table to hold 5 gallons (19 L) of water per hour. So, get two drip emitters that have a rate of 2gph.

*Puncture two holes in the bottom of the flood table. Then, push the drip emitters into the holes. Seal any gaps around the drip emitters with epoxy or hot glue.

Place the flood table on a stand with a bucket. The flood table will need to be elevated on a stand or stool. Place a bucket under the flood table, directly underneath the drip emitters. The bucket will catch the water as it drips out of the flood table.http://makezine.com/projects/hydroponic-veggie-garden/[[Image:Build a Hydroponic Garden Step 5 Version 2.jpg|center]]

*If you are growing the hydroponic garden outside, place it in a sunny spot in your yard. Position the flood table so it gets a maximum amount of sun.

== Video ==
{{Video:Build a Hydroponic Garden|}}

== Things You’ll Need ==
*Wood or a plastic container
*Styrofoam
*Water
*Drip emitters
*Bucket and stand
*Plant food
*Started seeds
*Potting mixture
*Grow lights (optional)
*Timer (optional)

== Related wikiHows ==
*[[Maintain a Hydroponic Nutrient Reservoir]]
*[[Build a Homemade Hydroponics System]]
*[[Feed Plants in a Hydroponics System Using Maxsea]]
*[[Build a Homemade Hydroponics System]]
*[[Dig for Fossils]]
*[[Care for a Christmas Cactus]]
*[[Choose the Right Roses for Your Garden]]
*[[Choose Plants for a Garden]]
*[[Make a Hydroponic Bog Garden (Water Recycling)]]
*[[Set Up a Freshwater Aquarium]]
*[[Start a Homemade Hydroponic Garden]]

== References ==
{{reflist}}

PARTS

== Quick Summary ==
{{Summary:Build-a-Hydroponic-Garden}}

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