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347 Pido Rd. Unit #15
Ptbo, ON K9J 6X7


705-745-GROW or

A great activity to enjoy with your children!

Teaching children about gardening and plant life is easy when they have had a little hands-on experience with watching plants grow. Hydroponics is a great way to teach children about plant biology as the plants grow more quickly than when planted in soil. What’s more, to actually build hydroponics system with children is both simple and fun.

A bucket system that uses the deep water culture methods are fairly inexpensive and easy to use.

Building from scratch

This easy-to-build hydroponics system uses a single five-gallon bucket.

All you will need to complete this method is an air pump with a air stone and air line, a lid or mesh pot, and the five-gallon bucket. (Note: if you have small children, always ensure that the lid is firmly affixed to prevent them from falling in.)

Lids can be purchased to fit snug over the bucket and then drill about a 4″ hole in the center of the lid. In the hole, a 4″ mesh pot can be placed with some medium, typically rocks or clay pebbles to hold the plant in place. Alternatively, lids with mesh pots already attached can be purchased if you dont want to use any power tools. Once the medium is placed into the mesh pot you can sow your seeds or seedlings.

The five-gallon bucket will then be the reservoir that these seeds will root into. Mix whatever nutrient solution you choose and add to the reservoir bucket. This portion will have to be assisted by an adult to ensure the proper amount is being added and safe practices are being used.

The lid can then be affixed to the top of the bucket and the water level should be just about touching the bottom of the seed or seedling. A small hole should be drilled into the lid to allow the airline to slip through. Affix the air stone to the end of the airline threaded through the lid and attach the other end to the air pump and plug in. This will keep the nutrient solution well-oxygenated and mixed.

As the plants begin to grow

As the plants begin to sprout or the roots elongate you can begin to reduce the water level so that just the roots are touching the water, not the plant. The reason why we leave our water level higher up to begin with is so that we can ensure that the plant is watered and will not dry out. Alternatively, you can set your water level to your desired height and hand water the seed or seedling until the roots elongate into the solution below.

Once the nutrient solution is mixed, the top of the bucket attached, and the air pump in place the system is ready to go. All you will need additionally is a source of light over top to cater to the small plant. Fluorescent bulbs or low-power LEDs would suffice for small seedlings or herbaceous greens.

This method is one of the cheapest hydroponic methods around. It does not require the use of an automated system, a timer, or a pump. This can be attractive to some people because of the price point as well as the decent results that can come from hydroponic gardening. To ensure that deep water culture, or bucket systems, are effective the grower should be cleaning out the bucket about once a week to stave off any bacterial growth. Typically, having two five-gallon buckets would be best as you can fill the second bucket with new solution and switch the plant over to that bucket for the following week while you clean out other bucket to be used in the coming week. Deep water culture can be adapted to become more advanced than just a simple bucket system with the addition of pumps and feeding lines and made as simple or complicated as the user would like.

Come into the store and we’ll help!

You’ll have some great experiences with this as a family! Come into the store anytime and we are happy to help you get started with the most appropriate nutrient solutions for this simple system. Or, we can set you up with a bucket system from a variety of choices!