1. The Hydroponic Planter
The simplest and quickest project to complete. Perfect for school, science fairs and windowsill gardening. Ideal for growing lettuces and small herbs, flowers and ornamentals. Not recommended for outdoor use.
Another system that can be assembled in an hour or two, however, slightly more difficult to create due to the stryrofoam "raft" which must be cut from a sheet using a jigsaw. Excellent for indoor use by a sunny window or under a grow lamp. Best suited for growing lettuces and other short stature plants, hence the name. May be used outdoors however rainwater will dilute the nutrient and can cause an overflow.
The most popular design which has been carried over and improved upon from the third edition. This system requires a little more skill and experience with power tools. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use and for growing any type of plant from lettuce to tomatoes. No Redwood or plam trees please! Be sure to support taller, heavy plants with trellis or vine lines. Use with a 250W-400W grow light indoors.
An extremely versatile system suitable for growing anything, just about anywhere. It utilizes a growing medium which helps to make it a bit more user friendly than the pure water hydroponic systems described above and below. Excellent for tomatos, peppers, cukes, watermelons, just about anything can be grown, including root crops like onions and carrots. It's length makes use with a grow light tricky unless you use a light mover - consider modifying the design to make it more of a rectangular or square shape if you plan to grow indoors under a light.
4" - Best for use with short stature crops and those that will mature quickly. Significantly less expensive to build than the 5" and 6" counterparts but an incredible performer as well.
5" - Best design in my opinion. The square chambers are attractive, stable and provide a healthy internal are for roots to develop. 6" - If you can't find the 5" PVC material or you prefer the round chambers, the 6" PVC system was the first and probably most successful and popular hydroponic system I've ever come across. You really can't go wrong with any of these systems but be advised they are more difficult to build than any of the other systems detailed for construction in this book.
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