Tools Youll Need

Simon's Simple Hydroponics Plans

DIY Hydroponic Setup

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Electric or battery powered drill - 3/8" or 1/2" chuck

2" & 4" hole saws for cutting drain rail plugs and access port in reservoir lid

7/8" speed bore bit (flat, inexpensive drill bits)

Hacksaw for cutting PVC pipe and a razor knife for cutting poly tubing

Vertical Gardens Pvc Pipe Grapes

Step 1. Cut pieces for the 'toes'-(a) and 'feet'-(b) from your 1 1/2" PVC pipe according to the measurements given on parts list. Line up pieces as shown and test fit for accuracy before gluing.

Step 2. Glue these pieces together making sure the 'T' fittings line up perfectly and point in the same direction. Use a flat gluing surface or your stand will come out crooked.

Step 3. You can adjust the height of the legs to compensate for shorter or taller reservoirs. The sizes given in the parts list work perfectly with the reservoir we chose. As a rule of thumb, the front legs will always be 1 1/2" shorter than the rear legs since the Dutch buckets have a 1 1/2" recess in their backs for the drain pipe to fit into.

Step 4. Glue the legs into the bottoms making sure to use one long leg and one short leg for each stand - test fit before gluing to prevent the chance of overlooking this important detail.

Note: While PVC glue dries very quickly, it is a good idea to allow it overnight to harden before putting any weight on the stand. A good rule of thumb is when the smell is gone, the glue is dry since the smell is actually the very solvent that keeps PVC glue in liquid form.

Permaculture Pvc Garden StandTools Needed Hydroponics

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Step 5. Layout the drain and top rails that have been cut and drilled according to the parts list. Here, the two uppermost pipes make up the 6' drain rail. To prevent returned nutrient from filling the stands, you need to plug up the two 'L' fittings on either end and the single 'T' fitting that holds the two sections together in the middle of the 6' span (labeled a,b,c.) The drain spout (d.) should remain free and clear.

Hydroponic Hole Saw

Step 6. To create the drain rail plugs, I used a 2" hole saw and cut them from a scrap sheet of 1/8" PVC plastic. I then glued them in as shown here using PVC cement and filled the pilot hole left by the hole saw with some PVC saw dust and glue. You can use silicone adhesive as well if you like, just make it leakproof at any cost.

Step 7. Assemble your drain stand as shown here. It is a good idea to dry fit the parts before you glue them together and keep in mind that gravity will hold the drain and top rails on the stand legs. If you don't glue the rails down, you can disassemble the stand easily and stow it away in the off season.

Note. Use a hard, flat surface to glue the rails together or they will come out crooked. Pay special attention to these photographs to determine the correct orientation of the parts

Dutch Bucket Hydroponics

Step 8. Now that your stand is complete, you can put the Dutch Buckets into place by fitting the drain nipples into each of the 1" holes in the drain rail.

Step 9. Place your reservoir underneath the drain spout and mark off where the spout touches the lid. Here you will need to cut a 2" hole into the lid to accept the drain spout. Cut the 4" access port hole in an easy to access area of the lid as well. Plumb the pump and filter as shown here.

Same Invert Pvc Drain Adapters

Step 10. Layout the manifold parts as shown here. There are a few different ways to create this same piece of apparatus using PVC parts. The bottom line is that it serves the right purpose. The screw cap on the MHT adapter allows quick draining.

Step 11. Now you can attach the 6' tubing to the feed manifold as shown and zip-tie the entire apparatus to the back side of the drain rail.

To seal the opposite end of the feed line, simply fold it over itself twice and secure with a plastic zip tie (See inset photo below) Alternately, you may elect to use a 1/2" barbed plug (not shown)

Step 12

Drip Manifold Connected Pvc

Step 12. You will need two drippers/emitters per bucket to insure even irrigation. Cut the drip lines from 1/4" tubing being careful to leave plenty of extra length for ease of use and maintenance. Drip lines are connected to the feed manifold using .16" barbed joiners as shown here.

Step 13. You will need a small, sharp punch to prepare the feed manifold for connection to the drippers. It is important that these holes are not too large or they will leak around the base of the joiners. Aquarium silicone applied to the junction (dry thoroughly first!) will stop most leaks.

Dutch Bucket Hydroponic SystemMicro Dripper
Voila! Using off the shelf micro-irrigation parts you've just created an extremely versatile hydroponic system.

Step 14. Emitters are easily connected to the drip lines and inserted into your growing media. Most emitters are adjustable -space them evenly to promote even distribution of nutrient solution across the media surface and root mass below.

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