My Homemade Aerogrow Aeroponic System February 13, 2008
Pulling apart my Aerogarden, was quite surprised how simple it is… nothing more but a submersible water pump, same thing as my kitty water fountain.
After researching for a more advanced aeroponic (vegetation grows in 100% humidity air) system, was quite put off by all the high price tags, I decided to construct one from scratch. This is what I came up with:
*Growing Chamber (a black file tote from Staples for 13.99)
*FLOATING FOGGER (19.99 on eBay)
provides the humidity in the growing chamber
*AIRSTONE, AIR PUMP, & AIRLINE TUBING (2.99 + 9.99 + 1.99 from 3rd party seller on Amazon)
provides more oxygen to the roots for faster growth
*DIGITAL POWER CENTER WITH TIMER (24.99 from 3rd party seller on Amazon)
*HYDROTON & 3″ GROW BASKETS (9.95 on eBay)
HYDROTONÂ®Growing MediaHydroton is the “expanded clay,” a lightweight gravel which is manufactured specifically for hydroponic cultivation. This media is the first choice for many commercial Dutch growers specializing in flower and vegetable cultivation. Not to be confused with many other kinds of expanded clay which look similar but which are often toxic, Hydroton is pH stabilized and releases practically no minerals into the nutrient stream; in other words Hydroton is almost completely inert – except for offering excellent moisture and oxygen capacity to stimulate healthy root development.
I got a high output 400w grow light system that uses both METAL HALIDE (blue light for seeding and cutting) and HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM (orange light for flowering and fruiting) light bulbs. There are lots of much cheaper lighting systems out there, Aerogarden uses only 32w fluorescent light bulbs, and things grow just fine. But I really want my vegetables to grow faster, I decided to invest on a good light.
update: These Metal Halide lights are really much better than the fluorescent lights, the plants don’t strech their neck toward the light like they do in Aerogarden — in Aerogarden, even when the lights are set very very close to the plants, they still move toward the light bulb itself, quite an unhappy sight…
These are all the parts you need!
NOW, COMES TO CONSTRUCTING THE AEROPONIC SYSTEM:
1. draw six, 2.8 inch circles on the cover of the file tote, cut them out with a box cutter (the only hard part… needs some elbow grease )
2. cut a little gap on the side of the file tote to allow airline and wire of the fogger to go through.
3. fill the grow chamber with 3 gallon of filtered water.
4. close the the chamber with lid, fit the baskets in the circles, fill in the hydroton with seed filled foam in the center. Plug everything, and grow away
I use General Hydroponic Maxi Series and FloraMato (Dry Concentrated Nutrient) for plant food.
My seeds from Burpee will arrive tomorrow, will keep you updated on the growth of my vegetables