How to Make Your Own Hydroponic Net Pots
According to Oklahoma State University Extension, using a DIY net pot allows you to grow plants without soil either vertically or horizontally. Instead of using soil, a medium is used where mineral nutrients are provided in water. To save money and produce a larger garden, it pays to know how to make your own hydroponic net pot. You don’t need to have a green thumb for this type of garden.
How to Make a Hydroponic Net Pot
Select a Net Pot Size
Select a net pot size for your DIY hydroponic garden. If your DIY net pot is too small, it can waterlog your plant, eventually leading to root rot. If it is too big, the nutrient solution you use can evaporate. Wash the containers with soap and water.
You can either choose smaller 3-inch containers or cut off the top portion of plastic bottles for your hydroponic garden. You can also use plastic garden pots. The bottles work well when you add a round net pot bucket lid to support root growth.
Use 7- to 8-inch containers for growing smaller herbs such as chives (Allium schoenoprasum), while 8 1/2-inch containers or 2-gallon pots can be used for medium plants such as strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa). A 10-inch container or 3-gallon pot is recommended for plants that grow up to 3 feet, such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum).
Drill Holes in the Containers
Next, drill several small 1/2-inch holes at the bottom of each container, evenly spacing them. The pot should contain holes on the bottom to hold the growing medium and to allow for root growth, according to the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service.
Drill Holes on the Outside
Besides the bottoms of your DIY hydroponic containers, you should also drill holes in the outside of the containers, spacing them 1/2 inch apart and 1 inch from the top. The holes in the exterior support water drainage. If you have a 3-inch pot, you should drill holes that are 2 7/8 inches. Check to make sure you are drilling the right-size hole for your DIY hydroponic system. Placing holes in the outside permits for more air circulation.
Rinse Your DIY Net Pot
Rinse away the debris from drilling your DIY net pot. Use mild dishwashing liquid with lukewarm water for washing away the residue before rinsing. Add a net pot bucket lid to any planting pots or plastic bottles for healthier rooting of larger hydroponic plants.
Add the Medium
Check the medium you are using to see whether it spills through the drainage holes. If it does, add a mesh liner. Some of the medium you can use includes rockwool or a clay aggregate, such as hydrocorn or grow rock. Coconut fiber, perlite and vermiculite are other popular choices.
The growing medium is used to hold the nutrient solution so the plants will grow in the net pots. You cannot have one without the other in a DIY hydroponic system.
Place Your Pots
While some people who are new to hydroponics may think you can only grow your plants indoors with a grow light, you can grow them outside too. The plants take up less room outside and grow larger, as they receive minerals and nutrients directly from the water and nutrient solution. You can choose to place them vertically or horizontally. Many tomato growers use hydroponics to grow tomato plants vertically on their patios if they live in the city.
How to Make Your Own Hydroponic Net Pots. Net pots allow liquids to flow freely past the roots of the plants they contain, facilitating the uptake of nutrients. As the plant grows, the roots extend out of the holes in the net pot, typically growing down into the nutrient solution in search of food. While net pots are …