DIY Vertical Hydroponics

Written by brandon salo
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DIY Vertical Hydroponics
Just about any fruit or vegetable can be grown with vertical hydroponics. (three fresh hydroponics tomatos image by Flashon Studio from

For those gardeners who prefer all the benefits of hydroponics, but do not have much space typically use a method of hydroponics called vertical hydroponics. Vertical hydroponics is not more complicated than regular hydroponics, it simply requires wall space to grow plants instead of floor space. The plants grown with vertical hydroponics will provide the same yields, and quality as other hydroponically grown plants. Vertical hydroponics costs about the same as regular hydroponics, and it will not require much time to build a vertical system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screw gun
  • 4 wood screws, 3-inch
  • Plywood, 1/2-inch, 2-by-6 feet
  • 3 rockwool slabs(in plastic), 4-by-6-by-48 inches
  • 12 eye hooks, 1/4 inch
  • Nylon string, 8 feet
  • Water pump
  • 18-gallon tote
  • Box cutter
  • Black vinyl tubing, 1/4-inch, 8-feet
  • 2 "T" fittings, 1/4-inch
  • 12 rockwool plugs
  • 2 eye hooks, 3 inch
  • Chain, 4 feet
  • 600-watt HPS bulb, with cooling unit
  • 600-watt ballast

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  1. 1

    Screw your plywood to the wall vertically where you prefer your vertical hydroponic set-up. The bottom 2-foot side should be sitting on the ground.

  2. 2

    Lean your rockwool slabs up against the plywood and space them evenly. There should be 2 feet of clearance above the slabs. Screw your eye hooks 6 inches above the slabs so they are evenly spaced and 18 inches from the top edge of the plywood. Repeat this process 18 inches from the bottom of the plywood. Secure the slabs to the eye hooks with your nylon string. The slabs should be lifted 1 foot off of the ground, secured at two locations.

  3. 3

    Cut two 4-inch sections off of the vinyl tubing. Cut a 1/4-inch hole in the plastic that is on the top side of the slabs. Place two inches of the tubing you just cut in two of the holes of the top left and middle slabs. Place one T-fitting on each of those 4-inch sections. Cut a piece of tubing to fit between them, and then an 8-inch piece and connect it to the middle T-fitting while placing the opposite end in the last slab. Connect the rest of your vinyl tubing to the left T-fitting, and run it down towards the bottom of the slabs.

  4. 4

    Place your 18-gallon tote underneath the slabs. Cut the plastic at the bottom of each slab. The slabs will drain their excess nutrient solution into the tote. Place your water pump in the tote, and connect the 1/4-inch tubing to the water pump.

  5. 5

    Use your vertical hydroponic system by starting your seedlings or cuttings in your plugs, and then placing the plugs in the rockwool. Cut a small 3-inch slice in the plastic over the slab to provide a space for your plug. Fill your tote with 4 gallons of nurtrient solution, and run your pump. What is nice about slab is that your plants cannot be over watered as long as it can drain. A rockwool slab is known for holding the right amount of nutrient solution and air for roots, according to Kansas State University Extension.

  6. 6

    Use your 3-inch eye hooks to hang your HPS unit from the ceiling so that the bulb is parallel with the vertical slabs, and 4 1/2 feet away. Use your chain to position the cooling unit at an angle so the light covers all of the slabs, but so very little of the light is wasted. Screw into studs to prevent your light from falling.

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