Do It Yourself RDWC Hydroponics

Written by melody gould
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Do It Yourself RDWC Hydroponics
Leafy greens do very well in RDWC hydroponic systems. (The water and Plants image by Igor Tarasov from

A recirculating deep water culture (RDWC) hydroponic system is easy to set up and is the preferred deep water system. With a RDWC hydroponic system, the water is aerated and the nutrients mix though the water at the same time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Water tight container with lid
  • Water
  • Net pots
  • Water pump
  • Semi-rigid or rigid tubing
  • Spray nozzle
  • Nutrients
  • Seedlings or plants
  • Box cutter
  • Permanent marker
  • Growing medium

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  1. 1

    Select a watertight container that has a lid, such as a Rubbermaid tote or even a kitty litter bucket. It really does not matter as long as it can hold water. Seal up any leaks or cracks in your container before you grow plants.

  2. 2

    Determine how many plants you want the system to hold. Using the upper lip of the net pot as your guide, trace around the lid where you want the plants with a permanent marker. The typical 25 gallon tote can easily hold 8 to 12 plants depending on the type of plant you use.

  3. 3

    Carefully cut out the circles in the lid with the box cutter. Cut the holes a bit smaller than the circles you drew. You do not want the net pots dropping through.

    Do It Yourself RDWC Hydroponics
    Be very careful when using box cutters as they are very sharp. (stock pictures of a box cutter with a very sharp blade image by Albert Lozano from
  4. 4

    Determine the length of semi-rigid or rigid tubing that you will need and cut the tubing to size. Put the water pump in the bottom of the container and attach one end of the tubing to the water pump. Cut the tubing approximately 4 inches below the top of the container. Attach the spray nozzle to the cut end of the tubing.

    Do It Yourself RDWC Hydroponics
    Semi-rigid or rigid tubing is best because it will remain upright in a container filled with water. (tubes image by Dusan Radivojevic from
  5. 5

    Place the container where you are going to keep it. Fill it with water to approximately 2 inches below the spray nozzle. Add the appropriate amount of nutrients based on the package directions.

  6. 6

    Put the lid on the container and put the net pots in the holes you cut in the lid. Place the growing medium into the net pots. Rinse the plant roots off thoroughly and place the plants in the pots.

  7. 7

    Turn on your new RDWC and watch your plants grow! Remember to check the water and nutrient levels at least twice a week.

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