After publishing this post, I started looking for videos and online plans for DIY aeroponics systems. Turns out that the smallest container you can use is a large plastic tote. But if I’m going to use the metal shelf, that’s way too big!
I suppose you could just have the tote on the floor and buy a stronger pump that could somehow send water to the top shelf, into a smaller reservoir above which the plants sit. However, if you can, nobody was telling me about it and it sounds more complicated and more expensive than I want to deal with.
Well, I don’t need aeroponics per se. I just want a system that won’t use much water. There is a lot more info online about hydroponics than aeroponics, and so I finally searched, “hydroponics versus traditional gardening water usage” or something like that.
Turns out that a hydroponics system uses about the same amount of water as an aeroponics system…ten percent of what a person growing in soil uses!
I can build indoor DIY hydroponics system using shallow plastic bins. Problem solved!
But wait, there’s more!
The more videos I watched on hydroponics, the more I began to salivate. No watering…EVER? No weeding…EVER? And we could build the system so that the plants were no lower than waist level?
Honestly, the only two negatives I could come up with for using hydroponics was having to use electricity to run a pump, and to use artificial fertilizer. Well, the pumps really don’t use that much electricity, and the production we would get with a hydroponics system would more than make up for the cost of the energy.
As for artificial fertilizer, that’s only a problem when you apply it to soil. Sure, it’s an extra cost, but with the native soil we have extra fertilization is necessary, anyway. I either buy some or go through the extra work of creating my own natural fertilizer (such as weed tea).
We were already going to build five aeroponics towers for growing strawberries. Why not build a couple of hydroponics systems for everything else?
Okay, most everything else. I don’t think growing cucumbers and melon would work in front of the house, where we would have the things because an electrical outlet is handy there. But if I’m not killing myself watering tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries all summer long, I think I can handle the other.
This is NOT my final decision
I might change my mind next week. I am for sure going to build a hydroponics set-up for indoors (probably several). I think the aeroponics strawberry towers are a done deal.
As for the rest…we’ll see. Building our own hydroponics garden will not be nearly as much work as making the aeroponics towers, and can be done for around $100.
That, and my husband didn’t groan and roll his eyes when I approached him with the idea. 😉
So I am definitely leaning that way…