DIY HYDROPONIC TOWER BUILD WITH NANCY JANE STACKING PLANTERS

These are step by step instructions on how I built my 9 tier hydroponic tower, made out of Nancy Jane stacking planters. This seems to be the right height for a system, set up from floor level up.  I have the lower tiers planted up with day-neutral strawberry plants, and the rest with my favorite herbs/veggies. I have choc. mint, basil, parsley, kale, swiss chard, comfrey, and collards.  I’m using a combination of plants and seeds,  just thrown in the pebbles, to experiment and see how it goes. 

I ordered a 210 pump from ebay, and it’s doing a fine job, on  the second notch setting from the low end. I wrapped some sheer nylon material around it to keep debris out. This is a tip from my fountain designer days. I affixed 1/2″ Inside diameter tubing to the pump.  I ran the tubing up through the middle hole of the stacks. The water seems to disperse it’s self fine through the holes that are already in the stacking planters.

I found a 13″ plastic basket from  dollar tree to be the perfect size for the stacks to fit into perfectly, and support them. I used the plant saucer from the stacking system, and cut out holes for the tubing and more to drain. It also acts as a bit more support for the stacks, and allows space for the pump to sit without pressure on it. The basket holds about 1 1/2 gal. of water, which is plenty. I only have to refill about once a week.

For extra support, I inserted all into a 3 gal standard sized bucket from Lowe’s. It happened to be pink, and the other basket is aqua, so I carefully wrapped a trash bag around them and tucked it under the first stack to hold in place. I set both theses buckets inside a 20″ D. whiskey barrel type planter.  I wanted to be sure if any bucket split and failed that something else would catch the water, since I’m in an apartment. 

It took a 10L bag of hydroton to fill each 3 tiers, with only a small amount left over….so 30L for the whole project. I’ve played with several timer settings, adjusting the the pump running time, and right now I am going with 15 min on and 45 min off.  I’m using E27 red/blue led plant light bulbs to give a little added light boost. I just put them in a floor lamp. They screw into a regular light socket and take only 5W each. 

I’ve ordered some rugs for the area. By next month’s update we should be styl’in!

The tower set up and planted on 1/28/2015

The tower set up and planted on 1/28/2015

1/2" I.D. black tubing

1/2″ I.D. black tubing

The pump inside the buckets

The pump inside the buckets

The basin with holes cut in for drainage

The basin with holes cut in for drainage

The first tier, with plastic bag wrapped neatly around and tucked in.

The first tier, with plastic bag wrapped neatly around and tucked in.

Bareroot strawberry plants waiting to get planted

Bareroot strawberry plants waiting to get planted

Closeup of a planted strawberry...will update monthly

Closeup of a planted strawberry…will update monthly

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