Easy Window Farming. Instructions for growing plants in a small space like an apartment or baloney. How to make a window farm for your own window using only 2 liter soda bottles and a hand full of parts from your garage. If you have a sunny or semi-sunny window, you can grow herbs and plants all year around in a very small space. This hydroponic system repurposes 2 liter bottles for growing herbs. Each bottle holds a plant with no soil, but in hydro balls. Several bottles are held with rope or a chain together is a vertical manner. All parts for this system is built from things around the house.
There is no limit on the number of bottles you can hang in the window. In the system suggested here, we are using three bottles. All bottles are 2 liter bottles of soda. When the bottles are empty, remove the label and try to clean off any of the glue that holds on the label.
The best plants that grow in the Window Farm are annuals herbs or vegetables. It is possible to grow tomatoes and cucumbers. Your imagination is the limit. Below is a partial list of suggested plants to start out with if you have never grown plants hydroponically.
All herbs, Mint, Basel, Cauliflower, Broccoli, BakChoy, Celery, Lettuce and Potatoes….. etc…. your imagination….
All materials can be bought at any local hardware store or pet supply.
Start with a 2 liter bottle of soda. Rinse out with water and let it dry overnight. With a pair of scissors or sharp knife, cut out a slit half way up the bottle where the black planter basket can fit and anchor into the middle of the bottle. There is no wrong way to do this. See picture below of cut out.
Insert the black basket into the opening. See below….
Dab three or four places on the black basket with Gorilla glue and let dry overnight. The next day remove the entire bottom of the bottle. Don’t take off more than 1 or 1 ½ inches from the bottom of the bottle. This will allow water drip from the above bottle to water the plant below. See pictures.
Make two more bottle/baskets. Let dry overnight.
Last, take a decretive or practical rope and start to glue the rope along the sides of the bottles until all three bottles are lined up with the bottom of the bottle exiting water into the bottle below. The fourth 2 liter bottle becomes the reservoir. Don’t cut the bottom off of the bottle. Instead cut about 3 inches from the top of the bottle.
Building the pump is easy to do. It is not your typical water pump. This pump uses an aquarium air pump and a basketball inflator.
Take the ½ inch hose and measure up around 6 inches. Using a sharp knife or blade, make an insertion around ½ inch long. Take the basketball inflator and insert the pointed end into the slit. Taking the air pump hose, connect one end to the basketball inflator and tape around the connection. Take the other end of the ¼ inch hose and connect it to the air pump. You’re almost done!
Cut off ½ inch of the ½ inch hose at a 45 degree angle. This is where the water will enter into the pump. Take the metal weight and tape it to the bottom six inches of the ½ inch hose. This acts like a weight to hold the whole pump in the water.
After assembling the basket hangers and attaching the rope support(s), hang your window farm in the window with the lowest basket bottom just above the reservoir. Put the pump into the bottom reservoir and string up the ½ hose all the way to the top basket. Take the ½ inch right angle plastic piece and insert it into the house and hook the other into the basket. See picture below. Remember to cut the hose to the required length before inserting the 90 degree tube.
Turn on the air pump. Fill the reservoir with plain tap water. Immediately water should be bubbling up through the hose and come out the top. It will not be a steady stream, but water squirts with a lot of air. Water does not need to flow quickly for this window farm to work.
Start with a small six pack of vegetables or some herbs. A smaller plant has a higher chance of success than a plant will survive the shock from soil growing to hydroponic growing. Planting plants in the hydro balls is easy. Take one of the plans out of your six pack and place it in a bucket of water. Wash off all of the soil off the roots. It does not have to be perfect. The more is better.
With one of the plastic baskets glued into the 2 liter bottle, will it 1/3 the way full with hydro balls. Place the plant’s roots and bury the rest of the roots with more hydro balls. See pictures below.
When the entire system set up, it’s time to start your hydroponics cycles. There are three chemicals available in any hydroponics store. Ask for general purpose chemicals for hydroponics. They can be sold in a set of three or sold separately. If you have never gone into a hydroponics store before, it can be over whelming. You are looking for a set of three fertilizers that are dissolvable in water. They are signified by three numbers on the bottle. XX-XX-XX. The first number is the percentage of nitrogen in the solution. The second number contains the percentage amount of potassium. The last tells the amount of potash.
Since the system is not very large, you don’t need to use much fertilizer. Place 1 teaspoon of each of three chemicals. That will last for a week. Make sure you don’t over dose the water. If there is too much solution, the plant will go into a condition of lockout. Lockout is a condition where the salts in the fertilizer locked into the roots and will not allow any more nutrients to be absorbed by the plant. When this condition happens, it is best to start over with new plants and water.
Plant any type of plant in your hydroponics window farm. Don’t be afraid to experiment That’s the best part. In the beginning add about 1 teaspoon of each chemical to your water. Watch how the plant grows and adjust accordingly. Start out slow and later build up to high dosages of chemicals.