Floating Raft Deep Water Culture
Author: Jared Bouck
Project Cost: 20.00
Est Construction Time: 1.5 Hr
Required Skill Level: Can you use scissors safely?
So I’ve been on a hydroponics kick it seems lately. it’s not that I’m some sort of vegan hippy tree hugger… I still play with my Arduino’s, blow stuff up and have midnight raves with led’s. But there is something just captivating with watching the grass grow. This project has to be my favorite hydroponic project so far. Not because its technically difficult, it’s not. Not because I’m breaking down walls of intellectual bullshit so anyone at home can do it. Not even because its oxygenating my office, but that’s a nice perk. No I have to say this is my favorite hydroponic project because of the results. It takes about 4 weeks to go from seed to sea of edible green! The rate of growth for this is insane. Anyone can do this at home and definitely its practical indoors or outdoors. yep this can be scaled up big time. Perhaps I will… Try this one!
For this project we will be using a lot of parts. There is a lot of flexibility in what materials you can use. However, for the main tub that we will be using you may need to do a little hunting. For this project you need to find a tub that has straight walls all the way to the bottom. If they are tapered you will have the foam not sit right and you can get problems from roots drying out to algae. Also… once you find the right tub, if its clear then paint it black.
Next we will be using some construction foam insulation. The main reason we prefer this is that it is not going to pollute our water and more over it is laminated front and back with a plastic film that adds to strength a great deal. You can find this very cheap at any home improvement store.
Now to hit ebay. I picked up this set of 2 inch online for about $5.00. 2 inch seems to be ideal for both the size of plan but also the Rockwool we will be using.
Here we have our Rockwool cubes. Every time I use this stuff I am impressed more and more. Simple, clean, disposable and very effective. This helps plants root well and retain moisture that especially young plants need. These are 2 inch cubes. Make sure to soak these in a low ph solution per the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
Here we have a simple 2 output 9 dollar aquarium pump. We will use one of these for each tub/raft we make to oxygenate the water and keep it from stagnating.