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How-To: Make a Basic Hydroponic System on Your Roof

July 15, 2009

A month of rain, a canopy of shade trees, and questionable BK soil added up to a pretty poor showing on the vegetable front in our little plot on Sterling. One tomato plant with no fruit, and carrots, lettuce and beets that barely sprouted. So much for my dreams of a little victory garden to fend off the recession.

This is how we do it in the hood...

This is how we do it in the hood...

Well, all is not lost.

Brian from, hooked me up with hydroponic plants. He brought me two tomatoes, a sweet pepper, a cabbage, and a demonstration of how to do it myself (teach a woman to fish, etc. etc).

I put them on our roof, where the tomato and the pepper started sprouting fruits in a week. Here’s how…

Get yr hydroponic nutrients

Get yr hydroponic nutrients


Put 'em in a 5-Gallon bucket

Just add  water

Just add water

Cut a donut out of some insulation foam.

Cut a donut out of some insulation foam.

Cut a circle with a hole in it in styrofoam - Brian used insulation foam

Put yr plant in it

Et voila!

Et voila!

Brian comes to farmer’s markets around the NYC area to show everyone how to set up this simple system; I met him at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. You can find out more about how to work on his site here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 13, 2010 6:34 pm

    Cool! I never thought that it is possible to grow plants on the roof. Great solution for them who live in the cities and have lack of free space inside appartments. It has future. Thank for this post! Cheers!

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