Hydroponics gardener shares money-saving hack for building vertical gardens: ‘This is so creative’

Vertical gardening can be an expensive venture, but with this hack on TikTok from Mike VanDuzee (@the_good_mr_hyde), you can make it happen for just a few dollars.

The scoop

VanDuzee’s Instagram and YouTube page are dedicated to teaching viewers about hydroponic gardening — a type of gardening that grows plants using nutrient-filled water instead of soil. This option allows for a more space-efficient garden, as it is often seen in the form of garden towers that stack pots on top of each other.

VanDuzee’s DIY method to make your own tower garden is cheap and easy, requiring only a few materials: five-gallon buckets, a drill, seedlings, pool noodles, and nutrient-rich water, which you can find his recipe for here.

You’ll want to drill small holes four inches apart near the top of the bucket and then use them as a pilot to drill bigger two-inch holes, along with a few extra small holes for ventilation.

Then, add your nutrient solution and thread pool noodles through the larger holes to anchor the plants.

“You can enjoy fresh vegetables and leafy greens right in your own backyard,” VanDuzee explains.

How it’s helping

Vertical gardening is fantastic for those looking to grow their own fruits and veggies but only have limited space. Even in an apartment building, you could fit a garden tower on a small balcony, and with VanDuzee’s hack, you can do it on a budget.

Typical garden towers can range in cost, but many are expensive. For example, one of Amazon’s options goes for $318, and the brand, Gardyn, has one that goes for $899.

However, you can get five-gallon buckets and pool noodles for very little money — VanDuzee mentions that he found the buckets at Walmart for $1, and at a restaurant for $3.

You also aren’t the only one who benefits from this cost-effective hack — vertical gardening is great for the environment, as well.

Vertical gardening is energy- and land-efficient, and according to Eden Green Technology, just a single 1.5-acre hydroponic greenhouse can support 2.7 million servings of greens each year.

Plus, plants grown using hydroponics face a decreased risk of pests and diseases, so that’s less money on your end without the need for pesticides. If you find that you still need a pesticide (some bugs are persistent!), try out this budget-friendly one before spending extra money at the store.

What everyone’s saying

Commenters on the post were impressed with VanDuzee’s resourcefulness and grateful for an affordable option.

“This is so creative!” one user said. “I have four grow towers and you’re right, they are expensive!”

Another chimed in, saying, “Amazing, thank you so much for sharing this great tip.”

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