Cheap & Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle

Looking to dive into the world of hydroponics without breaking the bank? Look no further! In this article, we’ll show you a cheap and easy DIY hydroponics method using a $1 pool noodle. Traditional hydroponics can be costly, but with this method, you can grow your own microgreens, herbs, and leafy greens without spending a fortune on expensive materials. No need for rockwool, clay pebbles, or net cups – just a pool noodle and a few other simple supplies. Everyone should have the opportunity to grow their own food, and this method makes it accessible to all. So, let’s get started on this budget-friendly hydroponics adventure!

If you’re tired of the expensive and complicated hydroponics setup, then this DIY method using a pool noodle is perfect for you. Forget about all those fancy materials – all you need is a $1 pool noodle and a bit of creativity. In no time, you’ll be growing your own bok choy, microgreens, and more. Plus, we’ll share some tips on seed saving, so you can have a continuous supply of seeds for future harvests. Get ready to ditch the expensive stuff and embrace a cheap and easy way to fulfill your hydroponics dreams!


Are you interested in growing your own microgreens, herbs, and leafy greens but don’t want to spend a fortune on traditional hydroponics supplies? Look no further! In this article, we will show you how to create a DIY hydroponics system using a simple and inexpensive pool noodle. With this cost-effective and easy-to-set-up system, you can enjoy the benefits of hydroponic gardening without breaking the bank. Let’s dive in!

Benefits of DIY Hydroponics


One of the major advantages of DIY hydroponics is its affordability. Traditional hydroponics setups can be quite expensive, especially for beginners. However, by using a pool noodle as the main component of your DIY system, you can drastically reduce costs while still achieving great results. Pool noodles are incredibly cheap, usually costing around $1 apiece. This makes it an accessible option for anyone who wants to try their hand at hydroponic gardening without breaking their budget.

Easy to set up

Setting up a DIY hydroponics system with a pool noodle is a breeze. You don’t need to be an expert or have any specialized knowledge. All you need are a few simple materials, which we will outline later in this article. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced gardener, this DIY system is perfect for everyone. Plus, the step-by-step guide we will provide makes the setup process even more straightforward, ensuring that you can start growing your own plants in no time.

Requires minimal space

Unlike traditional soil gardening, hydroponics doesn’t require a large outdoor space. With a DIY hydroponics system using a pool noodle, you can easily set it up in a small corner of your balcony, patio, or even indoors. This makes it a great option for individuals living in apartments, urban areas, or those who simply have limited space for gardening. With hydroponics, you can make the most of your available space and still grow an abundance of plants.

Less maintenance

Maintaining a DIY hydroponics system is relatively low compared to traditional soil gardening. Without the need for soil, you eliminate many of the common maintenance tasks, such as weeding and pest control. Additionally, using a nutrient solution instead of soil provides a controlled environment for your plants, reducing the risk of diseases and nutrient deficiencies. With proper monitoring and adjustment of nutrient levels, your hydroponics system can thrive with minimal effort.

Provides higher yield

One of the major benefits of hydroponic gardening is its ability to provide higher yields compared to traditional soil gardening. By providing an optimal growing environment and carefully controlling the nutrients and water supply, your plants can grow faster and produce more abundant harvests. With a DIY hydroponics system using a pool noodle, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing a bountiful harvest of microgreens, herbs, and leafy greens right at your fingertips.

Allows for year-round gardening

Another advantage of DIY hydroponics is that it allows you to grow plants year-round, regardless of the season. With the right setup and proper lighting, you can create an artificial growing environment that mimics the conditions necessary for plant growth. This means you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh greens and herbs throughout the year, even when outdoor gardening may not be possible. Say goodbye to waiting for the right season and embrace the opportunity for year-round gardening with hydroponics.

Cheap  Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle

Materials Needed for DIY Hydroponics Using a Pool Noodle

To create your own DIY hydroponics system using a pool noodle, you will need the following materials:

Pool noodle

The main component of your DIY hydroponics system is a pool noodle. These can be found at most discount stores, usually for around $1 per noodle. Make sure to choose a pool noodle that is long enough to accommodate the number of plants you want to grow.

Planting container

You will need a suitable planting container to hold the pool noodle and support the plants. This can be a plastic bin, a recycled container, or even a specially designed hydroponics container. Choose a container that is large enough to hold the pool noodle and has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Nutrient solution

A nutrient solution is essential for providing the necessary nutrients to your plants in a hydroponics system. You can either purchase a ready-made nutrient solution or make your own using a balanced mix of essential nutrients. Follow the instructions on the package or consult a hydroponic gardening resource for guidance on the appropriate nutrient solution for your plants.


To cut the pool noodle into cross-sections and make room for the plants, you will need a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Make sure to use a clean cutting tool to ensure a smooth and precise cut.

Step-by-Step Guide for DIY Hydroponics with a Pool Noodle

Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of setting up your DIY hydroponics system using a pool noodle.

Preparing the planting container

  1. Start by preparing your planting container. Ensure that it is clean and free of any debris.
  2. If your container does not have drainage holes, create several holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain out.
  3. Place the container in a location that receives adequate sunlight or artificial lighting, depending on the needs of your plants.

Cutting the pool noodle into cross-sections

  1. Take the pool noodle and measure the desired length for each cross-section. Aim for sections that are approximately 1 inch in thickness.
  2. Using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, carefully cut the pool noodle into individual cross-sections. Each standard pool noodle, which is usually 48 inches long, will yield around 48 cross-sections.
  3. Set aside the remaining pool noodle sections for future use or other DIY projects.

Filling the pool noodle with nutrient solution

  1. Before filling the pool noodle with a nutrient solution, thoroughly clean it to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Prepare your nutrient solution according to the instructions provided with the nutrient formulation you are using. Ensure that it is mixed to the appropriate strength for your plants.
  3. Once the nutrient solution is ready, take each pool noodle cross-section and cut a small section from the center, creating a small hole without removing the entire center.
  4. Place the cut piece back into the center of the pool noodle, leaving a small opening for the microgreen or herb to fit through without being crushed.
  5. Carefully pour the nutrient solution into the pool noodle, filling it until it reaches the top.
  6. Allow the pool noodle to absorb the nutrient solution for a few minutes to ensure thorough saturation.

Planting the microgreens or herbs

  1. Now it’s time to plant your desired microgreens or herbs. Choose small root or stem cuttings, or use seeds for starting from scratch.
  2. Gently insert the microgreen or herb into the opening you created in the pool noodle. Make sure the roots or stems are in contact with the nutrient solution.
  3. Repeat the process for each pool noodle cross-section, spacing the plants evenly.
  4. Once all the plants are in place, ensure they are stable and supported within the pool noodle.

Cheap  Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle

Maintaining the DIY Hydroponics System

Maintaining your DIY hydroponics system is crucial for the success of your plants. Here are some key aspects to consider when maintaining your system:

Checking and adjusting nutrient solution levels

Regularly monitor the nutrient solution levels in your DIY hydroponics system. As plants absorb nutrients, the solution may need to be replenished to maintain optimal nutrient levels. Check the solution daily and add more as needed, following the instructions provided with your nutrient formulation.

Monitoring pH levels

Maintaining the proper pH level is vital for the health and growth of your hydroponic plants. Monitor the pH of the nutrient solution regularly using a pH testing kit or meter. Adjust the pH as necessary to keep it within the optimal range for your specific plants. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic pH, around 5.5 to 6.5.

Providing adequate lighting

Light is essential for photosynthesis and the growth of your hydroponic plants. Ensure that your DIY hydroponics system receives enough light by placing it in a location with access to natural sunlight or by using artificial grow lights. Position the lights at an appropriate distance from the plants to prevent burning or stressing them.

Managing temperature and humidity

Maintaining a stable temperature and humidity level is crucial for the overall health and growth of your hydroponic plants. Most plants thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C). Additionally, ensure proper air circulation and humidity control to prevent the growth of molds and other pests that thrive in damp environments.

Tips for Successful DIY Hydroponics

To make the most of your DIY hydroponics system, here are some tips to ensure successful growth:

Choose suitable plant varieties

Select plant varieties that are well-suited for hydroponic gardening. Leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens are ideal choices for beginners. Research the specific requirements of each plant variety and choose ones that will thrive in your system.

Follow recommended spacing guidelines

Proper spacing is crucial for the health and growth of your plants. Overcrowding can lead to competition for nutrients and create an environment conducive to pests and diseases. Follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each plant variety to ensure adequate room for growth.

Maintain a clean and pest-free environment

Regularly clean and inspect your DIY hydroponics system to prevent the buildup of algae, molds, or pests. Remove any decaying plant matter promptly, as it can attract pests and cause nutrient imbalances. A clean and well-maintained system will contribute to healthier plants and better yields.

Regularly inspect and prune the plants

Regularly inspect your hydroponic plants for signs of disease, nutrient deficiencies, or pests. Prune any dead or damaged plant parts to encourage healthy growth. Pay attention to the overall health of the plants and take prompt action if any issues arise.

Harvest the crops at the right time

Harvest your crops at the optimal time to ensure the best flavor and nutrient content. Each plant variety has its own harvesting guidelines, so research and follow the recommendations for each plant you grow. Harvesting at the right time will not only maximize the quality of your crop but also encourage continuous growth.

Cheap  Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle

Common Mistakes to Avoid in DIY Hydroponics

To avoid common pitfalls in DIY hydroponics, watch out for the following mistakes:

Over or underfeeding

Maintaining the proper nutrient balance is essential for healthy plant growth. Avoid over or underfeeding your plants by carefully following the recommended nutrient solution guidelines. Monitor the nutrient solution levels regularly to ensure your plants receive the appropriate amount of nutrients.

Incorrect pH levels

pH plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption and plant health. Neglecting pH levels can result in nutrient imbalances and nutrient deficiencies. Regularly monitor and adjust the pH of your nutrient solution to provide an optimal growing environment for your plants.

Neglecting lighting requirements

Proper lighting is essential for photosynthesis and the overall health of your plants. Neglecting the lighting requirements can lead to stunted growth or leggy plants. Make sure to provide adequate lighting, either through natural sunlight or artificial grow lights, and position them at the correct distance from your plants.

Overcrowding plants

It’s easy to get carried away and plant too many plants in a small space. Overcrowding can lead to competition for nutrients and create an environment prone to pests and diseases. Follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each plant variety and give your plants ample room to grow.

Ignoring plant diseases and pests

Regularly inspect your hydroponic plants for signs of diseases or pests. Ignoring these issues can quickly escalate and cause widespread damage. Take prompt action if you notice any unusual spots, discoloration, pests, or signs of disease. Prompt intervention can help prevent the spread and protect the overall health of your plants.

Additional DIY Hydroponics System Ideas

Once you have mastered the basics of DIY hydroponics with a pool noodle, you can explore other creative ideas to further enhance your hydroponic gardening experience. Here are a few additional ideas to consider:

Using other affordable materials as growing media

While pool noodles are an excellent option for growing microgreens and herbs, you can experiment with other affordable materials as well. Some alternative materials include recycled plastic bottles, PVC pipes, or even foam blocks. Explore different options and see which one works best for your specific needs.

Exploring different types of nutrient solutions

There are various types of nutrient solutions available, each with its own formulation and nutrient ratios. Experiment with different nutrient solutions to see which one yields the best results for your plants. Some nutrient solutions are specifically designed for certain plant varieties or growth stages, so consider trying different formulations to maximize your yields.

Building a larger-scale hydroponics system

If you have the space and resources, consider scaling up your DIY hydroponics system by building a larger setup. This allows you to grow a wider variety of plants and increase your overall yield. Research larger-scale hydroponics systems and choose a design that suits your gardening goals and available space.

Creating a vertical hydroponics setup

Vertical gardening is an excellent way to maximize limited space and increase plant density. By utilizing vertical hydroponics systems, you can grow more plants in a smaller footprint. Consider constructing a vertical setup using PVC pipes, hanging racks, or stacked containers. This innovative approach to hydroponics can enhance productivity while adding an aesthetic element to your garden.

Cheap  Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle


DIY hydroponics using a pool noodle is a cost-effective, easy-to-set-up, and space-efficient way to grow your own microgreens, herbs, and leafy greens. By following the step-by-step guide and implementing the maintenance tips provided in this article, you can successfully create and maintain your own hydroponic garden. Enjoy the benefits of higher yields, year-round gardening, and the satisfaction of growing your own food. Happy hydroponic gardening!

Easy DIY Hydroponics. Stop relying on traditional hydroponics methods that can be expensive for beginners. Today, I will show you a cost-effective way to start growing your own microgreens, herbs, and leafy greens without the need to splurge on expensive materials like rockwool, clay pebbles, or net cups.

With Cheap & Easy DIY Hydroponics, you can save money and still enjoy the benefits of growing your own food. It doesn’t have to be limited to those who can afford it. This method is simple and affordable, making it accessible to everyone. If you know someone who can benefit from this, please share it with them. Thank you!

If you’re interested in learning more about non-circulating hydroponics and the downspout growbox, you can find detailed instructions in my eBook, available at

For supplies and seeds that may not be easily found at local home improvement stores, you can check out my recommended products at

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links provided are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.


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Judd Beale

I'm Judd Beale, the author & creator of hydrogroove. I am passionate & enthusiastic about the many benefits of cultivating fresh produce using hydroponics, especially more recently on a smaller scale. My aim is to provide in-depth information & guidance that assists anyone who wants to get started with their own DIY hydroponics growing system.

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