Hydroponics can seem challenging but nothing new seems that easy at first. I’d like to guide you through setting up a hydroponic growing kit that won’t cost you an exorbitant amount of money. If you feel comfortable handling this project, you can step it up with a bigger growing operation so you can have a greater, more various harvest. However, for now it seems best to start you off with one, little seedling.

If you’re interested in growing your own herb garden, check out this article!

What you’ll need:

  • herb seeds
  • 3 inch (depth) net pot
  • 1 mason jar
  • Hydroton clay pellets
  • spray paint
  • plastic grocery bag
  • hydroponic nutrients
  • 1 inch rockwool cube

Step 1: Germinate your seeds.

Plant your seeds in the rockwool cube and wait for them to sprout. They require a dark, very moist environment to sprout.

Step 2: Set up your mason jar.

  • Wash your mason jar with soap and water, making sure there are no remnants when you’re finished. While you’re at it, give the hydroton a rinse in a colander or any other kind of strainer at your disposal.
  • Check to see if your net pot fits your mason jar. Make sure to get a mason jar that has the 2 part cap; the twist and the cover. Remove the cap completely and insert your net pot. Put the twist (no cap) atop the net pot and secure the pot.
  • Now it’s time to spray-paint your jar. This way the roots are protected from unwanted light. Remove everything from the glass jar (the pot and twist), hold the items you’ve removed, together and wrap in a plastic bag. Twist everything back onto the jar, making sure the plastic bag is secure inside the jar like so:

  • You will need multiple coats. Consider adding a strip of painter’s tape to check on the roots in your setup. Just take a strip and lay it along the height of the jar. This will be useful when you’re checking your roots for algae. If algae starts to form in your jar, pour out the water and add some fresh water. Place a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to clean everything out. Rinse the roots a little. Then pour out the water and refill with filtered water. Add your fresh nutrients.
  • When you think you’ve made the jar opaque, shine a light on the inside of the jar to double check. If the light is completely contained, your jar is ready for planting.

Step 3: Plant your seedlings.

  • Once your seeds have sprouted, you can cut away the plastic around the rockwool cube. Once your spray paint has dried, place your net pot in the jar and fill it with filtered water to about 1/4 from the bottom of the net pot. Add your nutrients as directed (It’s about a 1/4 teaspoon per gallon for new seedlings).
  • Place a layer of hydroton pellets at the bottom of the net pot, 1 pellet deep. Place the rockwool cube inside the net pot and add some hydroton pellets around and atop the cube. Don’t cover your seedling!

Step 4: Place your plant in a spot full of light.

The more light, the better. Now let it grow! From time to time, take a look under that painter’s tape to check on your plant’s root structure.

If you’re interested in learning more about growing your own herbs, check out the Student Kitchen:Ingredients page and take a look at our herb profiles.


Check out the original instructions here.