Garden in a Jar

Janet Collins on making a simple and inexpensive hydroponic garden.

Here’s an inexpensive way to set up a simple hydroponic garden.

Small rooted (seedling) impatiens, philodendron, tomato or pepper plants are good choices for the novice. Cover the outside of a quart jar with paper or fabric to keep light out.

Mix the growing solution by combining water and liquid fertilizer, but use only one-quarter of the amount of fertilizer suggested on the label. Fill the jar with the water/fertilizer mixture to within 2.5 centimetres of the top.

Cover the top of the jar with mesh or heavy fabric. Stick your plant through a hole in the mesh or fabric until the roots are in the water. (The hole should be big enough to support the plant stem and leaves above the water.) Don’t seal the jar too tightly as air must get to the roots.

Check the water level daily and keep the solution at the same level. Every few weeks, empty the jar and put in fresh solution.

Place the planted jar where it will get enough sunlight. Daytime temperatures need to be between 15° and 27°C, and cooler at night.