DIY Fogponics Gardening Bucket

I designed and fabricated a DIY fogponics gardening bucket.

Fogponics is essentially a form of hydroponics mixed with aeroponics. It's growing using foggy mists instead of plain water. The idea is that plants will be able to uptake nutrients faster and more efficiently because of using a finer mist. Faster and more efficient feeding results in faster plant growth which in turn decreases the overall amount of fertilizers, water, and upkeep it takes for producing a harvest.

Functionally, it's a simple mechanism. A small pond fog mist atomizer turns a bucket of water into mist that travels down the pipes and feeds the plants. The mister is connected to a mechanical timer that turns the fog on as often as needed. In an ideal environment, the mister and timer can be plugged into a solar power supply station and run using just sunshine and water.

Initial Fogponics Grow Bucket Design

This was my initial design.

Materials List

These are the parts and materials to reconstruct this fogponic grow bucket.

Required materials

Optional Materials

DIY Instructions

Grow Bucket Construction

  1. Cut the holes in the bucket for the 2-inch PVC pipe.

    Drill two holes in opposite sides of the 5-gallon bucket using an electric drill and 2-1/2-inch hole saw. The holes should be as close to the top of the bucket as possible and adjacent to one another, so a PVC pipe can be inserted through one side and out the other for the finished product. Two holes provide enough weight to keep the bucket balanced, whereas, a single hole tends to be too heavy for the plastic causing it to bend and create issues.

PVC Manifold Construction

  1. Cut four sections of 2-inch PVC pipe to approximately 6-inches in length.

    Two of the 6-inch sections will go inside of the bucket and two will go outside. The inside sections are tunnels connected to a Y-shaped PVC fitting for collecting and transporting the fog inside the bucket. The outside sections become the home for plant roots.
  2. Insert a section of the PVC pipe into each hole in the bucket. Use a Y-shaped fitting to connect the pieces in the middle. The empty opening of the fitting should be facing down in order to allow the fog to travel up and inside.
  3. Caulk and seal the PVC piping into place. It's important to create a sturdy seal for keeping the PVC pipes in place, as well as a waterproof seal to prevent the bucket of water from leaking.
  4. Wait for the caulk to dry and set.
  5. Construct the exterior vertically-aligned PVC piping.
    1. Attach a Y-shaped fitting to the exposed ends of PVC pipe sticking out of either side of the bucket.

      You should have created a t-shape on both sides. The top hole remains empty and is where the pool noodle fixture and plants go.
       
    2. Connect the remaining 6-inch long pieces of PVC pipe to the bottom of the T
    3. Attach PVC end-cap fittings to the bottom of the 6-inch vertical piping, as water catches

Adding the Pond Fogger

  1. Fill the bucket with water - stop near the opening of the interior Y-shaped PVC fitting
  2. Place the fog atomizer into the floatation device.
  3. Put the float and fogger into the water.
  4. Plug the fogger into the mechanical timer.
  5. Set the mechanical timer to run for fifteen minutes once per hour.
  6. Plug the timer into a wall outlet (or solar power supply station)

Plants and Stem Holders

The last step is adding the plants. Cut up pieces of a pool noodle fit perfectly inside of the 2-inch PVC pipe fitting openings and Rapid Rooter plant start plugs fit perfectly inside the hole of foam pool noodles.

  1. Using scissors, cut approximately 1-inch long pieces of foam pool noodle
  2. For more dexterity, make a cut down one side of the section of pool noodle, so the hole can become smaller or larger as needed.
  3. Insert a seed or plant cutting into a moistened RapidRooter plant starter plug.
  4. Insert the plug into the hole in the piece of pool noodle.
  5. Place the pool noodle and plant gently in the opening at the tops of the exterior PVC pipes that stick out from the sides of the grow bucket.

Finished Fogponic Grow Bucket

Here's how my fogponics grow bucket turned out.

Optional Solar Powering

The fogponic grow bucket system can be improved upon using solar power. Plugging the contraption into a solar powered portable power station would allow you to run the fog pond mister on or off-grid, no matter where you want to grow plants.

Optional Water Return System

In addition, you could amend the design with a water-return-system. A water-return-system would automate easy re-use of run-off water and condensation that isn't being utilized by a plant's roots. Without a return system any extra water will collect in the end-caps at the bottom of the external sections of the PVC manifold. Whether you need a water-return-system or not depends a lot on what you're growing and how much your plants like to eat.

The original design included a water return system.

  1. Drill 1/4-inch holes in the bottom of the external end-caps.
  2. Drill 1/4-inch hole in the adjacent side of the bucket, slightly lower than the end-cap, so water can return via gravity back into the bucket.
  3. Attach 1/4-inch black aquarium tubing from the hole in the end-cap to the hole in the bucket.
  4. Seal the connections using waterproof caulk or snug-fitting rubber gromets