Saturday, December 18, 2010

Design and Build of the Deep Water Culture (DWC)

Here is a simple video explaining the design and build of the Deep Water Culture (DWC) system.   These two modules will replace the ebb and flow system as the primary growing vehicle for lettuce.  In a DWC system, the roots lay in a highly oxygenated nutrient solution while drawing dry air from the top area of the pot.  It is critical for the solution to maintain aeration or the roots will drown.

I chose a DWC and this particular design for a couple reasons.  1) A DWC is very simple and requires minimal parts (air stone, tubing, air pump). 2) This design will hold over 5 gallons of nutrient solution providing a stable nutrient base.  3) This design allows for easy replacement of nutrient solution by simply setting the lid / pots / plants aside and dumping and refilling the reservoir.

I expect the same rates of growth as I have experienced with the ebb and flow system.


  1. I should mention my intent to cover the black lid with mylar from a space blanket. This will reflect light and more importantly, reduce heat generated from the black surface. The heat will not be significant, but it is important to keep the lettuce cool.

  2. please contact me about nutrients...


  3. You might look into a recirculating DWC system. You can have a larger reservoir, which makes the nutrient solution more pH/temp stable and easier for flushing/changing reservoir.

  4. Thanks RKFM. I agree and will go that direction for the next DWC designed for outside use on the porch. My intent with the current DWC was simplicity and I considered the reservoir size into that equation. I think it will be large enough to negate potential stability issues. Time will tell. I may add a spigot for ease of changing nutrients though. I saw someone else do that and it seemed to work well. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!