IF you’re craving strawberries this summer, a savvy gardener has revealed a cheap way to grow a bumper crop for just £3.
A TikTok user called Hydroponichomestead took to social media to share her no-tool hack, and people are calling her a genius.
Lifting a large black bucket to the camera, she explains: “This system doesn’t require any specialist tools whatsoever and it’s really, really easy to do.”
The first thing you’ll need is a large plastic tub. The gardener bought hers for £3 from B&Q.
You’ll also need some tiny plant pots, a marker pen and a good-sized sheet of polystyrene. Any thickness between 1cm and 2.5cm will do fine.
“Anything thinner and it can be a bit flimsy and it can crack,” she warns. “Anything thicker, you might struggle to get the roots in the pot system into the water.”
First, place your polystyrene on a flat surface and put the tub on top. Use the pen to draw around the base of the tub.
“We’re aiming to get this polystyrene to fit snugly inside the box, so make sure you draw around the bottom and not the top where it might be a bit bigger,” she explains.
“Grab your little plant pot and also draw around those because they’ll be cut out, too.
“For this one I’m going to be a bit generous with the space and I’m going to put six plants in here.”
Next, it’s time to cut the foam.
The gardener uses a kitchen knife to cut away the outline of the box and then the little circles where her pots will sit.
“Make sure you stick on the inside of the edge [pen markings],” she advises. “If you go on the outside, they can be a little bit too big and your plant pots will fall straight through.”
Holes cut, it’s time to fill up the tub with water. The gardener adds a splash of plant nutrients from two Coco bottles labelled A and B.
“This is exactly how I grew my strawberries last year and I had an absolutely brilliant harvest,” she says. “The only thing I need to do now is put my polystyrene sheet on top and this will float.
“As the water level drops, the whole sheet will drop, meaning that the plants will be continuously in water.
“Pop these in a sunny spot inside or outside and easy peasy lemon squeezy.”
Followers flocked to the comments to share their praise for the handy hack.
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One user wrote: “I’ve been looking into this with a lot of designs, the foam sinking with the water level is genius.”
And a second replied: “I’ve never heard of growing like this and can’t wait to try.”