Hydroponics and Aeroponics are great alternatives to traditional gardening for those who want to grow indoors, but it can be tricky to give your plants the right balance of nutrients and water. YouTube user GrowColt figured out a simple way to hack a $9 lamp timer into a controller that can automatically provide water and/or nutrients to your plants for 50 seconds every 40 minutes using common tools, a rubber washer, and superglue.
We’ve covered DIY hydroponics on the cheap before; there are also many inexpensive commercial systems available. Aeroponics is a little harder to find; the plants do not use water or soil as a growth medium and must be misted with water and nutrients every so often. Both systems need timers, and GrowColt’s lamp timer hack is the most cost effective solution you can currently find.
His process consists of taking apart the timer, removing one gear and gluing a rubber washer over another gear, and putting the timer back together. This hack allows the timer to allow pumping water and/or nutrients for 50 seconds as often as every 40 minutes or as little as once per day. Complete instructions are in the video above. If you aren’t comfortable taking apart the lamp timer, you can buy an already hacked timer directly from GrowColt for $US29.99.