How to Make Indoor Hydroponic Gardens Using IKEA Boxes


Hey house and little space residents, here’s a simple DIY compact hydroponic indoor farm system you can make with repurposed off-the-shelf IKEA storage boxes.


ELIOOO is not a product, it’s architect and designer Antonio Scarponi’s cleverly conceived and created user’s manual that teaches any metropolitan garden enthusiast how to build, run, and keep a choice of six otherwise sized and set up indoor hydroponic farms– from a small windowsill herb planter to a large mobile vertical garden.




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The Zurich-based designer’s interest in new ways of utilizing what we currently have, instead of producing new things, led him to design with readily-available IKEA items, offered nearly throughout the world as well as online, offering simple gain access to and the capability to calculate the cost.

After a successful Indigogo crowdfunding campaign last fall, Scarponi invested several months completing the style handbook which is now available for purchase as an ebook or a book.


Three sizes of IKEA Trofast covers and containers are available in white and four other colors.


Why Hydroponics?
Scarponi chose hydroponics for its ecological, practical, and design advantages. Hydroponics (growing plants in water rather of soil) utilizes 90% less water than standard soil systems, needs little area, and makes growing simple by giving users full control of the needed plant nutrients at each growing stage.

Busy on-the-go urbanites can appreciate too not having to stress about watering the plants. Scarponi, nevertheless, makes it clear that ELIOOO is not meant as a how-to guide to hydroponics or city farming, rather a Do It Yourself style handbook for developing basic hydroponic growing systems using IKEA elements.


Non-Circulating and Distributing Systems
With casual hand-drawn step-by-step illustrations and handwritten text, ELIOOO demonstrates how to combine and adjust a variety of various hydroponics strategies for simple home usage. For growing small aromatic herbs, the non-circulating ELOOO # 4 module can host as much as 4 pots on a windowsill, kitchen counter, or tabletop. The larger non-circulating # 8 module holds up to eight pots and, utilizing IKEA Antonius wall uprights and brackets, can be set up as a green wall for easy vertical farming in any space.


To accomodate larger leafy greens, cucumbers, eggplants, or tomatoes, the circulating hydroponic ELOOO # 30 can host as much as 30 plants, perfect for larger-scale indoor vertical farming. This particular system includes three connecting grow trays connected to two wall uprights over a 25 liter reservoir whose cover holds a grow tray with another seven pots. Although the circulating designs need electricity to power the pumps, they can instead be operated by photovoltaic panels available at many hardware stores.



Mobile Vertical Gardens and Desk Farms
As I love multi-functional design, I’m interested with the ELOOO # 30 system’s design possibilities. It’s possible to integrate the elements with kitchen area or other furnishings, or integrate modular systems to form numerous vertical farming columns. Don’t desire to consume a wall? Get some sturdy castors and two boards to create a mobile indoor city farm ready to present of the method or outdoors.


For the workplace, grow food on a desk farm. Over fout stacked large tanks, place a tabletop, then cut out an opening into which you insert an ELIOOO # 8. You even wind up with some leftover area for stashing little garden tools.


Veteran IKEA Hacker
ELIOOO is not Scarponi’s first go at creating with IKEA items– he’s a veteran IKEA hacker. For a 2008 design competition, he revealed Rikea, a collapsible trolley and momentary shelter principle for flea market vendors.

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