What is Hydroponics Gardening? Hydroponics gardening is the cultivation of plants, usually fruits, vegetables, or herbs without the use of soil. Hydroponics plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables are grown in nutrient-rich growing medium and supplied with water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich solution.
The hydroponics system uses a solution culture in which plants are grown in nutrient-enriched water reservoirs under controlled conditions. The nutrient solution used is different from the solution used in soil gardening. Hydroponics systems are also called “plants within a container” or simply “water culture.” This method of growing plants allows a control over plant life due to the lack of soil where plant roots grow. Hydroponics systems are based on water culture but have additional components like aeration, lighting, drip trays, pumps, etc.
How to Do Hydroponics Gardening: A hydroponic gardening project requires different equipment and supplies depending on the size of the plant. If you’re just starting out, you’ll need a few basic tools. To grow your first hydroponically growing plants, a good air pump is an absolute must. Your pump will transport the nutrient-rich water solution throughout the growing medium. For a more economical option, consider an air pump and reservoir that you can build at home with parts from a hardware store.
The type of plant you choose in hydroponics is dependent upon the amount of space you have available for planting. Typically, indoor growing is less expensive than outdoor gardening. In hydroponics gardening, plants produce vegetables, fruits and flowers using the nutrients already present in the nutrient solution. You can make your plants healthier by adding extra nutrients or choosing plants with special needs. Once you learn how to do hydroponic gardening, you may want to venture into larger projects involving hundreds or even thousands of plants.
How to Do Hydroponics Gardening: After deciding what plants you want to grow and establish a working budget, the next step is to choose a growing medium. Hydroponics growing mediums include gravel, perlite, vermiculite and fiberglass. It’s important that you choose a medium that’s fine, consistent and has good drainage so the nutrients don’t run off. Your nutrient solution will be circulated through your growing medium. To avoid excess moisture, consider using a wick system.
Growing Tip: It’s best to use a light source that’s similar to what you might find outside. Growing plants in full sunlight will require more work on your part. When choosing your lights, opt for energy-efficient bulbs that use less energy but are still bright enough to provide nutrients-rich light. It’s also a good idea to opt for a grow light that matches your hydroponic gardening system and provides the proper environment.
How to Do Hydroponics Gardening: A final step in your how to do hydroponic gardening guide will cover feeding. Plants receive nutrients from the nutrient solution and must be fed regularly. The number of feeding should depend on the size of your plants. However, some plants grow better with more frequent feedings. Experts recommend giving plants an extra feeding every three to four days.
If you’re new to hydroponics, it’s best to start with small seedlings or starter plants in order to avoid plant diseases. For experienced hydroponists, growing a larger number of plants in a small space can also be a challenge. But with patience and knowledge, you can master how to do hydroponic gardening, starting with just a few seeds or seedlings.
The “starting tray” is the main part of the system that holds the seedlings as they grow. You should make sure the tray is large enough for the number of seedlings you’re growing. The tray, which can also be called a reservoir, is typically made of a mesh top and a base made of perforated Styrofoam. The perforations allow air to circulate while the nutrient-rich water solution inside the Styrofoam base sits at the bottom of the tray.
The reservoir is the box in which the growing trays, seedlings, and growing medium are stored. To begin, you should fill the reservoir with the proper growing medium. As your seedlings grow, the medium becomes filled with liquid nutrients that are carried downward through the perforations in the Styrofoam base. As the nutrient solution moves from the bottom of the reservoir to the growing tray below, it feeds the plant roots and stimulates growth. When the growing medium reaches the top, it refills the reservoir with water and drains, providing the plant with the much needed nutrients.
You now have a basic idea of how to do hydroponic gardening. The container, growing trays, and nutrient reservoir are all parts of an aeroponic system. Next, the growing medium and the nutrient solution need to be placed beneath the growing tray. Nutrient solution should be placed beneath the tray for two reasons. First, the growing medium will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to grow, and second, it will prevent the trays from getting dirty, which can lead to rot.