Hydroponics have become more popular recently because the technology has gotten to the point that home gardeners can easily grow their own hydroponic gardens.
Another reason that you’re seeing more people practice this method or gardening is that the cost of homes is getting more expensive.
This has made it harder to afford homes with large areas where you can grow your own garden. So if you’re thinking of giving this technique a try, here’s how to start a hydroponic garden for beginners.
It would be great if we all had enough space to grow the garden we like. Gardens are amazing for any home because they’re beautiful and add nature to your surroundings. In addition, studies also show that plants make us healthier.
Whether indoors or outdoors, having green plants or flowers helps you reduce stress and be happier. That’s something all of us could benefit from, right?
What is Hydroponics?
So what are hydroponics? And, how do they let you grow your garden without a big space?
Hydroponic garden is water-based gardening. That is, you don’t need soil for your plants to grow. Instead, they grow within system that feeds them the nutrients that soil would otherwise do.
By doing this, you’re able to grow your garden even if you don’t have a lot of land area or soil. It also eliminates the need of getting your hands dirty that will happen when you deal with soil and dirt.
What’s great about hydroponics is that it is fairly simple now. While there are large systems that can get complicated, homeowners never have to deal with those systems.
In fact, many home hydroponic kits are designed to be so easy that children can set them up and grow the plants.
Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Gardening
Here are some of the biggest advantages of hydroponic gardening.
- You can grow your garden even if you don’t have a big lot or soil
- Plants grow faster and produce more crop. This gives you more yield per planting.
- The direct delivery of nutrients allows you to control how much each of them get. Because you’re able to optimize their nutrition, you can harvest faster and save time.
- You can grow your plants indoors. This lets you plant more cycles because there’s not worry about harsh weather like rains, floods, frost of snow.
However, there are also some disadvantages to hydroponics.
- They’re limited in size. Most hydroponic gardens available at your nursery are small in scale. The reason is that bigger scale systems are expensive.
- Hydroponics do require more initial set up compared to traditional gardening.
- You need to make sure that the plants get the proper nutrients and the solution is delivered evenly to all the plants.
- It relies on electricity. Because everything runs on electricity, power outages can be a problem. The can stop the feeding process and turn off the lights if you rely on artificial lighting.
How to Start a Hydroponic Garden for Beginners
Now that we know what hydroponics are and what their pros and cons are, it’s time to get started. Here’s to how grow your own hydroponic garden at home.
What Do You Need to Start a Hydroponic Garden?
The most important thing with hydroponics is the equipment. Without them, there will be nothing to support your plants. As a result, they won’t grow.
To start, you’ll need a hydroponic system. In addition, you also need to buy hydroponic nutrients which are what will be fed to your plants. To keep the plants in place, you’ll also need a hydroponics medium.
Finally, there’s the light source. And, of course, the plants you want to grow.
Arguably, the most important part of this garden is the hydroponics system. This is what keeps everything together. It hold the frame and tubes that allow the nutrients to get to the plants.
Here, you’ll have two types of choose from:
- A solution system: the plants grow right on the solution containing the nutrients.
- An aggregate system: uses a medium like sand, pellets or gravel to keep the plant up. But its roots go through the medium.
The good news is that hydroponic systems are readily available in your local garden center. They come in kits that allow you to set things up easily. They’ll typically be labeled as hydroponic systems or hydroponic kids.
In addition to the hydroponic system, your plants will also need light to survive. Most hydroponic systems are grown indoors. But, you can have them outdoors as well.
If you do choose to set it up outside, be ready for when winter time comes. You’ll need to make arrangements to keep it protected from frost and the extreme cold.
Depending on which you choose, you can go with natural or artificial lighting.
Last but not least, you’ll be happy to know that you can pretty much grow any kind of plant in a hydroponic system. We say almost because the larger plants like melons for example don’t fit. Their size makes it difficult for them. Also plants that need very deep roots can be challenging.
In general, any kind of fruit, vegetable or houseplant can be grown in a hydroponic garden. Ideally, plants with shallow roots work best.