Starting a hydroponic garden on your own is a rewarding experience, provided you are willing to learn about the process and systems involved (don’t worry it’s easier than it sounds). Luckily, you came here for help!
There are a variety of ways to setup an indoor garden and we will progress through them shortly. Keep in mind that you may come across contradictory information on various websites because, in reality, there are a number of ways to accomplish any given task. Garden lovers need not worry as hydroponic gardening can be simplified once you get your basics right.
It may seem obvious, right? But it’s probably a good question to ask yourself. There are numerous benefits to hydroponic systems once you’ve learned how to setup and manage them effectively. For example, hydroponic gardens require less maintenance than a traditional garden, you can grow year round and hydroponics is well suited to urban growing, even in small spaces.
Start Your Hydroponic Garden Today
Before running out and buying supplies, take some time to consider to consider these important points:
- Placement – Where will your system be placed?
- System Type – Will you build a passive or active hydroponic system?
- Maintenance – Do you have a maintenance schedule in mind? Do you have the time, or will you make the time, to properly care for your new garden?
If you follow these basic steps, you can save yourself a lot of time. Consider propagation and preservation:
- The first requisite is to select plants which grow well in hydroponic gardens. You can choose plants such as tomatoes, lettuce, peas, cabbage and others that generally grow in commercial gardens. You may even go for cucumbers, peppers and herbs.
- A hydro-culture pot should be your choice since it has 2 walls. You may even opt for opaque glass containers and ceramic pots. A single plant may be displayed in a vase of colored glass or jar which is stacked with decorative gravel or marbles.
- Plants which are grown hydroponically require support for their roots like rock wool, coconut fiber, vermiculite or gravel. The stems can be anchored in thin plastic sheets so that the roots are left free.
- Oxygen should be provided to the plants which are grown in hydroponic gardens. Small gardens that grow in small tanks may call for a fish tank bubbler.
- The plants should be fertilized with products which are only meant for hydroponic plants. These fertilizers offer the essential macro and micro nutrients for the plants. The pH solution of the plants should be monitored with the help of a test kit, with the average level of 6.0 maintained.
- The solution should be applied to the lowest root level at times to ensure oxygenation. The hydroponic solution should be changed once in a couple of weeks for replenishment of nutrients.
- Your aquarium can be transformed into a aquaponic garden, which is the combination of hydroponics and fish farming. The fish offer the required nutrition (their waste) while the bubbler ensures oxygen to the plants. You may even float cork atop the aquarium so that the plant roots can filter through a slit or hole creating a floatilla of plants.
Supplies Required in Hydroponics
The supplies for starting a hydroponic garden depend on the tools that you will use. Some of the most common ones include PVC pipes, plastic bottles, plastic bins etc. The supplies which are required for the construction of a hydroponic garden are cheap and can be easily set up.
While the absence of soil makes the garden rearing less labor intensive, it will require careful supervision especially when you’re first starting. Those using artificial lights should have sufficient light bulbs to get the proper plant coverage. As you know, I’m a fan of LED lighting systems because of their long lifespan and energy efficiency (among other reasons).
You may opt for a local hydroponics, or gardening, supply store where you will get the required materials for garden maintenance. Any interruption in the supply of the nutrient water can affect the durability of the plants. In short, the main aspect of hydroponics is controllability and getting it right can make or break your garden.