An Introduction to Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponic Gardening

If you are starting to garden or are looking for a way to change the way you garden, then you should consider hydroponic gardening. There are several benefits that come with hydroponic gardening. Plants grow faster in hydroponic systems and yield up to 25 percent more than gardening traditionally. The plants are grown in a system of water and nutrients instead of soil, which is ideal for areas where the soil is not suitable for gardens or for people who do not have access to garden plots outside. Hydroponics also requires less growing space for plants since they don’t need an extensive root system. This means people with limited space can grow more. It also preserves water because none is wasted, and the plants can take what they need. 

There are three basic types of hydroponic gardening systems. You can either build your own or order fully formed kits online to get started. The kind you will want to use will depend on your personal preferences and how much work you want to put into your garden. 

Wick Systems

These systems are the most straightforward system to understand and require minimal setup. There are no moving parts, so the likelihood of setting it up incorrectly is minimal. A reservoir filled with the water and nutrients sits below the containers that house the plants. These two containers are connected by a wick, which allows the water and nutrients to travel up to the plants. This system is best used for small plants that do not require a ton of water like microgreens, herbs, or peppers. 

Water Culture Systems

Another simple system to set up is the water culture system. The plants in this system are placed on a styrofoam platform that sits on the container holding the water and nutrients. An air pump is attached to the reservoir of water so oxygen can get to the roots. This system is best if you are growing a water-hungry plant like lettuce, but not if you are trying to grow something with a longer growing season like tomatoes. 

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Ebb and Flow Systems

The Ebb and Flow system is a little more complicated but can be used to grow a wider variety of plants. A submersible pump with a timer is required to flood the grow area with water and nutrients and then drain it back into a reservoir. The timer allows you to schedule when plants are watered based on their size and needs. 

If you are just getting started with gardening, then you should start small. Pick easy to grow plants and only one or two until you get the hang of it. Fast-growing plants are also a good idea because it will give you quicker results, so you know what is working and what you need to change. You should also consider lighting when branching out into hydroponics. If you do not have an indoor grow area with access to lots of natural sunlight, then you will need to provide light to the plants. Premade kits will usually have lighting included, but make sure before you buy.

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  • I’ve been thinking lately that hydroponic gardening sounds like something I would enjoy. I like that you can get premade kits to make getting started easier.

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