Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in nutrient infused water rather than in soil. There are many different methods of hydroponics and just as many different plants that can be grown hydroponically. The popular plants that are grown with homemade hydroponic systems are tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, herbs and weed.
A hydroponic system does not need to be large and complicated and most DIY hydroponic systems are not. They can be as simple as pots suspended in a reservoir to the more complicated ebb and flow or NFT systems. Nowadays people are looking for ways to better health, lower their food expenses and find do-at-home hobbies and many of them are trying homemade hydroponics.
Hydro gardening is a great way for anybody who wants a garden but doesn’t have enough land area to grow plants. The idea of developing a homemade hydroponics garden is inexpensive, easily maintained, easy to clean, and free of pesticides and you can soon build one.
It is true that in the past, it wasn’t quite as simple as it is now. Today, there are many products and plans available locally and on the internet which gives the average person the means to build their own hydroponic gardening system quite easily at a very low cost. Many of the local hardware or home improvement stores carry almost all of the needed materials. You can build anything from a small-scale soil less garden to an elaborated and fully automated system. Hydroponic stores are also popping up in many cities and towns which allows even more access to the materials and tools required to build the productive top hydroponic systems.
In case you lack the land for a conventional garden, consider one of the homebuilt top hydroponic systems in order to grow vegetables indoors. When you are about to get started in indoor hydroponic gardening, one of the most important choices you will make is the type of grow lights you use.
Selecting an indoor grow light for top hydroponic systems is not as straightforward as you might imagine. Plant grow lights come in different colors and temperatures, ranging from blues at one end of the spectrum and reds on the opposite end. The most commonly used ones are metal halide, high pressure sodium, and fluorescent. Hydroponic system lights or grow lights are used for indoor gardening, plant propagation and food production. If you do not have the proper hydroponic lights, you will be doomed to failure when it comes to growing vegetables indoors. In an ideal setup, your hydroponic lights must be a combination of different colors to best suit your plants’ needs.
Possibly you have already used the hydroponic system without knowing. For example, maybe for the last party in your house, you wanted to place a plant on the coffee table. But you thought it would be a little crude to put a pot with everything and soil on the table where everybody was going to eat. So you went out into the yard and cut some flowers from the garden. But to fill, set and give some foliage also cut branches with leaves of other plants. Weeks passed and although the flowers died, branches with foliage kept alive. So you continued to pour water on them and they began to take root. This, dear readers, is the basis of a hydroponic system.
Of course, for a hydroponic system to work for a long time or to develop other types of cultivation, water has to be provided with more nutrients and some kind of oxygenation to the roots such as those used in the fish tanks. The most recommended fertilizers are liquids and specially prepared for hydroponic systems.
The plant also has to be provided with a support as it will not have soil from where to pick up nutrients as it grows. If you use a narrow mouth base, maybe the same container will serve as a support.
For floating crops, there are people who use polystyrene or styrofoam as support and leave the plants floating on the water. Remember that the idea is not to submerge the plant inside the water but only its roots.
Plants for Growing in Water
Among the easiest decorative plants to grow in water are the peace lily with its white flowers, elephant ear plant, jade plant, spider plant and the wandering Jew plant. No matter the type, remember that they are still plants and need good light like any other plants. Look for an indirect light as the strong rays of the sun can overheat the water and create a hot soup with its delicate roots, and that is not good.
Herbs and Vegetables
The hydroponic system is also used to grow lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, celery and other vegetables. The important thing is to keep the water clean, oxygenated and with necessary nutrients. I hope this article has helped you understand the basics of a hydroponic system and the plant you can grow with it. If you choose to grow vegetables or another species of plant that requires more care, it is best to start with a hydroponic kit for beginners. It is easy to get at the most nurseries and Amazon as well. There is much more to learn depending on what you want to cultivate.