Hydroponics gardening is easy, once you learn the basics and have spent a little time fine tuning a system that works. Fact is, much of the work is in learning all the basic info, setting up, and adjusting your first system. These pages will help you do just that.
Hydroponics gardening boils down to simply this: The food is in the water. All considerations when designing a system will focus on this and on the types of plants you are growing. This includes…
How to get the food/water to the plants
How you keep the plants from drowning
How to make sure there are no problems
How to get food/water, also called nutrient solution, to your plants requires a look at the different hydroponic gardening systems. As you look over each type of system, you will see how each one addresses these three concerns.
Hydroponics Growing Systems
There are as many ways to deliver the nutrient solution to the plants as you can possibly think of. For our purpose here, lets take a look at the main ones. Visit the pages below for a crash course on each hydroponics gardening system.
The reservoir method
The flood and drain method
The drip system
The nutrient film technique
The wick system
No, I’m not talking about the paparattzi here. Except for aeroponics, you have to grow your roots into something besides air. The best hydroponic medias are…
Just as there are many hydroponics growing systems, there are many, many different types of grow media. Some types of media are better suited for certain grow systems, so you need to do a little research (the pages above will help). The best media that meet the above requirements and that people most commonly use are…
expanded clay pellets
perlite/ vermiculite mix
perlite/ coconut coir mix
Volcanic rock chips
Some homemade systems are more difficult to put together than others. Most aeroponics systems for example, I would recommend you just buy. A small flood and drain (aka ebb and flow) system, on the other hand, can be put together for less than $50 and will work just fine.
The Basics of Feeding
Besides the environment you put your hydroponics system into, success with hydroponics depends largely on one single factor…the quality of your nutrient solution. Your plants nutrient needs change as they grow, and the nutrient solution needs to change with them. You can find all the best guidelines on hydroponics feeding tips. This page covers…
dissolved oxygen levels
using hydrogen peroxide
The best of both worlds. Organic hydroponics is simply hydroponics in which the nutrient solution is made with organic fertilizers. You get all the benefits of hydroponics gardening, AND all the benefits of organic gardening. There are some special considerations with this approach, however.
A Fair Warning
When plants do not have to grow roots down into the soil to “mine” for food, they use that extra energy to grow fast above ground. These faster growth rates are the biggest attraction to hydroponics gardening.
However, if conditions are not kept right this can also be your biggest problem. The only way the plant gets to stay lazy is for you to keep giving it EXACTLY what it needs EVERYDAY. If you don’t, the plant has no other protection…no backup plan…there will be damage. Since growth rates are fast, the damage will happen quickly. For the best info on how to keep your hydro-friends happy, see hydroponics feeding tips.