It can be a little DAUNTING as a beginner to start with your own Hydroponic garden. But we provide you with THE INFORMATION YOU NEED!
We are equipping you with the TECHNICALITIES before you start. Our years of experience is to simplify practical actions you need to take.
Learn our SPECIAL TACTICS for hydroponics for beginners. Follow the DEFINED PROCEDURES we have arrived at until now for hydroponic gardening!
Gain clarity and see how easy it is to start with Hydro growing. Learn the definition of Hydroponics, its advantages, types, steps to follow, & more!
What Is Hydroponics?
The dictionary meaning of Hydroponics-is “The process of growing plants in nutrient solutions. With or without using an inert substrate to give mechanical support, such as soil.”
You can get the idea (it is not a TRICKY PROCESS!). Or understand it more here.
Let’s divide the word Hydroponics (it has a Greek origin!)- where ‘Hydro’ means water and ‘ponics’ means labor. ‘Hydroponics’ is just a METHOD OF GROWING PLANTS. BUT use water-based nutrient solution INSTEAD of soil.
So what does this water solution contain? This solution contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen, and many more nutrients. Depending on the plants you’re growing.
Advantages For You To Start Growing With Hydroponics
There are numerous advantages of growing with Hydroponics for beginners. Here are 4 of them:
1. Requires Less Space
Hydroponics reduces the space required to grow plants. Compared to the ones grown in soil. According to Eden Green Technology, ‘the hydroponic systems can use 99% less land. (than traditional farming)’.
This is when hydroponic is combined with vertical farming techniques. One of the reasons for this is – PLANT ROOTS DON’T SPREAD OUT looking for nutrients and moisture.
It’s because we PROVIDE WATER AND HYDROPONIC NUTRIENTS DIRECTLY TO THE ROOT SYSTEM. It can be done periodically or regularly.
2. Saves More Water
This may sound CONTRADICTORY as growing plants hydroponically requires water! Hydroponically grown plant require less water than when grown in soil.
According to Eden Green Technology, ‘hydroponic plants require 98% less water’. (than traditional farming)
Conserving water is crucial due to the unavailability of drinking water worldwide. It is predicted by the World Health Organization-
‘Half the population will experience a lack of water in their areas.’
It is IMPORTANT TO CONSERVE WATER in the coming times.
3. More Harvest With Less Labor
It would be best if you did TILLING, WEEDING, and APPLYING HERBICIDE & INSECTICIDE. And other extensive labor required in traditional farming. In contrast, Hydroponics requires less load for laboring.
PLUS, Hydroponics can CREATE PERFECT CONDITIONS. By providing a good amount of nutrient-rich water solution. This leads to HIGHER YIELDS or HARVESTS, which can be done yearly.
According to Eden Green Technology, hydroponic greenhouses can produce 240 times more. Than the yield of traditional farming!
So much BETTER THAN CONVENTIONAL METHODS!!
4. No need for soil
The workable quality SOIL IS DEGRADING! It’s estimated that HALF OF THE TOPSOIL HAS ALREADY BEEN LOST IN THE PAST 150 YEARS. (**Now that’s bad news, huh? Don’t worry; the solution is right here!!**)
The causes are –
- SOIL EROSION,
- NUTRIENT DEGRADATION,
- And LOSS OF SOIL DEGRADATION.
What does all this lead to?? MORE NUMBER OF FEEDING MOUTHS and LESS SOIL FOR PLANT GROWTH. While the RESTRICTIONS OF GROWING ARE LIFTED through Hydroponics!
Five Main Types Of Hydroponics Systems
The 5 main types of Hydroponics Systems are as follows:
1. Wick System
This is the simple hydroponic system (it can be done literally by anybody!). This system DOESN’T REQUIRE AERATORS, PUMPS, or ELECTRICITY (only systems that don’t use electricity!).
Plants are directly put in an absorbent substance such as PERLITE or VERMICULITE (in most cases!). NYLON WICKS are first being PLACED AROUND THE PLANTS.
Then SENT INTO THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION straightaway. It supports the growth of small gardens and herbs only. It’s because this system is UNABLE TO PROVIDE A GOOD AMOUNT OF NUTRIENTS!
Also, you need to flush extra nutrients with fresh water every 1-2 weeks. This AVOIDS A TOXIC MINERAL SALT BUILDUP.
2. Deep Water Culture System
This is another simplistic type of hydroponic gardening system. In this system, you must PLACE THE ROOTS OF THE PLANTS DIRECTLY INTO THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION. Unlike the wick system, the deep water culture system BYPASSES THE BARRIER.
THAT IS PUTTING ONLY CERTAIN MINERALS in water and plants.
Not just this- OXYGEN IS ALSO SENT INTO THE WATER via a DIFFUSER or AIR STONE. You should remember to secure your plants into their perfect position using NET POTS.
Its biggest advantage is – PLANTS GROW QUICK as they absorb oxygen and nutrients directly.
It’s very EASY TO IMPLEMENT. And YOU CAN GROW ANY PLANT with this system, even large plants.
3. Ebb and Flow System
These hydroponic systems are SUITABLE FOR HOME GARDENERS. You need to POSITION PLANTS IN A SPACIOUS BED. It is packed with a growing medium such as Rockwool or perlite.
Next, the water and nutrient solution is poured into the grow bed- Done until it reaches a few inches below the top layer (don’t overflow it!). It is done using a WATER PUMP FITTED WITH A TIMER (switches off on its own!). IT WILL DRAIN THE GROW BED and send it back.
You can grow any plant using this system, including root vegetables such as CARROTS. YOU CAN’T GROW LARGE PLANTS with this because IT REQUIRES MORE SPACE.
Another issue is- pump-controller-malfunction!
4. Drip Systems
Utilize a drip system for PLANTING VARIOUS TYPES OF PLANTS. It can be used by anyone who wants regular changes. The water and nutrient solution is pumped into a tube that SENDS THE SOLUTION DIRECTLY TO THE PLANT BASE.
Each end of the tube has a DRIP EMITTER. It CONTROLS THE AMOUNT OF SOLUTION TO BE PLACED IN THE PLANT. You adjust the flow according to each plant’s needs. Make this system as small or as large as you want.
They can be CIRCULATING or NON-CIRCULATING SYSTEMS. The circulating system constantly drips and sends any extra nutrients into the tank. You have to maintain nutrient and pH levels on recirculation.
5. Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.)
The nutrient film system has a SIMPLE DESIGN for various applications. The nutrient is placed in a large nutrient solution water reservoir. SOLUTION IS PUMPED INTO SLOPE CHANNELS from this water reservoir.
EXTRA NUTRIENTS FLOW BACK TO THE WATER RESERVOIR. The nutrient solution flows down the slope to reach the roots of the plants.
You should USE NET POTS. MOSTLY there is NO NEED FOR A GROWING MEDIUM. Small channels used are paired with plants with small roots only.
Larger plants can be accommodated as they can scale well. It can be CHANGED TO ADD MANY NUMBER OF PLANTS simultaneously. COMMERCIAL GROWERS use it commonly side by side with HOME GROWERS.
Simple Steps To Start Up For Hydroponic Gardens
Learn the steps required to start with your hydroponic garden:
1. Choose the vegetables you want to grow in your hydroponic garden. There are many vegetables to grow, including brassica, broccoli, lettuce, kale, and other growing leafy greens.
2. Next, prepare your nutrient solution for starting seeds. NEVER USE CONCENTRATED NUTRIENT SOLUTION, as it may harm the immature seeds. USE A WELL-FORMULATED DILUTE NUTRIENT SOLUTION. Or BUY READY-MADE NUTRIENT SOLUTION from the market.
3. Put seeds in the growing medium cubes. TRANSFER THEM INTO A TRAY or PLASTIC CONTAINERS and then net pot. Keep them in direct sunlight or use grow lights (artificial lighting system). And provide nutrient solutions.
4. After 2-3 weeks, the roots start to appear (use grow lights or fluorescent lights when sunlight is less!). Now prepare a hydroponic system.
5. Connect the inlet and outlet pipes of your chosen hydroponic system. Clean the nutrient solution reservoir/tank before adding nutrient solution into it for circulation.
6. TRANSPLANT DEVELOPED SEEDLINGS in the cube INTO THE NET CUPS. Add extra growing medium for preserving moisture.
7. Finally, plug in the pump and turn it on to make everything run. Schedule a timer (if it has one!) for nutrient and water supply. CHECK IF THE WATER FLOW IS SUFFICIENT in growing channels.
What Are The Best And Easiest Plants To Grow Hydroponically For Beginners?
Follow are the 3 best and easiest plants you can grow hydroponically as a beginner:
Ever imagined how your salads and sandwiches would be without lettuce? Boring right! It is ONE OF THE MOST COMMONLY GROWN VEGETABLES in the hydroponic system.
It’s because – they GROW FASTLY plus, TAKING CARE OF THEM IS QUITE EASY. It can be grown in ANY HYDROPONICS SYSTEM you wish to use. Be it N.F.T., Ebb and Flow, and others. Make it the first choice as a beginner.
Provide cool temperatures and pH levels of 6 to 7 for growing lettuce. They usually GROW WITHIN 30 DAYS OR EVEN LESS.
Everyone loves strawberries! Their unavailability around the year makes us sad: ( BUT Hydroponics is the solution! You can grow strawberries and eat them anytime! GROWING BERRIES IS VERY EASY.
But you can’t grow strawberries in just any hydroponics system! EBB AND FLOW is better for them. You can also try WATER CULTURING!
Don’t purchase strawberry seeds (it takes years to grow!). Instead, buy already growing stage seeds. It takes around 2 months to 60 days and a pH level of 5.5 to 6.2. The best options are CHANDLER, TIOGA, and BRIGHTON.
They have been PRIMARILY GROWN COMMERCIALLY. But now you can grow these common variants of vining plants at your home with Hydroponics (Ebb and flow etc.).
Cucumbers GROW FASTER and PRODUCE EXTREMELY HIGH YIELDS. There are wide varieties of cucumbers to choose from-
- LEBANESE CUCUMBERS,
- AMERICAN SLICERS,
- Elongated and seedless variants of EUROPEAN CUCUMBERS, etc.
These plants indoors will grow well. Ensure to provide a good supply of light spectrum and high temperatures. It’s because cucumber is a WARM PLANT. Plus, it requires a pH level of 5.5 to 6.0.
What Are Hydroponic Growing Tips For Beginners?
Following are the 4 tips for growing Hydroponics for beginners:
1. Know Your Water First
Hydroponics DOES NOT USE SOIL! Hence it is crucial to use the purest water possible. It’s advantageous to PAY FOR A LABORATORY ANALYSIS.
DETERMINE THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR OWN SOURCE WATER if you’re using it. Poor water quality can lead to A VARIETY OF TOXICITY. And DEFICIENCY PROBLEMS in a hydroponic system.
Especially EARLY IN YOUR PLANTS’ LIFE CYCLES or LATER IN THEIR PRODUCTIVITY. If you’re using city water- it should contain minerals like CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM BICARBONATES, CHLORIDE, and SULPHATES.
All of which will impact your nutrition solution’s pH.
2. Get Balanced Nutrients
Make yourself familiar with your chosen nutrients. The most crucial thing- follow the dosage instructions provided by the nutrient manufacturer.
The HEALTH OF YOUR PLANTS GROWN MAY BE IMPACTED IF YOU ADD MORE THAN THIS.
Administer the dosage as suggested in MODEST DOSES. Certain crucial nutrients could precipitate out of the mineral solution. And become unavailable to your plants if you add the entire dosage at once.
Pay close attention to the nutritional scale that your supplement manufacturer is utilizing. Prevent OVER- OR UNDERFEEDING your plants.
3. The ideal pH
One of the most important measurements to monitor plant health is pH. Because pH is ESSENTIAL TO EXISTENCE! ALL PLANTS HAVE A PREFERRED pH RANGE.
Refrain from frequently checking the soil’s pH in a hydroponic system. It’s vital to constantly check pH level in soilless growing media and modify them.
USE A WEAKER ACID and ADD TINY QUANTITIES FREQUENTLY when lowering pH than using a stronger acid. It could cause you to QUICKLY EXCEED YOUR PH TARGET.
4. An Abundance of oxygen availability
Oxygen is essential for plants to thrive. The root system of the plants must be supplied with oxygen.
Particularly in AN ARTIFICIAL ENVIRONMENT WITH Hydroponic.
The tap water used to supply advanced nutrients to the plants MUST ALSO CONTAIN OXYGEN for the plants. Use AIR PUMP, AIR STONES, BUBBLERS (creates tiny air bubbles!), or AN AIR GAP.
Your water’s temperature impacts how much oxygen is available. COOLER WATER CARRIES MORE OXYGEN than warmer water does. You should keep your reservoir water at a TEMPERATURE BETWEEN 18 AND 22 °C.
Your experience of a hydroponic garden might’ve grown a lot now. Our article focused on the main reveals regarding Hydroponics and its basics.
Expect a richness of information like this every time you have a desire. You will be amazed when you implement our teachings directly. Our tips are from practical knowledge we have gained over the years.
FAQs about Hydroponics For Beginners
1. Can you do hydroponics with just water?
Yes, you can do Hydroponics using only water. For this, you need to know about the water in your area. Before beginning, be aware of chlorine, chloramines, and P.P.M. levels in your water.
2. What are the basic materials needed for hydroponics?
These are required for hydroponically grown plants:
· a plastic container,
· a means of securing the plants,
· And a light source.
Grow lights are also needed to promote faster growth when growing inside.
3. How long do hydroponic plants last?
They have a long lifespan; a hydroponic plant can endure ten years or longer, though this varies. Three things that might reduce their shelf life are heat, moisture, and air exposure.
You got lost in so many details about Hydroponics for beginners. As if knowing the definition of Hydroponics was not enough! Learning advantages and main types of Hydroponics- followed by the practical steps.
This was then turned into a list of the few easiest plants you can grow hydroponically. And lastly, some great tips will become your greatest treasure for sustainable living.
If you want to start your own MODERN HYDROPONIC GARDEN, check out AsterGardening to learn the basics and more tips.
As a beginner, you see QUALITY READS HERE. After using our hassle-free techniques, you get a perfect hydroponic garden for yourself!
Also, IF YOU GET ANY ROADBLOCKS, reach out to us, and we’ll definitely get you out of it!
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