Hydroponic gardening is a way to grow plants without soil. It is an environmentally friendly method that is simple to use and maintain. Hydroponic systems use nutrient-rich water that mimics soil. As a result, plants grow faster and do not need watering or weeding. Another advantage of hydroponic systems is that they can be easily transported. You will also be able to grow plants without worrying about pesticides and diseases.
It’s easy to maintain
While hydroponic gardening can be relatively easy to maintain, there are still a few important things you must keep in mind. It is crucial to check the pH level of your solution, and to test your plants regularly to make sure they are getting the proper amount of nutrients. Over-watering or under-watering your plants can cause them to die. In order to prevent this, try to use filtered water and use a timer to remind you to test your solution with a pH test kit regularly.
Waterborne disease is another issue that hydroponics users need to keep in mind. This type of disease can spread quickly and will affect your entire plant collection. In order to avoid this, you should clean your plugs, trays, and greenhouse surfaces frequently. You can also use additional filtering systems to protect your plants from waterborne pathogens.
Additional Advantages of Hydroponic Growing
Another advantage of hydroponic systems is that the water and nutrients are delivered to the plants through a continuous cycle. You can connect many plants to the same equipment and flush your nutrient solution through the plant roots on a timer so that they automatically get an ideal amount of nutrients and water without either drying out fully or becoming too water-logged. This is commonly known as the ‘flush and fill’ hydroponic system where the nutrient solution is flushed through the grow medium every hour or so. It’s a great way to cut down on water waste that’s commonly associated with conventional agriculture.
Less Resource Use and Waste
The process uses only about 10% of the water that is used in conventional agriculture, making it a far more environmentally-friendly solution. Furthermore, hydroponic plants are grown at a much faster pace than their conventional counterparts. As a result, they can produce twice as much food in the same amount of time as those grown in soil.
Carefully Controlling Light, Temperature and Other Variables
For optimal growth of your hydroponic plants, you must maintain the right temperature and light level. The temperature in your hydroponic garden should be between 70 and 80 degrees at daytime and between 40 and 60 degrees at night. The temperature must be adjusted according to the season and plant type. For example, warm season plants require a daytime temperature of 70 to 80 degrees and a nighttime temperature of 50 to 60 degrees. Cool season plants require a lower temperature of 40 degrees. If you are growing both warm and cool-season plants, try to plant them together to create the best growing conditions.
Temperature and CO2 Generation
In order to make sure that your plants get the proper light and temperature, you should place a plain thermometer under the grow lights. The light source must be placed in a place that will provide natural light for the plants. Moreover, it should be in a place that has a good humidity level. The ideal humidity level for hydroponic gardens is between 60 and 70 percent.
You can also use a light meter to get the right reading of your grow light. A light meter will help you determine how much light is needed for your plants. The amount of light required by plants varies according to the plant type. For example, leafy green vegetables like spinach only need 4-6 hours of lighting per day while fruiting vegetables like tomatoes need 8-12 hours per day.
It is also important to control the amount of CO2 in your hydroponic garden. The ideal level of CO2 for most plants is between 600 and 1,000 ppm. You can increase the level of CO2 by using a CO2 canister or by injecting it into the room with a continuously refilling CO2 bag that gathers and concentrates the gas from the air around your grow house.
How Hydroponics Reduces Water Waste for Eco-Friendly Growing
As I already mentioned once, hydroponics is a growing method that uses way less water than soil-based gardening. Some hydroponic systems place plant roots directly in the water, while others use a soil-like material such as aged bark, perlite, or clay pebbles. This technique can produce high yields, even in small spaces, and uses less water than traditional gardening methods. It also reduces the risk of pests and diseases.
Most Common Hydroponic Mediums
The three most popular types of hydroponic mediums are perlite, coco coir, and rockwool.
- Perlite is an inert volcanic glass that is commonly used in hydroponics. It is lightweight, porous, and does not compact over time. Perlite can be used alone or mixed with other hydroponic mediums, depending on the types of plants grown.
- Coco coir is made from the fibrous husks of coconuts and is an excellent hydroponic medium. It is a renewable resource, holds water well, and is free of pests and diseases.
- Rockwool is made from melted rock that is spun into a cotton candy-like fiber. It is commonly used in hydroponic systems because it holds water well, does not compact, and is easy to work with.
The type of hydroponic medium you choose depends on the types of plants you are growing and their specific needs.
Get Started with Hydroponic Growing – It’s Easier Than You Think!
Hydroponic gardening is not as difficult as soil-based gardening. In fact, it can be as easy as potting up a few pots and connecting them to a pre-built kit that automates most of the work for you.
This method is easy for first-time gardeners, as it doesn’t require any complicated assembly. You can purchase a hydroponic kit online or at your local garden center. These kits come with everything you need to get started, including how-to guides and information about the different types of hydroponic systems.
If you want to learn more about hydroponics, there are plenty of resources available online and in libraries. You can check out these resources below to learn more about how to get started with hydroponic gardening.
Hydroponics for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Hydroponic Gardening, Designing and Building Inexpensive DIY Hydroponic Systems, And Growing Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Water
Hydroponics and Greenhouse Gardening: 3-in-1 Gardening Book to Grow Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruit All-Year-Round