Hydroponics gardening continues to rise in popularity among gardeners. It is a gardening system that allows you to grow plants in water with mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil. This type of gardening is water-efficient and can be done even in tight spaces. You can also have the choice of which nutrients you’re going to use in growing your plants. You can use duck manure, fish waste, and other nutrient sources. Perlite and gravel can also be great mineral solutions to grow terrestrial plants with their roots.
There are also different types of hydroponic systems you can choose from, based on your needs. These include Deep Water Culture, Kratky Method, Aeroponics, Wick System, Ebb and Flow, Nutrient Film Technique, and Drip System. Do you want a unique way of gardening? Then hydroponics is the best solution for you.
I will provide you with essential information to make the best out of your hydroponics gardening experience. Hydroponics changes the game in growing plants. It is also considered by many, to be the future of farming and gardening. Meanwhile, do you want to know if hydroponics is possible at your home? Well, the answer is simply yes!
Hydroponics at home is beneficial since you can always monitor your garden. It can be a relaxing hobby wherein you can grow your favorite plants indoors. With hydroponics, you can also reduce hassle since there are no soil and weeds. It also helps to reduce diseases and pests. You can set up hydroponics at your home easily.
Can hydroponics be done at home?
Hydroponics can be done within the convenience of your own home. You can grow your plants using nutrient-rich water solutions instead of soil and at the same time enjoy the benefits of hydroponic gardening, which allows you to grow plants about 20% faster compared to soil gardening.
If you want more yields without using soil, it is time to try hydroponic gardening. If you’re new to hydroponics, you need to understand the basics, including the essential tools and your plants’ needs. There’s no need to endure dirty, heavy soil and artificial soil mixes with hydroponics. With just water solutions and nutrients, you can easily grow plants at home.
Hydroponic gardening is ideal for home as well as apartment dwellers. You can choose the plants and vegetables you want to grow in your hydroponic garden at home. If you plan to start using hydroponics, you should also decide about the type of hydroponic system you will set up.
If you’re a beginner in this gardening system, you can select from the Ebb and Flow method, the wick system, and a water culture system. On the other hand, if you want more advanced hydroponic systems, you can choose nutrient film techniques and aeroponics systems.
Among the best plants to begin with for your hydroponics at home are kale, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, and herbs like basil, parsley, mint, oregano, and cilantro. You can also try fruiting plants, including strawberries, hot peppers, and tomatoes.
Which hydroponic system is best for home
As I mentioned earlier, there are several types or methods of hydroponics. These are:
- Deep Water Culture,
- The Wick System,
- The Kratky method,
- Nutrient film technique,
- Ebb and Flow,
- Drip system, and
It can be challenging to pick the best hydroponic system for your plants, but don’t worry because I will help you choose.
If you want to set up a hydroponic garden at home, the No. 1 hydroponic system I want you to consider is the Deep Water Culture. It is the easiest hydroponic system you can set up and maintain at home. With this hydroponic system, you can directly submerge the roots in nutrient-rich water to effortlessly grow your plants.
You can utilize big storage containers or opaque buckets at home for your Deep Water Culture system. You can easily set up this system since it doesn’t have recirculating water or moving parts. It is also very affordable for a hydroponic system. In this type of system, the water sits in the reservoir throughout the plant’s life. So, you need water aeration for replenishing oxygen absorbed by the roots of the plants.
The Deep Water Culture hydroponic system allows you to grow vegetables at home, including kale, chard, lettuce, parsley, and more, since these plants are not very top-heavy.
What you’ll need for setting up the system are:
- growing medium,
- air pump,
- distilled water,
- and nutrient solution in this system.
Since it has no moving parts (except the air pump of course), the Deep Water Culture is very low maintenance and easy to use.
How do you start a hydroponic system at home?
If you want to begin your hydroponic garden at home, you should decide about the plants you want to grow. With this, you can also determine the type of hydroponic system to establish the lighting and space you will need.
If you’re a beginner in hydroponic gardening, you can start with growing leafy greens like lettuce. Once the plant has a healthy root system, you can transfer it to your chosen hydroponic system.
After you decide on your plant, choose the type of hydroponic method you’re going to use. With many types of hydroponics, you can choose the right one that can work best for your plants.
Next, you need to choose a suitable light source. Keep in mind that proper lighting is essential for a successful hydroponic gardening experience. If you don’t use the sun as a light source, you can use a grow-light for your plants.
You can find great LED grow lights on Amazon such as these 3X3ft grow lights or if you want a bigger light source for your balcony, there are 6X6ft grow lights and even bigger.
Then, you choose a hydroponic medium for your garden. Consider water retention, level of aeration, and pH stability as you decide on your growth medium.
You can now choose hydroponic nutrients and supplements. So, the plants can grow fast and lower the risk of disease development.
It is also a good idea to purchase a pH meter to monitor the pH of the nutrient solutions regularly.
Lastly, you can now add and mix the nutrients into your hydroponics garden.
Does hydroponics need sunlight?
Proper lighting is highly important to make your hydroponic garden prosper and optimally yield. Hydroponics may need sunlight for growing your plants. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that sunlight must be your main light source for your hydroponics. You can also use alternative sources of light to grow your plants.
It is also essential to know the proper light amount and lighting to make the full potential of your hydroponic plants. You can have an indoor space with enough natural lighting. Sunlight can be helpful, but usually, house growers use grow lights for their hydroponic gardens. Thus, it is effective to have more control for the plants’ growth all year round, especially if the sunlight is sparse in your area or during the winter.
It is also advisable to expose your plants, especially edible plants, to about 6 hours of sunlight daily. It may supply the lighting needs of your plants to grow properly. On the other hand, you can grow your plants using artificial indoor grow lights that you can find on Amazon. These grow lights can be HID bulbs, fluorescent, incandescent, or LED. Make sure to use a lighting system with low energy consumption. Remember that providing your hydroponic plants with proper lighting can help to prevent potential diseases.
Are LED lights good for hydroponics?
LED lights are among the common lighting sources used in hydroponics gardening. Using LED lights to grow your hydroponic plants is safe and beneficial for your plants’ needs. In addition, this type of lighting source can work well with different types of hydroponic systems.
Compared to other grow lights, LED has more benefits. It is the right option if you want an energy-efficient light source for your hydroponics. More importantly, they have a longer lifespan than other bulbs, mainly about 50,000 hours. With this, you can have more savings while providing your hydroponic garden with an effective lighting source.
LED lights are smaller and compact grow lights, so they can also add an appeal to your grow room. It is unique and cooler than other grow lights types. It is beneficial for reducing the risk of heat burns on your hydroponic plants.
However, there are various LED lights you can avail in the market. So, be careful in choosing the best ones for your plants. If you’re searching for LED grow lights, consider the amount of light coverage for your hydroponic garden. In addition, you should also check the lifespan of the LED light. Before you buy, check its veg and bloom switch, quality guarantee, and cost. With these buying tips, you can get the best LED grow lights for your hydroponics.
Check out these grow lights on Amazon.
How much light do I need for hydroponics indoors?
In addition to choosing the proper lighting source for your hydroponics, it is also important to know how much light you need for your hydroponics indoors. You can provide your hydroponic system with around 14 to 16 hours of bright artificial light every day. Then, it can be followed by about 10 to 13 hours of darkness every day.
Like lights, darkness is also important to allow your plants to rest and metabolize. It is good to use an automatic electric timer to create the best lighting schedule for your hydroponics. With this tool, you can avoid mistakes that can affect your plants’ growth and production. To guide you, the following are some tips about the lighting needs of various plants.
Short-day plants need a long time of darkness for photosynthesis and yielding flowers. If you expose these plants to more than 12 hours of light daily, they will not flower. Examples of short-day plants are poinsettias, strawberries, chrysanthemums, and cauliflower.
Long-day plants need around 18 hours of light every day. Examples of long-day plants include spinach, potatoes, lettuce, turnips, and wheat.
Day-neutral plants are the most flexible plant types. These plants can yield fruit regardless of the number of their light exposures. Some day-neutral plants are eggplant, corn, rice, and roses.
With sufficient lighting amount, you can have successful hydroponic gardening indoors. You can also grow your plants quickly in a practical way. It helps to avoid potential problems for the growth and production of your plants and crops.
Are you ready to level up your gardening experience at home? If yes, you should start your hydroponic garden now! With the right lighting and nutrient solutions and other needs of your plants, you can grow your favorite plants easily and practically. It can help you to save more while producing more healthy plants.
To sum it up, setting up your hydroponic garden at home can be great for your passion for gardening. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional hydroponic gardener, you can grow your plants efficiently by understanding the basics of hydroponics indoors.
Make sure to choose the best nutrition solution, hydroponic system, and proper lighting to make the best of your hydroponics at home. Hydroponic gardening is the best alternative if you don’t want to mess with dirty soil mixes.
Keep in mind that you should take responsibility for the maintenance and monitoring of your hydroponic system at home to grow your plants. If you’re new to hydroponic gardening, you can opt Deep Water Culture hydroponic system.
With a home hydroponic system, you can have full control over growing your plants. It also helps to lower the risk of plant diseases like in soil gardening. You can yield more plants at the convenience of your home. There’s no need to buy pesticides and other chemicals to grow your hydroponic plants. If you want to have a more organized garden, hydroponics is best for you.