Over the past few years hydroponics has become an increasingly popular way to garden fast and efficiently. Because of it’s very low barrier entry point anyone can start a hydroponic garden, all you need is the right system, atmosphere and soil.
Firstly, what is hydroponics? The word, Hydroponic, comes from the Latin word that means working water. Simply put, it is the art of growing plants without soil. It works on the principle that if you give a plant exactly what it needs, when it needs it, in the amount that it needs, the plant will be as healthy as is genetically possible. With hydroponics this is an easy task; in soil it is far more difficult.
With hydroponics a perfectly balanced, pH adjusted nutrient solution is delivered to the roots in a highly soluble form. This allows the plant to uptake its food with very little effort as opposed to soil where the roots must search out the nutrients and extract them. If you grow two genetically identical plants using soil for one and hydroponics for the other, you will almost immediately see the difference. Faster, better growth and much greater yields are just some of the many reasons that hydroponics is being adapted around the world for commercial food production as well as a growing number of home, hobby gardeners.
Picking your system is the very first step in growing your very own hydroponic garden. Ultimately, this part of the process may be the most time consuming with regard to research but considering the results you will benefit from getting this right is well worth the effort.
There are two primary hydroponic systems, Media-based systems which use flowing water allowing the plants to sway freely and water-based systems which is the closest to the plant-in-pot gardening method. This system may also use flowing water, but it depends on what you’re trying to grow.
There are undoubtedly certain systems that are better suited for certain plants and vegetables. For instance, lettuce, tends to grow better in a media-based environment. If you’re going to grow your plants or vegetables in a greenhouse, you will need a totally different system to that used if you were growing on your deck or walkway. You will also need to consider the type of atmosphere, growing area, and soil in you planned area.
The most wonderful thing about hydroponic gardening is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. Setting up your system is rarely very invasive, so even if you just want to grow some mint on your windowsill, you can. The most important criteria, like traditional growing, access to direct sunlight and of course hydration.
Regular maintenance of your hydroponic system is also a must, however, it is rarely time consuming, it just needs to be checked regularly.
Buying a system is obviously the most simple route, however, building a system can be fun and also allows you the ability to build a system specifically for whatever type of plant you’re planning to grow.
So what are you waiting for? Your very own Garden of Eden awaits!