Hydroponic gardening isn’t as complicated as it seems. It may initially be overwhelming, but once you break it down, you’ll find the process to be quite easy.
Before we get started, let’s talk about what hydroponics is and why you’d want to try a hydroponic system. It’s the process of growing plants without soil, replacing it with a grow medium such as gravel or perlite, water, and a nutrient solution. Growing plants this way allows you to bring your garden indoors. This is great if you live in a climate that’s not conducive to growing plants, or if you don’t have the space for an outdoor garden. Also, when plants are grown via a hydroponic system, they yield more than traditionally grown plants. They are able to redirect their energy into growing to their full potential, instead of trying to suck nutrients and water from soil.
Which growth method is best?
There are several different methods of hydroponics, such as the deep water culture method and the wick system. We’ll discuss the three most popular methods, as well as how to build your own hydroponic garden.
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
This system is the easiest, and one of the more popular ways to grow your leafy greens. You simply fill up a reservoir of water and a nutrient solution. Then you suspend your plants roots in that solution, usually by using Styrofoam or some kind of material that can float. From there, you’ll need to add a water pump or air stone that will create air bubbles, giving oxygen to your plants. As weird as it sounds, not having any oxygen in the water will drown them. It’s essential to have something in the water solution that creates oxygen, or else your hydroponic garden will fail. You can set this garden up with a five gallon bucket, a water pump from your local fish store, a net cup for your plants, and some Styrofoam. You can learn how to grow hydroponic plants here at Hydro Blossom.
A different way to build your garden is the wick system method. The water and nutrient solution is drawn up to the plants root system via a wick rope, or something similar, that is placed in the reservoir. Fill your reservoir with water, and the proper nutrients. Place a wick in the growing medium. From there, place the growing area in a way that will allow the wick to hang from it into the reservoir. There will be some trial and error involved, but building and maintaining a wick system hydroponic garden is pretty simple.
This method is popular, though it can be more time consuming and costly. Growers use a timer set to a pump that draws water from a reservoir through tubes, dripping that water onto the plants and into the growing medium. You can use things like gravel or clay pellets as your medium. You’ll need quite a few materials for this system, so make sure your shopping list has everything on it. Using a timer will ensure that your plants don’t get too much water. The great thing about this method is you can build it to fit your space. If you want to make a giant set up, you absolutely can. But if you are more limited on your space, this system will still work for you.
Gardening is a science and an art. You can try one method, and if you don’t like it, try another. Don’t get discouraged if your plants don’t grow as much as you hoped, or you end up killing them. We’ve all been there! Growing your own food and herbs is so rewarding, and healthy, too, so don’t give up!