Starting your own hydroponic garden takes time and attention, but once running successfully, your new garden can yield excellent results.
Hydroponics is simply growing plants in a liquid-based growing medium without the soil. Benefits of hydroponic gardening include a more controlled environment without running the risk of introducing soil-based insects or diseases, complete control over the amount of nutrients each plant receives (no fighting with weeds for nutrients), and better control over the space used since there's no need for root spread.
Hydroponics is gardening without soil. In hydroponic gardening systems, plants are placed in a growing medium and nutrients are provided directly to the roots. Many people are surprised that plants don't require soil to live, but soil can sometimes be a very inefficient growing medium. Plants expend a great deal of energy growing root systems so they can search the soil for the water and nutrients they need to survive. By providing constant and readily available nutrition, hydroponics allows plants to grow up to 50% faster than they do in soil.
Helpful Steps in Starting Your Garden
Although these are some helpful tips in starting your hydroponic garden, we recommend coming in to the store or calling us to discuss your growing project. This will allow us to better understand what you are trying to accomplish and we can lead you down the right path. We are here to help gardeners grow successfully the first time by offering the proper equipment and the right information.
» Tomatoes, peppers and herbs are perfect for beginners. Order
seedlings for hydroponics that have been started without soil, or gently
wash away soil from the roots in a steady flow of water until free of
» Use a hydroculture pot, a double-walled pot, or a simple glass container for just a couple plants. Single plants in a container filled with marbles or polished stones makes an interesting decoration
» Anchor plants in the pot with vermiculite, rock wool or gravel. Each of these mediums contain no nutrients, but give the plant the same support that soil would.
» Mix the hydroponic solution per the instructions on the packaging. Hydroponic fertilizing mix will provide all the main and minor nutrients that a plant grown in proper soil would receive.
» Place the fish bubbler into the pot as instructed on the packaging for a fish tank. This allows a steady supply of oxygen to the plant's roots. Lay marbles, polished rocks or clean gravel over the support medium for a more desirable look.
» Monitor the pH level of your solution on a regular basis, and change your solution as instructed by your particular brand, usually every two weeks.
Hydroponics - The Future
"Gas and food prices are increasing, persuading people to take matters into their own hands." The National Gardening Association expects 43 million American households to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year." That's up 19 percent over last year, according to a household survey the group conducted in January (Sutter, 2009).
People are enjoying the satisfaction of growing their own food, the enhanced flavor and the saved money they benefit by doing it themselves.
"Environmentally friendly" has become a mantra amongst those wanting to preserve our planet and stop the exploitation of the very land we depend upon. With this, many are utilizing the benefits of composting and growing their own food. This trend to protect and sustain our fragile planet is one that will continue to grow in the future. The movement towards a more health conscious society is on the rise, providing an unmeasured opportunity for hydroponics and organic gardening.
Not only are individuals growing their own food, but restaurants and even grocery stores have implemented their own gardening centers to offer fresh, local produce to their customers. They have heard the voice of the people wanting uncontaminated foods grown in their own community.