Discover Home Hydroponics Gardening
Don’t you hate winter produce? Especially those hard tomatoes and tasteless vegetables?
I introduced myself to Home Hydroponics Gardening a couple of years ago. Seeing the advertisements for the Aerogarden, sparked my interest to learn more. Boy, am I glad I did check this out further. My first crop of tomatoes and lettuce were the juiciest and sweetest tasting fruits and vegetables I have ever put in my mouth!
The aerogarden looked like a really neat way to have some fresh greens and tomatoes during the winter months. Also, I have this underlying urge to be as self sufficient as possible. Growing and preserving my own food is one of the ways I can take one step closer to being self reliant.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without soil, usually in just water. While greenhouses and nurseries all around the world are taking advantage of this food growing system, smaller hydroponic systems have be developed for the home gardener. These small plant growing systems take up very little room and are ideal for apartment life.
Advantages of Home Hydroponics Gardens
Growing plants has always be a passion for me. There is just something about planting a tiny little seed and watching it sprout. Before you know it you have a beautiful productive plant. Hydroponics gardens are perfect for me.
Growing plants outside are easy for me. I have the helping hand from Mother Nature. But inside my home, I have always called myself a brown thumb. For some reason I forget to water house plants and end up killing them from dehydration. Years ago I discovered cactus and succulents fared better under my neglectful eye. Then I discovered Hydroponics. I don’t have to remember to water them and I can automate much of their care! Perfect!
Benefits and advantages of hydroponics gardening are:
- Healthier Plants
- Plants are not stressed by drought or forgetful gardeners
- Grow more in less space
- Water stays in the system and is reused
- Small root system so plants concentrate their energy growing
- Grow plants year round
- Plants are more vigorous
- Plants grow 30% and up faster than soil grown plants
- Earlier harvest time
- Automate the entire system with a timer
- Gives you more flexibility as a gardener
- No soil
- No soil borne pests
- Fewer problems with bugs
- Minimal plant diseases
- Plants don’t get root bound or need to be re-potted
- Fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life
- Control the nutrients fed to your plants in the water
- Your plants are happier
Hydroponics gardens are also perfect for those living in desert and arid lands or where ground conditions make it nearly impossible to grow plants and vegetables.
Using larger hydroponics systems, some Greenhouses find they can grow a more abundant crop of fruits and veggies in less space with less expense and much faster harvests.
Is Hydroponics Gardening Complicated or Expensive?
Only a few simple steps are required for you to follow on a regular basis. Establish a routine that works for your lifestyle.
The expense is only limited by how much you want to spend and how elaborate a system you want to have. Home systems you put together yourself can cost you less that $30.00. There are a number of different types kits you can purchase that will include everything you need to get your garden started. The bigger the system, the higher the cost.
Hydroponics Plant Requirements
Plants need nutrients, water, light and air to grow. The most important factor for hydroponics gardens is the nutrient solution. The nutrients are added to the water. This solution should be changed every two weeks. You can use the older solution to water your other house or yard plants.
For optimal growth, plants require 16 mineral nutrients. The major minerals used by plants in large amounts are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). You have seen “10-10-10″ or “15-30-15″ on bags of fertilizer at the store. These numbers refer to the percentage of each of the major nutrients which are also known as N, P, K.
Nutrient solution is used to feed the hydroponics plants. You will need to add the nutrients to the water. Distilled water is recommended to be used to make your nutrient solution. You can purchase these premixed nutrients and some come in tablet form. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a chemist to do this.
Plant foliage requires light. This can be in the form of natural sunlight or artificial light for your indoor hydroponics garden. Gro-lights or fluorescent lights can be used for inside home systems.
Plant roots need oxygen to keep them alive. Healthy roots grown hydroponically are white in color and compact.
Air circulation is important around the leaves as it allows the plants to get the carbon dioxide they need. Air also helps prevent fungal diseases. Many indoor systems have a small fan to help circulate the air around the plants.
Best Plants to Grow
As with anything else, there are a few varieties of plants that seem to adapt to being grown hydroponically than others.
- Sweet peppers
- Hot chilies
- Swiss Chard
- Snow peas
- House Plants
If you have never tried growing hydroponics gardens and have a desire for fresh fruits and vegetables year round, you should give it a try. This is an economical, environmentally friendly and sustainable way to grow some of your own food. It only requires some very basic gardening skills and the rewards you’ll reap are worth giving this adventure a try. I did and I found the taste of the produce is incredible.