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17979 State Route 536
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
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What is Hydroponic Growing?

Hydroponics simply put is growing plants without soil. It is a more efficient way to provide food and water to plants. Instead of soil, plants use food and water that are generally in the soil. (In traditional gardening the soil’s function is to supply nutrients and to anchor plant roots.)

When you garden hydroponically, you provide your plants with a complete nutrient formula and an inert growing medium to anchor your plants’ roots, for easier access to the food and water. Because the food is dissolved in water, it goes quickly to the roots. This means plants can grow faster and you can harvest more, sooner. Other advantages include no soil-borne diseases or pests, and no weeding.

Guide to Successful Hydroponic Gardening
  1. Choose the best system for you. Think about what you want to grow. Consider your growing space, lighting, budget and time limitations.
    • A passive system is the easiest way to start. It is affordable and you can build it yourself. It is good for smaller plants. It uses a wicking material to draw nutrients up to the roots, or the roots tips are suspended in a solution and the rootball hangs in the air.
    • An active system is a better choice for larger plants. It uses an automatic pump and timer to flow nutrients around roots and aerate. It costs more, but is more efficient and entails less of your time.
  1. Start with good water
    Your water will determine how well your plants grow. Ideally you want to start off with a low PPM or EC then you can add nutrients specific to your plants needs.


  2. Choose a media
    Your growing medium acts as an anchor for your plants root system. Some medias to consider are soil-less mixes, coco, clay pebbles, rockwool, silica stone. Coco is made from husks of coconut, and it is very pH stable, provides good moisture retention and aeration.


  3. Choose nutrients
    Nutrients (food) choices can be organic or chemical and are available in liquid and dry forms. There are both macro and micro nutrients. Check labels to determine the combinations best for your plants.


  4. Lighting

    • High intensity Discharge lights (HID) are preferred for most indoor growing. There are two types- Metal Halide (MH) lamps are ideal for most plants in the vegetative/growth state. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps are good for most plants in the flowering/bloom stage.


    • T5 lighting is another choice. It is a high-output fluorescent light with low heat and minimal energy consumption. Great for cuttings, mother plants and short growth cycles. See Charley’s lighting category for more information.

 

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