What is Hydroponic Growing?
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 soils 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
to Successful Hydroponic Gardening
- 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.
- Start with good
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Charleys lighting
category for more information.