Starting a hydroponic garden will allow you to feed your family with locally-grown, organic produce all year long, even when the weather turns against you. However, many people are intimidated by this process because they don’t know where to start. If you’re interested in starting your hydroponic garden, there are several things you should know first about the process of growing plants without soil or sunlight.
Getting Started With Hydroponics
Whether you live in a house or have an apartment, hydroponics can work for you. While there are several different types of hydroponic gardening techniques, they are all easy enough to achieve with the right tools and adequate research. Read on to learn how to begin gardening indoors.
Hydroponics is an unconventional gardening method in which plants are grown without soil. Not only does hydroponics offer greater control over your garden’s environment, but it also allows you to grow year-round indoors. The first step in getting started is to do your research. Be sure you’re familiar with the ins and outs of hydroponics before starting to build your system.
1. Design Your System
When it comes to designing your hydroponic system, you’ll need to make three design considerations when building your indoor garden: what plants you’re growing, what kind of environment you’re cultivating them in, and the size of your budget. These factors will determine how large your system will be. This way, you can ensure that your plants have everything they need to grow successfully without overspending. Once you’ve decided on all of these factors, draw up an outline of how big each part of your system needs to be.
2. Choose What You Want to Grow
Whether you want to grow herbs, tomatoes, leafy greens, or other fruits and vegetables, the next step in starting a hydroponic garden is figuring out what you want to grow. Some plants are fairly low maintenance while others are heavy feeders that can take more time and energy to grow properly. A few questions you might consider asking yourself are: Do I have enough space for all of these plants? How much time do I have available to devote to maintaining a sustainable garden? Once you have the answers, it’s time to choose what you want to grow and get started.
3. Prepare Your System for Planting
You’ll need to prepare your system for planting to get your hydroponic operation going. As you start your home garden, make sure to use a sterile seed-starting medium, water, and seeds. Prepare your mixture with peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite in advance so that it is ready for planting when you get around to doing it. A 50/50 mixture of nutrient-rich potting medium and organic compost is ideal.
4. Plant Your Seeds or Seedlings
You can start with a variety of seeds for fresh produce, or choose ready-to-go seedlings for your greens. Whether you grow indoors or out, you’ll want to water your plants regularly. Make sure to adjust your schedule based on seasonal changes. It’s also important to feed your plants with fertilizer and prune them regularly as this will help encourage growth and ensure that you have access to fruit or vegetables all year long.
5. Create a Nutrient Source
As you design your hydroponic system, you’ll also need to create a nutrient source for your plants. This might sound complicated, but it isn’t. The most popular way to do this is through a hydroponic system that uses water and nutrients that are absorbed by plant roots directly without needing any medium or growing bed.
6. Harvest Your Plants
Harvest your crops when they are at their peak, and be sure to take care of them. Watering may not be necessary during the winter months, but take a moment to check on your garden as the temperature drops. Watch out for pests throughout the seasons and use organic pest deterrents if necessary.
Make sure your hydroponic system is ready to get your garden growing. Use this guide as you design your new home garden from the ground up to guarantee long-term success.