When it comes to starting hydroponic gardening there are many things that you need to consider. The use of hydroponics has been growing over the past few years and has become a great alternative to the usual growing methods. At MEGAPot we consistently advise our customers on what methods they should use to grow and how they can utilise hydroponics. In this article we look at the 5 steps to starting hydroponic gardening.
Hydroponics is a method of growing without the use of soil. It has been incredibly popular as an alternative to the usual growing methods. This is because you are able to grow indoors without the worry of outdoor elements. There are also many benefits to using hydroponics due to the way in which nutrients are delivered to the plants.
If you are looking for a relatively easy and straightforward way to grow your plants then you should look at hydroponics.
When it comes to starting your own hydroponic garden there are many elements that you need to consider. Within these elements you need to assess and understand the limits in which are placed upon you. What is apparent with hydroponics however is how beneficial it can be to your growing. Some of the steps you need to go through are as follows:-
The first step along your journey wll be deciding what you are going to be growing. This will affect the rest of the process as you will need to ensure that you have enough space to do all you need to do. This may also affect what nutrients you buy, how much light you need and also growing time. Once you have made this decision the rest of the process will become easier.
The second parr in our 5 steps to starting hydroponic gardening is based around the system. The system that you choose will be very much dependant on a number of factors but will usually be decided by the space, cost and also plants in which you are going to be growing. The types of system that you will have to choose from include the following:-
The wick system is one of the easiest and simplest types of hydroponics systems that you can utilise to grow your plants. Plants are placed directly into the absorbent substance which will help them to grow stronge due to direct contact.
Very similar to a wick system, however there is no barrier between the plants and the water. The plants that require oxygen to survive are given this by diffuser or air stone. The roots of the plant are placed directly into the solution for maximum exposure.
An Ebb and Flow system is also one of the most popular systems that are used. In this system the plants are placed into a spacious grow bed which is packed with a specific grow medium like rockwool or perlite.
The drip system is perfect for those who tend to change plants and crops often. The nutrient solution that is used in this system is pumped around a tube and sent directly to the plant’s base. At the end of each tube is a drip emitter so you can control exactly how much nutrient needs to be passed on.
The N.F.T system is used vastly across hydroponic growers. This is because as it allows the user to scale up and down dependant on the application needed. The nutrients in this platform are placed into a reservoir which then pumps around the slopes and back to the reservoir, this therefore limits wastage.
The aeroponic system is easy to use but can sometimes be difficult to build. With this type of system, the plants are going to be suspended in the air. Therefore requiring that you have the adequate space in order to accommodate this.
Selecting the right growth medium will come from the plants or crops in which you want to grow, as well as the cost. Some of the more popular grow mediums you will want to consider include the following:-
Rockwool is one of the most common growth mediums that are used in the world of hydroponics. This is due to it coming in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as its feature of being non degradable.
Perlite is also another popular growth medium and is composed of multiple minerals. It is a very lightweight medium as well as being abosrobant, so is perfect for soaking up nutrients for the crops of plants. You can also mix Perliter with other mediums to suit your requirements.
A heavy medium which is great for providing support to the plants, but also lightweight enough that it is also beneficial. This medium works well with a variety of systems and is non-degreadable so is perfect for hydroponic systems.
There are two forms of coco, one being the fiber and the other being the chips. The difference is mainly in size as well as density. They are great for those looking for a medium that will not have an affect on any of the nutrients or plants/crops pH.
Choosing your lighting is very important, especially for those that are growing inside. Any lighting solution will do, but be aware of the cost of white lights. As these tend to be higher than their fluorescent equivalent. Fluorescent lights tend to be more effective when it comes to cost, as well as safer due to the amount of heat in which they produce. LED’s are also an option to consider due to them producing a more lifelike light spectrum like the sun.
Once you have purchased all of the elements above now is the time to put it all together. The specific system in which you have purchased will be directly related to how simple or easy it is to install into the space you have. Being aware of the space you have is also very important. Ensuring there is enough room for all elements of the system, as well as lighting are considerations you need to be aware of.
Following the 5 steps to starting hydroponic gardening will put you on the road to success. By following these simple steps you can ensure that all of the equipment you purchase will be effective for your methods as well as plants that you are growing. At MEGAPot we offer a range of industry leading products which aid our customers. If you would like some more information then please do Contact Us.