Thinking about starting your own indoor garden? Then hydroponics is a definite must-try! Don't worry it is not rocket science, so let us walk you through the basics of hydroponics!
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution. The word hydroponics came from the Greek words hydro which means water and ponos meaning labor. According to Planet Natural, Dr. William F. Gericke, a plant scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, as he explored the possibilities of soilless growing, brought the terms together to form “hydroponic” in the 1920s. (Pretty neat, right?). Basically, the roots of the plants grow in water with a rich mix of nutrients dissolved in it. Unlike conventional gardening wherein the plant's roots have to travel deep into the soil to get the soil's nutrients and minerals.
Why choose a hydroponic system over soil gardening?
- For starters, plants that are grown hydroponically mature 25% faster than those plants grown in soil.
- Yields are bigger by 20% to 25% because the plants can directly get nutrients from the water and they grow in a closed and controlled environment.
- Hydroponic systems can be grown anywhere and takes lesser space. (Even inside your closet!)
Which type of hydroponic system will you need?
Well, before jumping into the bandwagon and buy your own hydroponic system, it is important to consider which system best fits your needs. Try asking yourself these questions:
- How much space do you have?
- What are the plants you want to grow?
- How much are you willing to shell out?
- How much time can you dedicate to maintain your hydroponics system?
My personal take on this one is to always start simple and small. Rather than being overwhelmed with complicated systems that probably cost a fortune, it is better to experiment on basic hydroponic systems. It is much easier to use and will not hurt your pocket.
Types of Basic Hydroponic Systems
Deep Water Culture
This system is one of the simplest hydroponic systems. The plant's roots are submerged in nutrient-rich oxygenated water. This system will work best for water-hungry plants such as lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, and elephant ears. P.S. Do not forget to add a water pump as the roots will be needing oxygen and avoid sunlight as it may cause algae. (Trust me you do not want havoc wreaking in your system.)
The wick system is very much similar to deep water culture, the only difference is instead of roots being submerged in water, a nylon rope draws water up to your plants. This system works well with herbs and peppers.
Ebb and Flow
The ebb and flow system may seem a little complicated than the other two but is mostly preferred by many hydroponic growers due to lesser maintenance. The system works by flooding and draining the growing medium with nutrient-rich water at specific time intervals. Most systems are hooked with a timer and is set to the interval you prefer. The greatest advantage of this system is you can go on vacation without worrying about your plants. All you have to do is set the timer and the system will water itself.
Now all you have to do is choose your hydroponic system, decide on what to plant (we highly suggest to start with vegetables) and watch the beauty unfold.
Still have questions about how to assemble your indoor gardening setup? As always, feel free to contact us, or drop in the comments below to get responses from us as well as other gurus in our growing community!
P.S. Watch for our next blog to find out the best growing medium for your indoor garden.