How To Do Hydroponics At Home

by RightFit Gardens | Last Updated: June 12, 2021

You have used hydroponics if you have ever taken a stem cutting and stuck it in a glass of water to grow deep roots. ‘Hydroponics’ is a method of growing plants using nutrient solutions. It is a combination of two words, “water” and “labor.” Hydroponics is becoming increasingly popular for producing fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, but this soil-less method is not limited to commercial growers. Homeowners are currently using hydroponic gardens for growing delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs, even on a smaller scale.

History Of Hydroponics

indoor hydroponicsGrowing plants in water isn’t a new concept. Scientists began experimenting with hydroponics on a grander scale for food production in the 1930s. Still, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are thought to have been a crude predecessor of today’s hydroponics.

Growing vegetables and fruits in hydroponics are widespread today; you can find self-contained hydroponic systems in submarines, offshore drilling rigs, space stations, and on farms everywhere. Compared to traditional farming, hydroponics produces far greater yields in less space, making it an essential method for ensuring food security in the world. A growing number of people are also growing their food using this system.

The Fundamentals

Plants are grown in hydroponic systems in sterile growing media, such as Rockwool plugs, coconut fiber, clay balls or clay pebbles, perlite, or sand. In contrast to soil, an inert medium contains no minerals, nutrients, or chemicals that might harm plants. Frequently, net pots made of lightweight plastic are used to contain the growing medium and the plants. A sealable enclosure will then be constructed around the net pots, where they will receive water.

Water is used to provide reasonable amounts of nutrients and oxygen to the plant roots in all hydroponic farming systems, despite their vast differences in design. Hydroponic growing is similar to growing plants in a large pot in the ground, or it can be smaller with a single plant in a pot. It isn’t the size but rather how the plant is grown that makes it hydroponic.

Basic Systems                             

Hydroponic systems based on the following basic principles are frequently adapted and copied by crafty gardeners for creating their DIY systems.

Aeroponic hydroponics: This system works similarly to water culture hydroponics. It aims to moisten the roots and growing medium by using mists located underneath the plants rather than bubbling water.

Flood-and-drain hydroponics: Below the pots, water circulates without coming into contact with them. Instead, water will be absorbed by wicks and transferred upward to ensure that the shallow roots of the hydroponic plants inside the net are moist. When the wicks need watering, the water is pumped just long enough through the container to make them saturated. A reservoir is then filled with the drained water, and it is reused to water later.

Drip hydroponics: Water is applied to the growing medium in net pots at the surface, then drained out the bottom. To prevent dry roots, the bottoms of the net pots are situated in a closed container.

Water culture hydroponics: Continuously, the roots of the plants are partially submerged in water. A pump creates bubbles in contact with the bottoms of the net pots, keeping the growing medium and roots moist. The bottoms of these net pots are positioned just above the level of the water.

Benefits of Growing Hydroponically

Growing plants in a hydroponic system have many advantages that are familiar if you have ever cultivated an outdoor garden.

Ready-to-use Commercial Kits

It’s possible to find a wide range of commercial systems on the market, but they tend to be more expensive. This $125 to $350 all-in-one unit includes indoor grow lights, timer, and Wi-Fi capability to let you know when to add nutrients. It has room for six to 12 plants and comes with a timer. It will give you year-round fresh herbs without using window lighting and will look charming on your kitchen counter.

If you enjoy large-scale gardening, you can find commercial hydroponic systems capable of growing dozens or hundreds of plants. The units include all the equipment you need; artificial lights, pumps, tubes, and containers. From $1,000 onwards, the kits increase in price. Growing your food and selling it to local grocers or farmer’s markets can be an excellent investment.

Planning To Go DIY

Hydroponic gardening has many significant advantages, one of which is the ability to make your system for a meager price. Once you understand the basics, you can even design your hydroponic system with dozens of free plans available online. The amount you spend on materials and supplies could range from $2 to $200 or more. This is depending on the complexity and size of your project. Home hydroponics methods include:

Tips For DIY Hydroponics

For your hydroponic system to grow healthy plants, you should consider the following tips.