There are many reasons why gardeners are now switching to hydroponics gardening. These small gardens may be easily grown indoors and are just the thing for the majority of vegetables, particularly the tomato. Furthermore, they are easy to look after, and the equipment required is quite affordable.
Hydroponics entails growing plants without using soil, quite simply, “soiless gardening”. There are a wide range of approaches to hydroponics, the majority of which are more effective than typical soil gardening because it is much easier to provide plants with exactly what they need at the appropriate time.
Plants are only going to acquire that which you provide them with; this means you are able to determine the pH, nutrients, amount of water and light. Therefore it is absolutely essential to research the type of plants you intend to grow so that you know precisely what their requirements are if they are to flourish.
Hydroponics gardening is only as complicated as you want to make it. It may be challenging if computer systems with sensors are employed to control water cycles, nutrients, and the amount of light the plants receive.
On the other hand it can be as basic as using a hand watered bucket with a solitary plant. The hydroponics system in the home generally consists of a few elementary items, such as a growing tray, light (either natural or artificial), a reservoir, a water controlled pump for watering (or some form of watering equipment), plus an air pump to provide oxygen for the nutrients.
The medium used in hydroponics gardening can be gravel, sand, rockwool, perlite, coconut fiber, vermiculite or even air. Many people choose to source parts and build their own from a set of instructions, whilst others who don't feel quite as ambitious can purchase one ready assembled.
There are a number of micro-nutrients that are vital for healthy plant growth, such as magnesium, sulfur, calcium, cobalt, boron, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc. Should any of these important nutrients be missing or in short supply, it could result in food being poor quality and in extreme cases even cause health issues.
Another very important element of hydroponics gardening is that the pH balance must be closely regulated. If the pH balance varies plants can lose the capacity to take in the important nutrients that are required. The simplicity with which the pH in hydroponics is analyzed and controlled provide it with a tremendous advantage over everyday soil gardening.
Despite the fact that there are countless different variations of hydroponics available, such as Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, Drip, N.F.T., and Aeroponic, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to do, and you can have an assortment of fresh produce, flowers, herbs and spices throughout the year.
Megagarden Hydroponic System
The Hydrofarm Hydroponic Megagarden System shown here incorporates a 4-square-foot garden space which produces 5 times more that a standard garden its size.
This unit standing just 10 inches tall grows all manner of produce including, lettuce, herbs, vegetables, orchids and a lot more, indoors or out, and 5 times faster than a regular garden, and all without using any soil.
The Megagarden is just as effective indoors, outside or in a greenhouse when illuminated with a grow light.
Right at the heart of the Megagarden is a super efficient flood-and-drain pump irrigation system that ensures optimal moisture control for healthy roots. The system works by pumping nutrient solution up from a reservoir to a water tray where water levels are precisely controlled. Plants are watered uniformly on a timed cycle for optimal moisture control and healthier roots.
The soilless removable grow tray measures 23 inches by 23 inches square and holds fifteen 5-inch, plastic grow pots filled with, not soil, but either the included fired-clay or pebble grow media.
The system comes complete a 7-1/2-gallon reservoir, submersible pump, timer (capable of up to 12 flood settings per day), rock-wool starter cubes, 16 ounces of Hydrofarm All-Purpose Nutrient, a pH test kit, and complete instructions.