Thanks for visiting Homegrown Hydroponics. Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants without soil. Food and water are more efficiently provided to the plants in this way.
Actually plants do not use soil but the food and water present in it. Soil has only two functions; to anchor the roots of the plants and to supply nutrients to them.
In a hydroponic garden, plants are provided with a complete nutrition formula and also a slow growing intermediate to anchor their roots so they have easier and quicker access to water and food.
The food is directly absorbed by the roots as it is dissolved in water. This triggers faster growth of plants and they are ready for harvest in a shorter period.
Unlike a soil garden, more plants can be grown in the same space with homegrown hydroponics. Plus as no soil is used so you need not worry about pests, soil-borne diseases and weeding.
The first step towards a successful hydroponic gardening is choosing the right system. Before purchasing any equipment or building a unit yourself, certain things need to be considered like budget, lighting, time constraints and available space.
Also decide the plants you would like to grow,or if you want to increase the initial garden size in the future through expansion thus increasing costs over time.
They are good for smaller plants but if you want to grow large plants, you have to use active systems. A timer and a pump are used in the active system to “flow” the nutrients around the roots of plants and to provide ventilation.
Though it costs more it requires less attention and is more efficient as the timer and pump do all the caring automatically. After looking into active and passive systems, you have to choose from water culture and media-based systems for homegrown hydroponic garden.
Media-based systems like top-feed (drips), bottom-feed or ebb-and-flow (flood and drain) systems are dependent on a growing medium to hold the nutrient solution in water and to support plants.
Mostly timers are used, alternatively wetting the medium to replenish nutrients and wash out salts and then draining so that atmospheric oxygen can be drawn in by the plants. Setting up this system is more complex, costs more and the media also need regular replacement.
In water culture systems, no media is used. Plants are anchored in a plank floating in a reservoir, with the roots suspended in the nutrient solution.
This system is great for water loving plants, very simple and inexpensive. Special care is required if you want to use it with larger plants.
The plants that gets top heavy after bearing fruit, like tomato and cucumber, can be anchored with small amounts of gravel.