Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Plants are grown in a water-based solution, known as “nutrient solution” or “fertilizer tea”. The nutrient solution contains the nutrients that the plant needs to survive and grow. Hydroponic plants may be grown either in deep water, rock wool slabs (a soilless medium), gravel, sand, or clay pellets.
Hydroponics is used for growing plants indoors and out of season, and when raised beds are impractical. However, it works best with certain types of plants such as herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hydroponics is very good for people who don’t have ample space to spare on land to plant crops. This method of farming makes use of 90% less water and gives the plants twice the yield as those grown with earthworms and soil.
Let’s learn all about the indoor hydroponic garden in detail.
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Indoor hydroponic garden
An indoor hydroponic garden is your perfect solution if you’re looking to grow a garden without the hassle of soil, sunlight, or pests. With indoor hydroponic gardens, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs grown right in your own home. That means never having to deal with the disappointment of a product selection that’s gone bad before it could reach its full potential again.
This garden uses recycled bottles to grow plants. The bottles are refilled with the nutrient solution as they dry out. The plant’s roots grow through the holes in the bottle, and a small pump keeps the water circulating through the bottle. Because light cannot penetrate transparent bottles, aquarium light is used to provide adequate lighting for the plants.
Advantages of Indoor hydroponic garden
- Easy to clean: All you need to do with an indoor hydroponic garden is to rinse out the container.
- Can grow a variety of plants: You can grow any plants, even herbs, and spices in your indoor hydroponic garden.
- Easy to maintain: Like a regular garden, you can take care of your indoor hydroponic garden by regularly refreshing the nutrient solution, aerating the soil, and rinsing out the nutrient solution.
- Containers can be used season after season: You don’t even have to throw out your containers once the plants are gone (though you might want to clean them thoroughly). Simply refill them with a fresh nutrient solution.
Disadvantages of Indoor hydroponic garden
Frequent water changes: Need to use a lot of frequent water changes and fresh nutrient solutions because the water in the bottles doesn’t have time to percolate through the soil.
More energy consumption: It needs more energy than indoor soil gardening because there are lots of bulbs and pumps running all the time.
Plants need pruning: If your plant is getting too big for its container, you’ll need to trim it back a bit. Don’t prune your plants harshly though, as this could kill them.
Most plants grow slowly: The most common type of indoor hydroponic garden uses stem cuttings or rooting sections from an indoor plant. Since this is usually done to save money, most of the plants won’t be very large.
Best Hydroponic Gardens
There are many hydroponics kits and designs that can be used to grow plants indoors. The following are the three best hydroponic gardens for first-time gardeners. They are easy to set up and maintain, and can be used for growing a variety of plants.
Vertical hydroponic garden
The vertical hydroponic garden grows plants high in the air. The plants are supported by a wire net that keeps them from falling too far. Vertical hydroponic gardens can be used for growing non-edible plants, such as herbs or climbing vines, or any other type of plant you want to grow.
Advantages of Vertical Hydroponic Garden
- Having a large area under the net means that you can grow a lot of plants in the same amount of space. You can also grow different plants in separate net cells simultaneously.
- Plants are visible: With vertical hydroponic gardens, you get to see your plants grow and develop from scratch, as opposed to having them in pots on the soil where they’re hidden from view.
- Plants in the vertical hydroponic garden grow very fast. Some plants can even be harvested more than 10 times a year.
- Plants have their support system: Vertical net becomes their support system and prevents the plants from falling over when they reach maturity.
- Plants can be left in the same place as long as you want to and they don’t need extra care or nutrients other than water and soil (so long as it’s not contaminated with chemicals or fertilizers).
Disadvantages of vertical hydroponic garden
- Requires an expert: This method requires a well-equipped hydroponics shop, so it’s not suitable for most people.
- More expensive: Vertical net is hard to make and requires a lot of materials.
- Pollination is an issue: Vertical gardens need to be used with a good pollination system or the plants will not come true.
- Takes a lot of electricity to run from lightbulbs, pumps, and other electronic equipment.
Hydroponic garden tower
Hydroponic garden towers are made of tubular steel. A plastic basket is suspended on a grid so that the plants can grow vertically. Plants are supported by agitators and are well-suitable for large-scale production.
Advantages of Hydroponics Tower
- Takes up minimal space: Hydroponics towers can be placed in almost any spot in your house or garden, and they occupy very little area, which means that they won’t get in your way or take up valuable space.
- Use less water and fertilizer: Organic materials in the soil can help to absorb water and nutrient solutions. This is because they naturally hold water so that the soil doesn’t become saturated, resulting in less water being pumped out of the plants. With hydroponics towers, you don’t need to worry about constantly rinsing your plants to get rid of excess nutrients and keep them healthy.
- Growing plants vertically allows them to grow quickly and get ready to harvest sooner.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics Tower
- Heavy: Although most hydroponics towers are made of steel, they are still heavier than traditional growing pots and may require more effort to move around your home or garden.
- Expensive: Hydroponics towers can be quite expensive, especially if you want to use a high-tech design.
- Electrically powered: The electricity required to run a hydroponics tower is an additional expense, especially if your building is old and outdated.
Hydroponic herb garden
The hydroponics herb garden is a way to produce fresh herbs in your own home. The plants grow in individual pots with nutrient-rich water and food on the surface, making it less difficult than gardening. These herb gardens are made of plastic parts that can be assembled to form a frame. The plants hang from the frame’s sides and are held in place by wire mesh.
Advantages of the Hydroponic herb garden
- Easy to assemble: Sturdy plastic parts can be snapped together easily. Steps are provided on how to do this, and there is also some guidance provided in the instructional video clip on how to use it.
- Easy to use: The instructional video clip on how to use the herb garden is very helpful. They also provide step-by-step instructions on how to assemble and use it.
- Easy for herbs to grow in: Since the plants are at a good height, they will get proper sunlight and ventilation. There’s also enough room in their pots so that they can grow properly without crowding each other out.
- Saves Water: Herb garden uses less water than traditional methods of growing herbs. Since less water will be used, there is a need for only enough nutrients to keep the plants healthy.
- Easy to Harvest: Herbs are ready for harvest after a few weeks. They can be harvested at different times of the year so that you don’t have to wait for them to grow too large before you want to harvest them.
Disadvantages of Hydroponic herb garden
- Barely enough space: Although an herb garden is cheaper than buying herbs from the supermarket, it is still expensive, especially if you have a large garden. You will also have to spend some money on fertilizers and pesticides to keep the herbs healthy and growing at their fullest capacity.
- Plants are supported by wires: Since the plants are not rooted into the ground, they are not as stable as they would be if they were planted in soil. Any wind or strong gust of air can cause the plants to fall over.
Hydroponics is a growing trend on the rise, it will compete with traditional gardening practices as more and more people realize the benefits of hydroponics growing compared to soil growing. Hydroponic growing can save a lifetime of work and patience in growing plants. Hydroponic gardening is easy to do, it may even have smaller maintenance costs than traditional soil gardens. As long as you can keep the temperature, water levels, and lighting right, you will be successful in what you do.
If you just want to grow food or herbs hydroponically, a small hydroponics unit will be enough for your needs. However, if you have a large garden or wish to raise a lot of food or herbs, you might consider a larger hydroponics system. These larger systems are designed for large gardens and will require more care and maintenance.