Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. First developed in the 19th century, this growing method is becoming more common among commercial growers and is gaining popularity with home gardeners. In this method, with the help of hydroponic fertilizer and nutrients, you can grow any plant your want under your roof. You can farm hydroponically on a small scale at home, whether you have a greenhouse or only a little extra space in one of your rooms. Hydroponic farming is a glimpse of the future of food growing.
Hydroponic growing helps in growing fruits, flowers, and vegetables in areas where the soil is unsuited for gardening or where space is at a premium. With the help of hydroponic fertilizers, you can grow crops like tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, wheatgrass, apples etc on a domestic as well as commercial scale. A hydroponic farm is an excellent place for indoor flower gardening too. You can grow plants of your choice in nutrient media such as rock wool, pottery shards, glass marbles, special porous and inert clay pellets, coir fibre, perlite, vermiculite, sand, gravel, polystyrene packing peanuts, or any other inert material not toxic to plants and not subject to decomposition.
To set up a hydroponic farm, take a large tray or fish tank or an unused bucket/ barrel. Dig hole at the bottom of the container. Place an air stone at the bottom of the container. Attach the air pump to the air stone with the tubing. Use another container to store hydroponic nutrient solutions and water. This container will act as a reservoir tank. Plant the cuttings inside nutrient media in the first container. The air pump and tubes will help carrying of nutrients in and out of hydroponic system. The nutrient reservoir container collects the used nutrient solution after it drains out of the growing medium. This allows you to reuse it and save money on new hydroponic nutrients. However, change it for a new mixture every two weeks, to prevent a harmful build-up of salts.
Hydroponic nutrient solutions are often custom formulated to suit the crop being grown. Also in a hydroponic farm, you can monitor the temperature levels, pH of the nutrient solution, moisture content, availability and intensity of light and chemical composition of solution. This way in a controlled atmosphere, you can get better and expected results. If you do a little research about best suited nutrients and lights for your plants, you can set up your own successful hydroponic farm.
Filed Under: Farming