Curious to try hydroponics for yourself? There are a few ways to get started.
First of all, what is it? Hydroponics is growing plants in nutrient-enriched water instead of soil.
why is it becoming popular?
Hydroponics is actually a centuries-old agricultural technology, but it’s become popular because it’s fairly accessible to do at home. Hydroponics is more convenient and space-saving than traditional gardening. Since you don’t need soil, you have more flexibility. You don’t need a big plot of land or even a backyard because it can be done indoors. You can have your own indoor vegetable garden within a small footprint.
Without soil, there’s no need to worry about fending off soil-borne pests. No toxic chemical pesticides needed.
Another big benefit is that you can grow fresh produce year-round, even in winter! Plus, it can be a fun indoor activity.
how to start
The key elements of hydroponics are nutrients, water, light, a growing medium, and a method to oxygenate the water.
The most basic hydroponic set-up of all is really more like a science experiment! Take a clipping of green onion (including the root) and put it in a jar of water. It will start growing, no equipment or electricity needed.
For hydroponics beginners, an all-in-one kit may be a good option. These are small units that can sit on a kitchen countertop. The kit supplies everything you need; just the follow instructions. Examples include Aerogarden and Rise Garden.
For a more sizable garden, there are larger hydroponic growing systems from Tower Garden and Lettuce Grow that might be a few feet tall and could be located outside. Kits and systems usually come with apps that monitor your garden and they’re fairly low maintenance; but they can be a sizable initial expense to set them up. Keep in mind you also need reliable access to power and water to keep them running.
Hydroponics and vertical farming have carved a niche in the commercial space, but individuals can try their hand at it too, and harvest fresh vegetables all year long!