Hydroponics System DIY at Home, Create an Innovative Home Garden
If you already garden, making the jump to hydroponics is a small one. It’s not a leap of faith but a progression as you have the necessary knowledge to make plants grow. Creating a hydroponics setup is not only simple, but it’s also sustainable. If you’re concerned about the environment and want to find a way to use less water while forgoing chemicals that harm the ecosystem, it’s time to take the guesswork out of gardening. You’ll also enjoy the added advantage of having fresh produce all year round.
Why Should I have a Hydroponic System DIY in My Home Garden?Think of it this way: you won’t have to go out to the store for food when there is a foot of snow, nor will you have to emerge from your home when it’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit and humid. You can grow your favorite edible plants.
According to Michael Timmons, Cornell University biology and environmental engineering professor, virtually anything that you grow in the ground can thrive in a hydroponic setting. Some plants are more challenging than others. Tomatoes, for example, will need physical support as they grow, just as they do outside.
I Want an Easy Growing SystemYou’ll have no worries here as you’ll have six basic types of growing systems. Some are more difficult for beginners to use than others and many different variations are available, but most growing systems are a variation of a combination of the following:
- Water culture
- Ebb and flow (also called flood and drain)
- Recovery and non-recovery drip
- Nutrient film technique (NFT)
This video from Advance Greenhouses shows the six main types of systems that are suitable for hydroponics at home while also explaining the advantages of each.
Even if you want to build your small system, you don’t need an excessive amount of materials. Home Hydroponic Systems recommends that you consider the type of plants you want to grow before you choose a specific system. To build your system, you need a growing chamber or tray, a reservoir for the nutrient solution, a submersible pump or an air pump, a delivery system such as PVC piping or hoses, and connectors to deliver nutrients and a simple timer to turn the whole operation on and off.
Which Hydroponic Plants Are Best?As we said earlier, you’ll be able to grow many different types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. For your first crops try Bibb lettuce or some other variety of leafy greens, like spinach or even mesclun mix. Radishes and herbs are excellent choices for beginners too.
You’ll eventually want to branch out from greens, radishes, and herbs. Green and Vibrant recommend you try these other easy-to-grow hydroponic plants:
- Kale – It’s another green, but you may not think of it immediately
- Beans – Pole, bush and more have prolific production
- Strawberries – Get fresh fruit all year long
- Blueberries – Take longer to grow but worth the wait
- Peppers – Jalapeno, Habenero, and many other types
Hydroponic Plants Aren’t Picky EatersAll you have to do is give them the nutrients they love, and they’ll grow like crazy. You’ll need a mix of primary, secondary, and micronutrients designed for hydroponic growing that your selected growing system can readily deliver. Many different types of nutrient mixes are available, but check the package to see if the one you choose is appropriate for the plants you grow as not all nutrient formulations are one-size-fits-all.
According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension, primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Secondary nutrients are calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Some plants also need trace elements like iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, zinc, copper, and chlorine.
Shine a Light On It For Hydroponic PlantsGrow lights for your hydroponic garden are optional, but if you want the best results, especially in winter when daylight is shorter, consider getting some. Simply Hydroponics notes that hydroponic grow lights are different than regular lighting bulbs, with high-intensity discharge (HID) choice metal halide and high-pressure sodium as the most commonly used bulbs. Other choices are LED grow lights, high-output fluorescents, and compact fluorescents (CFL).
Hydroponics System at home is Easier Than You ThinkGrowing plants hydroponically is essentially a fool-proof proposition. It’s incredibly easy, making even the brownest thumbs turn green in a matter of a few weeks. Maybe you’ve loved the idea of fresh salad in winter or want to avoid those mealy-tasting winter tomatoes. Perhaps you simply like a new challenge. Your indoor garden can give you all of that.
You don’t have to get complicated, either. Start small with one or two growing containers with the plants you want to grow most. Choose the growing system that seems easiest for you and take it from there. In a few months, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.
Hydroponics System DIY at Home Setup
Once you have your Hydroponic System in place, then you know you will be able to have tasty Veggies and fruits year-round. So go ahead and enjoy your healthy and safe homegrown vegetables. I love salads and if you do too, then Hydroponics will provide a great way to have ongoing vegetables the year-round. Hydroponics at home will ensure your hobby provides nutritious meals for your family. And once you decide whether you want to grow your garden indoors or outdoors, you can move forward with the right Hydroponics kit for you. Take a look at our DIY Hydroponic garden blog post that will give you a better idea of the components necessary to get started,