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With people living increasingly in small spaces, apartments, and flats without having a garden, indoor plant growth is becoming more popular. Hydroponic gardening is becoming a trend now. Want to know all about what it is and how it works? We have got you covered! 

Hydroponics refers to growing plants without using soil as a growth medium or nutrition. In hydroponic, hydro means water, and ponos means work. The plants grow in a solution of water containing nutrients.

They may or may not be mechanically supported by an inner inert medium, e.g., perlite, sand, coconut coir, etc. Plants feed on nutrients directly from the root zone.

Various plants and vegetables can be grown in a hydroponic growing system. Plants grown hydroponically include tomatoes, cucumbers, reddish lettuce, kale, strawberries, cannabis, etc. Herbs like parsley, mint, oregano, and basil can also be cultivated.

How to Grow Hydroponic Plants?

If you want a hydroponic grow system and cultivate but do not know where to start, you are in the right place. The first step would be to set up the hydroponic system. There are so many options to choose from. As a beginner, you need a hydroponic growing kit to start with.

You must choose your kit depending on the size of the kit, the material used, and your budget. The best ones for home gardeners are deep water culture, drip irrigation, and ebb and flow. Other systems, such as the nutrient film technique and aeroponic systems, are also available.

Hydroponic GrowUsing Hydroponic Grow Kit: A Beginner’s Guide

An overall grow kit consists of many components, varying depending on the type and use of the kit. Here is a general breakdown of all the components:   

Grow Tent

A grow tent is needed to provide the required and controlled environment for the plants. The size and material of the tent vary depending on the space you have and the number and size of plants you want to grow.

Air Stones and Air Pumps

They are very important components of the hydroponics growing system. The pump works outside, and the stone stays inside the water reservoir. They will be used to aerate the water solution. They help provide oxygen to the plants when they are submerged in water.  

Water Filters

It is important to filter the water before letting it enter the water store. Reverse osmosis, chlorine, and sediment filters can be used for this purpose. This practice ensures that all the chloramines or bacteria in the water will be filtered and thus will not contaminate the plants.

Water Heaters and Chillers

An optimized temperature in the water is very essential for plant growth. Too cold or too hot water can damage the plants. Some people live in extreme climates and thus do not have the ideal water conditions for plant growth.

Water chillers and water heaters are used to balance the temperature fluctuations in the water reservoir, providing an idle condition for the plant.

PPM and pH Meters

A parts per million (ppm) meter is used to measure the concentration of total dissolved solids in water, these are also called TDS meters.

A pH meter is used to check the pH level of water. Both ppm and pH have to be optimized. The suggested pH lies within the range of 5.5-6 and ppm, depending on the stage of plant growth. 

Grow Lights

Plants also need sufficient lighting to grow, as they will not be taking any sunlight indoors. You can use different grow lights, e.g., HID grow lights, LED lights, T5 lights, fluorescent lights, or simple bulbs, as per your requirements, budget, and stage of plant growth. 

Other essential components include a water reservoir, grow trays, plant chambers, tubes (fill & drain), and an electronic timer.

Maintain and Monitor Your Hydroponic SystemTips to Maintain and Monitor Your Hydroponic System

You have learned about the basics of hydroponics growing systems. Here are some tips to maintain your system: 

  • Cleaning your system on a regular basis is very important. You need to prevent nutrient clogging, scaling, and salt buildup within the water reservoir. Otherwise, this would toxicate the water solution. 
  • You must check the timing of lighting your plants are getting. To provide your plants with optimal light, put your lighting system on timer. 
  • Adjust the temperature to 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the optimal temperature for hydroponic plants. 
  •  Regularly check for nutrient deficiencies. You must use hydro-nutrients. Instead of using standard fertilizers, use fertilizers especially designed for hydroponic plants. 
  • The optimal conditions for humidity should be kept into consideration. The relative humidity is suggested to be 40% to 60%. If the humidity is low, use a humidifier, and if it is high, use a dehumifier. 
  • Use algaeside to avoid algae growth in water solutions. 
  • Change the nutrient solution every two to three weeks, depending on the ppm and pH of the solution. 

Whether you are a hobby grower or a commercial grower, this guide will help you with all the know how on hydroponics grow kits and plants. Happy hydroponic growing!