Uses 20 times less water than soil based gardening.
Your environment is sterile, which means no pesticides.
You’ll use less space for growing.
The system water can be reused, allowing you to conserve water.
You can have complete control over nutrient balance.
No soil setup and testing hassles. Harvesting is easier.
No mulching, tilling, changing of soil and weeding.
You can grow year round if indoors.
WHAT IS HYDROPONICS? Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. In a hydroponic system, the seeds are planted in various types of material that are called ‘growing medium’ and the roots are suspended in water. This method is called N.F.T. (nutrient film technique) hydroponics. Adding nutrients plays a big role in your plant's health and growth.
WHY DOES HYDROPONICS WORK SO WELL? Giving your plants exactly what it needs, when it needs it, and in the amount that it needs, ensures that the plant will be as healthy as is genetically possible. That’s why managing your plants is so much easier than soil.
In the system, the plants are grown in a perfectly balanced pH and adjusted nutrient solution is delivered to the roots in a highly soluble form. This allows the plant to uptake its food with very little effort as opposed to soil where the roots are required to search out the nutrients and extract them. This is true even when using rich, organic soil and top of the line nutrients. The energy expended by the roots in soil, could be better spent on vegetative growth and fruit and flower production.
If you grow two genetically identical plants using soil for one and hydroponics for the other, you will almost immediately see the difference between the two. Faster, better growth and much greater yields would be observed in the hydroponic system compared to that of soil. This is a reason why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for commercial food production as well as a growing number of home, hobby gardeners.
WHAT IS GROWING “MEDIUM”? Growing medium is the material in which the roots of the plant are growing. This covers a vast variety of substances which include Rockwool, perlite, vermiculite, coconut fiber, gravel, sand and many more. The growing medium is an inert substance that doesn’t supply any nutrition to the plants but houses the seeds and roots perfectly. All the nutrition comes from the nutrient solution (water and fertiliser combined). You can therefore, easily control everything the plants receive. The strength and pH of the nutrient solution are easy to adjust so that the plants receive just the right amount of food.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HYDROPONIC, ORGANIC AND “REGULAR” FERTILISERS? Both hydroponic fertilisers and those intended for use in soil contain the three major nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The major difference in hydroponic fertilisers is that they contain the proper amounts of all the essential micro-nutrients which fertilisers intended for use with soil do not. Hydroponic fertilisers are usually in a more refined form with fewer impurities making them both more stable and soluble for better absorption. Organic fertilisers, in most cases, are very different than either hydroponic or soil fertilisers both in composition and how they deliver the nutrient to the plants. Organic fertilisers rely on the synergistic action of bacteria and microbes to break down nutritional substances for easier uptake by the plants. Hydroponic and soil fertilisers provide nutrients in a ready-to-use form.
WHAT ARE MICRO-NUTRIENTS? The micro-nutrients, also known as trace elements that are required for healthy plant growth are calcium, magnesium, sulphur, boron, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.
HOW COMPLICATED IS HYDROPONIC GARDENING? Not at all complicated. As with any new hobby, there is some learning involved. Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard bits and am now able to guide you through the process. Once the system is set up, all you have to do is plant your seeds in your growing medium, add your water and nutrients weekly, check on the pH levels and adjust if necessary and harvest when ready.
IS PH IMPORTANT IN HYDROPONICS? Picture this: You’re in the 4th week of growing and you’re super excited because your crops are flourishing. You’ve been adding your water and nutrients weekly as instructed but had not reassessed your pH level. By week 5, your leaves start to wilt and you are disappointed. The simple, yet crucial error was that you didn’t keep an eye on your pH level. As your plants grow, they require more nutrients and the pH level needs to remain constant. If the pH level changes, the plants cannot absorb those nutrients needed for growth.
I would love to assist you in starting your very own hydroponic garden. I’ll guide you step-by-step through the process as it may feel overwhelming initially. Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you started. I look forward to helping you on your journey of healthy, easy, eco-friendly gardening.