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6 Ways to Start Hydroponic Gardening

start hydroponic gardening

6 Ways to Start Hydroponic Gardening

Staying at home in these times is an opportunity to be productive and generate new hobbies. People found gardening as one of those productive hobbies they grew interested in for the past months.

Gardening can sometimes require a lot of work and dirt on your hands. You have probably wondered if you can start a garden without getting your hands soaked in that dirt. There is where hydroponic gardening comes in.

Hydroponic gardening is the method of growing plants in water without using soil, holding the essential nutrients by embedding nutrient-rich solutions. This type of gardening is getting more popular day after day.

There are many ways to start your own hydroponic garden. But all of these fall under six general categories of hydroponic systems. Ready to learn more? Keep reading then.

1. Wick System

First, we find the wick system,  the simplest hydroponic system to setup.  Practically anyone can use this method of hydroponic gardening. It does not require electricity or aerators. It works by placing the plant on an absorbent substance connected to a wick soaked in the nutrient solution.

Since the process of absorbing nutrients by the wick is relatively slow, it does not supply much of the nutrients to the plant. Due to this limitation, the wick system will work well only on smaller house plants that do not require much water.

2. Water Culture System

Secondly, we have the water culture system. Another easy hydroponic system to start gardening. The process of setting it up is straightforward – the roots of the plant are directly suspended onto the nutrient-rich water solution. This way, the roots directly absorb the nutrients needed to grow.

The direct access of the roots to the nutrients makes this hydroponic system capable of growing plants quickly. The best aspect of this system is that it works well with all kinds of plants.

3. Ebb-and-Flow System

In the third place, we have the Ebb-and-Flow System, or also known as the flood-and-drain system. The ebb-and-flow process is a popular hydroponic system among home gardeners. It basically works by placing plants into a growth medium and flooding them with a nutrient-rich solution and then draining it again back into the reservoir after a pre-determined amount of time.

This method requires a pump that needs to be on for the entire period of the flood cycle. As the nutrient-rich solution comes out of the growth medium, oxygen-rich air comes in towards the plant allowing the roots ample oxygen to maximize their nutrient intake.

4. Drip System

Fourth, we find the drip system, another hydroponic system that requires a pump but is also easy to setup. This works by using a tube connected to the reservoir to pump the nutrient-rich solution directly into the plant and letting it drip back into the reservoir.

This method can be altered to fit the nutrient intake of different plants, making it a good choice for those who make regular changes with their gardening.

5. Nutrient Film Technique

In the fifth place, we have the nutrient film technique. Although it is a slightly more complicated method of gardening, it is widely used thanks to its wide variety of applications.

Like the ebb-and-flow and drip systems, it utilizes a pump for the nutrient-rich solution to flow from the reservoir to the plant roots and then back into the reservoir.

This method is somehow the opposite of the water culture system. As the roots are not constantly submerged in water preventing them from drowning by excessive water intake. It is closely related to the ebb-and-flow system setup, but there is no need for a timer as it exhibits a continuous flow of water without periodic breaks.

This technique can be altered to accommodate larger plants that require a larger medium and different nutrient intakes, making it popular among commercial plant growers.

6. Aeroponics

Last, we have the aeroponic system. Perhaps this is the most complex method of hydroponic gardening. In this way, it is easy to conceptualize but it requires a little more work when setting up.

Typically, the setup requires the plant and its roots exposed to air in a large open chamber. With the use of nozzles, mists of the nutrient-rich solution sprays upon the roots.

Then, the pump sprays mist which will automatically turn off. This method helps in keeping the roots moist while being exposed to oxygen-rich air. It also allows modifications to control the amount of nutrients to embed into the plants.

Even with the effectiveness that comes along with it, the complicated process of setting up an aeroponic system does not make it the best choice for beginners in the hydroponic gardening scene. Building and modifying a whole setup can be really costly, and the maintenance of the ancillary tools can require a lot of work.

Choosing the Best Method

Determining the right system for your hydroponic garden requires planning ahead of time.

There are several factors to take into account before coming up with an appropriate setup for your needs. Between them we count:

  • Experience in growing a hydroponic environment
  • Type of plants you want to grow
  • Budget you have for setting up a whole system.

The suitability also depends if you are a home grower or a commercial plant gardener; and the variety of plants you are planning to grow. Having a look at the pros and cons of each method helps in deciding which system is right for you. 

Wrapping Up Ideas to Start Your Hydroponic Gardening

Whether it be as a newfound hobby or a way to cut your next grocery budget, hydroponic gardening is increasingly making numbers among plant growers. You only need water and a suitable system setup for your plants.

All of the mentioned hydroponic systems help in growing the plants you desire. You just have to consider researching these systems to find out which will work best for your own garden.

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