Hydroponic Gardening Indoors


Hydroponic gardening is one of the best ways to grow fresh vegetables year round. It is also a great alternative for growing a variety of plants in smaller spaces, such as indoors. When plants are grown hydroponically, their roots do not find it necessary to seek out the required nutrients for survival. Instead, they are provided with all the necessary nutrients for strong, vigorous growth directly. As a result, root systems are smaller and plant growth is more abundant.

Elements of Hydroponic Gardening

There are many advantages to hydroponic gardening. For instance, all the required elements that influence healthy plant growth can be easily controlled and maintained. This includes factors such as light, temperature, humidity, pH levels, nutrients and water. The ability to control these elements makes hydroponic gardening easier and less time consuming than gardening with soil.

Light

When using hydroponic gardening methods indoors, light can be provided through a bright window or beneath suitable grow lights. In general, the type of light used and how much is needed falls on the gardener and types of plants grown. The light source, however, must be bright enough to trigger flowering and fruit production.

Temperature, Humidity & pH Levels

Suitable temperatures with sufficient amounts of humidity and pH levels are equally important. There are many hydroponic gardening kits available to help get beginners started. Generally, if hydroponic gardening indoors, room temperature is adequate for most plants. Humidity levels should stay around 50-70 percent for optimal plant growth, much the same as for growing houseplants.

With hydroponic gardening, pH levels are extremely important and should be checked regularly. Maintaining pH levels between 5.8 and 6.3 is usually suitable for most plants. Suitable ventilation is another important aspect of hydroponic gardening and can be easily accomplished with ceiling fans or oscillating ones.

Nutrients & Water

Nutrients are provided through specifically designed hydroponic gardening fertilizer and water. The nutrient solution (fertilizer and water) should always be drained, cleaned and refilled at least one or two times a month. Since plants grown hydroponically do not require soil, there is less maintenance, no weeding and no soil-borne diseases or pests to worry with.

Plants can be grown using a variety of mediums, such as gravel or sand; however, this is merely for anchoring the plant. The continual supply of nutrient solution is what keeps the plants alive and healthy. There are also different methods used for providing this nutrient solution.

  • Passive method – The simplest form of hydroponic gardening uses the passive method, allowing you to determine when and how much nutrient solution plants receive. Wick systems are one example, using Styrofoam trays filled with growing medium and plants. These trays simply float on top of the nutrient solution, allowing roots to absorb nutrients and water as needed.
  • Flood and Drain method – Another easy method of hydroponic gardening is the flood and drain method, which is just as effective. Growing trays or individual pots are flooded with nutrient solution, which is then drained back into a reservoir tank. This method requires the use of a pump and proper levels of nutrient solution must be maintained to prevent the pump from running dry.
  • Drip System methods – Drip systems require a pump and are controlled with a timer as well. When the timer turns the pump on, nutrient solution is ‘dripped’ onto each plant. There are two basic kinds, recovery and non-recovery. Recovery drip systems collect the excess runoff while the non-recovery ones do not.

Two other common methods for providing nutrient solution to plants are also used in hydroponic gardening, the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and aeroponic method. NFT systems provide a continual flow of nutrient solution without the use of a timer. Rather, the roots of plants hang down in the solution. The aeroponic method is similar; however, it requires a timer that allows the roots of hanging plants to be sprayed or misted every few minutes.

Nearly anything, from flowers to vegetables, can be grown with hydroponic gardening. It’s an easy, clean, and effective method for growing plants, especially in limited areas. Hydroponic gardening adapts well to most indoor settings and produces healthier plants with higher quality yields.


10 Best Plants for Indoor Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponic gardening is a great way to plant if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space or rich soil around you. Thanks to technology, you can almost grow anything hydroponically. While this gives you a clean slate of what you can choose, some work better than others. So, here are the best plants for indoor hydroponic gardens.

Because of its setup, hydroponics doesn’t require soil and some of the other things that traditional gardening uses. But, this also limits you to a degree with what you can plant. Not so much because hydroponics doesn’t work with these plants, but more so it may be difficult to do at home.


The 8 Best Indoor Hydroponic Garden Kits For Growing Herbs And Vegetables Indoor

There's something especially annoying about buying herbs only to have them go bad within two days, but there is a solution to that: You can grow your own. If you're thinking that sounds easier said than done, then you probably haven't heard about indoor hydroponic gardens yet.

With a hydroponic garden, you can grow fresh herbs and veggies without having a green thumb or space to do. Yup, these little gardens can thrive in even the tiniest of apartments. A hydroponic garden uses water and plant 'food' made up of nutrients and other good things to help your plants thrive even indoors. Some of them even include LED lights that simulate sunlight, though others require you to purchase those separately.

You don't need to invest much time in this new hobby, either hydroponic gardens are relatively low maintenance. So yeah, growing your own food really is that easy. If this sounds like a dream to you, order one of these top-rated indoor hydroponic gardens ASAP.

The Aerogarden is a standout hydroponic garden for its ease of use. Just look at its control panel to know when it's time to add water or feed it some plant food. The garden comes with a six-pod seed kit, including genovese Basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil and mint.

This hydroponic garden features three growing modes, so that you can customize the amount of hours of light your plants are getting. It can handle up nine plants at a time, and the height of the light can be adjusted to accommodate your growing veggies.

You can use the GrowLED plant garden to grow several types of plants from succulents to leafy vegetables. It's designed with a smart timer that provides your plants with 16 hours of light to promote photosynthesis, and turns the LED lights off the other eight hours to let the plants rest.

If you're looking for a hydroponic garden big enough to feed your whole family, consider this one from Gardyn. It can grow up to 30 plants and takes up just two square feet. You can buy the pods straight from Gardyn, and they include all kinds of greens, flowers, and veggies.

Grow up to nine plants in this hydroponic garden that's compact enough to sit on your kitchen counter or windowsill. The LED lights are automatically regulated to ensure the best growing conditions for your herbs or veggies.

Though this garden can be used outdoors, just purchase the glow rings (sold separately) to use it indoors. They'll ensure your plants get enough 'sunlight.' Once you plant your seedlings, caring for them takes less than five minutes a week, since the garden is self-watering and self-fertilizing.

To use this salad garden kit indoors, just add some LED grow lights over it. The hydrofarm can grow fresh greens using minimal water and no electricity.

This indoor hydroponic garden is a fun one because it doubles up as a a fish tank, and a garden you can grow microgreens in. The fish waste fertilizes the plants, while the plants clean the water.


What is Hydroponics for Beginners?

Hydroponic growing is not reserved only for the advanced gardener or for commercial farms. In fact, hydroponics for beginners is a popular topic online. Anyone can grow their plants hydroponically, even if they don’t yet fully understand what that means.

“Hydroponics” refers to any method of growing plants without soil, using simply mineral nutrient solutions and water. Plants can grow with their roots directly submerged in mineral solution, or you can use perlite, gravel, or other medium.


If you let your hydroponics setup and the area around it become messy and dirty, you may increase the risk of spreading disease or pests to your hydroponic system.

Part of the cleaning process is to stop algae, diseases and pests from being able to establish themselves in your system. Whilst some people do run systems specifically designed to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria, I think for most home hydroponics setups, it is better to avoid the pathogenic organisms, by regularly cleaning your system and surrounding area.


8 Dangers of Gardening with Hydroponics

Although hydroponics present a gardener with the possibility of much better plant growth, there are dangers associated with it. Here we take a look at some of the risks that are associated with this kind of gardening technique. In hydroponic farms, plants are grown without soil.

1. Electricity and Water

Electricity and water are dangerous if they are combined, and hydroponics gardening often uses both resources in close proximity. It is vital that you are aware at all times of where your power leads are in relation to the water supply. This is especially important if you have a system that moves the lighting to simulate a natural day. It is equally important that you are very careful when performing any electrical maintenance, as the strength of an electric shock is intensified by wet skin.

2. Water Leaks

You should check for water leaks in the system at least once a week. It is possible for a leak to create major problems for your property if not detected and fixed early.

3. Non-Food-Grade Plastics

Setting up a hydroponic garden can be relatively expensive, but the importance of using food-grade plastics is often underestimated. Using non-food-grade plastics as an economy measure could contaminate your food crops because dangerous chemicals can leach out of the plastics and into the growing fruits or vegetables.

4. Salmonella

Although water may be circulating in some hydroponics systems, the bulk of it is static. Salmonella grows quickly in still water and is not always easy to detect. The problem gets intensified when you use chemicals to get rid of microorganisms in your stagnant garden water.

5. Pathogens

The high moisture content of the air around hydroponically grown plants encourages molds and other plant pathogens to grow and spread quickly. This can be avoided to a great extent by paying proper attention to ventilation, especially when plants are in flower or fruiting and are more vulnerable.

6. Pests

Just as pathogens are encouraged by the damp atmosphere, so are plant pests like spider mites. Spider mites are minuscule, breed prolifically and drain the sap from leaves. Fungus gnats can do enormous damage to root systems. Thrips also drain sap from leaves and scrape the surface off them. You will have to be aware of insect pests and use specific insecticides against them rather than a broadband insecticide.

7. Power Outages

As the nutrients supply in a hydroponic garden is powered by electricity, an outage could be detrimental to the garden. If an outage occurs, and lasts for a considerable period of time, the plants may die out if a supplementary system of nutrition is not implemented. It becomes essential to have such alternative supplies on-the-ready, which increases the costs of setting up such a garden.

8. Have the Right Knowledge

The hydroponic technique is intriguing, however there are several dangers in setting up a hydroponic garden without the right knowledge. Since electricity is involved, the problems may get compounded. If you are planning to have a hydroponically powered garden, you need to do a lot of research first.


Watch the video: 5 Best Indoor Hydroponic Gardening Systems for Your Home


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