Hydroponic gardening is the type of plant-growing method that doesn’t need soil at all. In this growing practice, the root system is supported by a soilless medium while giving access to a continuous supply of nutrient-rich water. Growing plants in a hydroponic way has substantial benefits. It does not require fertile land. This plant-growing method allows you to produce food from anywhere, anytime.
When it comes to the latest hydroponic technology in farming, we can say that it helps in growing and harvesting various varieties of plants. It works with an ideal concept related to the agricultural sector, which usually faces problems finding new fertile land for crop production. It enables crops to be grown in greenhouses or multi-level buildings.
The best part about hydroponic gardening requires fewer resources. Hydroponics is estimated to use about 95% less water than other traditional forms of open-field farming.
Plants require proper sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow and bloom. They get essential nutrients from the soil, but in the case of hydroponic technology, the basis is rooted in growing food with nutrient-enriched water. Based on the hydroponic system, plants' roots are placed directly with dissolved nutrients or in a suitable growing medium like perlite, coconut fiber, peat moss, and clay pebbles. Here, your plants receive all the vital nutrients they require to grow, survive, and thrive.
- The yield of the plant is greater when grown through this method
- A plant's growth rate is about 30-35% faster compared to a soil plant when grown in similar conditions
- The extra oxygen in this growing medium helps stimulate growth in plants
- Plants with sufficient oxygen levels help absorb nutrients in a faster way
- Hydroponic plants require little energy to find and break down food
- It makes use of saved energy to grow fast and produce more fruit
- No need for weeding or crop rotation
- You can grow plants anywhere around the year
Below are significant ways to successful gardening:
1. Pick the Right Hydroponic Method & Medium
With so many available options, it isn’t easy to pick the most suitable hydroponic growing method. Each method has its pros and cons, so it is suggested to study it carefully before deciding to go with it. Next comes the growing medium based on preference as each medium differs from the others. Some may have varying pH balances, or have excellent water retention capabilities, or would be easy to set up. Choose a growing medium that best suits your requirements.
2. Water Quality
Before you water hydroponic plants, you should check the quality of the water supply to ensure correct pH levels. The recommended pH level should be anywhere between 5.5 and 6.5, which can be measured with a pH meter or strips. EC (electrical conductivity) water levels define its ability to dissolve salts and other types of chemicals. It should be checked to ensure your plants receive the essential minerals and nutrients they require from the water. The temperature of the water should be between 68°F and 72°F, and it can be used with a heater or chiller.
3. Balanced Nutrients
The hydroponic nutrient solution comprises all the essential elements that plants usually get from the soil. Nutrients are highly concentrated and come in liquid or powder form. Similar to the soil, hydroponic systems should be fertilized in the best manner. To properly feed your plants, make sure you understand the nutrients you’ve decided to use to grow hydroponic plants. If you are planning to mix different nutrient brands to feed your plants, you should calculate doses carefully to avoid over- or under-feeding problems to your plants.
4. pH Range
Hydroponic plants can grow within a pH range of 5.8 to 6.8, which is usually considered optimal. The pH in a hydroponic system is easy to check compared to the pH range of soil. The testing processes for pH are an easy and indispensable part of a hydroponics system. You can use pH-testing kits, which can be used to check pH once every week.
5. Clean the System Regularly
If the hydroponics system is contaminated and remains unclean, it will not serve your purpose. The cleaning procedure in a hydroponic gardening system is a pivotal part of growing plants. It helps in keeping the whole system free of diseases and pests. You should completely sterilize the entire grow room and clean the nutrient solution reservoir.
6. Set a Proper Schedule
You should set a proper schedule to let your plants grow at their best. For instance, when it comes to growing hydroponic plants, you can consider hanging a whiteboard on note tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You can leave notes to check on the growth process of plants or nutrient-exceeding signs. Stay motivated with routine tasks and schedules, and your hydroponic garden will reward you with a large harvest of beautiful crops.
Over to You
To maintain a healthy growing environment for hydroponic plants, use good water quality, implement the best quality fertigation system and select an effective growing medium along with the best suitable hydroponic method. Also, by maintaining the pH range and regularly cleaning the system, you can carry hydroponic gardening indoor or outdoor.
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