Hydroponic Gardening: Introduction
Many of our customers that come to visit us here at Victory Hydro Gardening are quite familiar with hydroponics, however we still get plenty of people dropping by that may have heard of the term but are not familiar with what it actually is and how it works. The following blog entry is to help our customers and other curious gardeners to educate themselves and discover the possibilities of growing plants hydroponically.
Basically, hydroponics is a method of growing plants in water without soil. By introducing the mineral nutrients required for plant growth to the plants’ water supply, the plants root system can readily absorb the nutrients without the use of an organic soil. The plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as sand, peat, orchid bark, gravel, rockwool, hydroton, coconut husk, perlite and vermiculite. There are two main types of hydroponics: solution culture and medium culture. Solution culture does not use a solid medium for the roots, just the nutrient solution. Medium culture however has a solid medium for the roots to grow into using one or more of the mentioned inert medium types listed previously. There are also a number of different techniques that are available to the hydroponic gardener. Each technique will work as well as the other, however, there are variables to consider. Plant species and the amount of garden space available will need to be taken into account before deciding which hydroponics method would be a good solution for your specific needs. Some of the more popular hydroponics techniques include Aeroponics, Ebb and Flow (flood and drain), Deep Water Culture (DWC) and Bubbleponics. I will be going over the different techniques in much greater detail in the near future. But, for now, let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to become a hydroponic grower and why you might want to do it.
There are a number of reasons why one might want to become a hydroponic grower. The world’s population is growing exponentially and our resources are being used up at an ever more alarming rate. With less land space available and less clear water at our disposal it might be a good idea for us to start thinking about how to responsibly and economically feed our growing numbers. This is where hydroponic gardening can become a very valuable commodity and indeed for some it already has. The main advantages are clear as hydroponically produced goods require less square footage per plant to grow properly and amazingly require up to 90% less water than traditional gardening. Secondary advantages include little to no pesticide or herbicide usage and little to no chemical fertilizer runoff impacting the water table. It is also easier to harvest and with the use of a tightly controlled greenhouse for maximum efficiency, premium products can be grown practically anywhere in the world, regardless of temperature and growing seasons.
This is all extremely important and it paints a pretty big picture. The good news is there are already people taking up this task. The even better news is you don’t have to be a scientist or a commercial farmer to enjoy the benefits of growing your own hydroponically produced goods. It can be simpler than you think to get started, providing you and your family and friends with all that you could need year round. The basic needs for the hydroponic farmer are not going to be that much different than that of a traditional garden. Your hydroponic plants’ basic requirements are mineral nutrients, oxygen, water and light. The only main differences between hydroponics and soil gardening are the types of nutrients used and the type of medium used. Once you get an understanding of these minor differences and your plants’ basic needs then you are well on your way to becoming a successful hydroponic gardener.
Please tune in next week for a continuation on what it takes to grow successfully using hydroponics. I will be covering in more detail the different types of hydroponic systems, why hydroponic nutrients are different than traditional fertilizers and what are some of the variables in environmentally controlling your hydroponic environment such as ph levels, temperatures, and light levels.
If you would like to learn more about hydroponics quicker then please feel free to swing by Victory Hydro Gardening located in Louisville, Colorado or call us at 1-855-54-HYDRO. You are welcome and encouraged to talk to one of our expert employees face to face where we pride ourselves on customer service and long term customer relations. In addition we will have a variety of different and simple-to-use home-based hydroponic systems on sale now through the end of January to help you get started.
Thanks for tuning in and happy gardening!