Hydroponic Gardening for Beginners

When I was a kid, my folks had a backyard garden. We usually had fresh lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and an assortment of other vegetables. My mother also enjoyed canning the veggies we couldn’t eat or give away.

When I grew up and found myself living in an apartment, I decided that since I didn’t have a back yard, I would investigate another way to grow some vegetables. My investigation took me into the world of Hydroponics.

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without the benefit of soil. There are different types of hydroponic gardening. Some use a liquid growing medium while others use various types of soil substitutes such as Rockwool, Clay Pellets, Vermiculite, and grow stones.

From all the reading I did on the internet on starting up a hydroponics garden, I found that I did not need a lot of space. I had an extra bedroom in my apartment that I was using for storage, so I moved out some boxes and got myself set up.

I found a starter kit form an outfit called Greentrees Hydroponics (http://www.hydroponics.net/items/details/multiflow.asp ) and got a 12 pot kit. This system uses gravity to move the water and nutrients through the system. It has a 3.5 gallon control unit that you can set up on a timer to water your plants on a schedule.

Setting up the system turned out to be easy as well. I had to lay out the 12 pots the way I wanted and then connected all the tubing, which was included with the system. Then you plug in the system to an electrical outlet, and it will water the plants on the time you have set up. The plants will be watered for 15 minutes as opposed to 30 on other systems. It turns out that the 15 minutes is plenty. You don’t want your roots to get waterlogged!

The system is self contained, and the water and nutrients come from the 55 gallon reservoir intot he control unit, and to the plants, and back again.

This system doesn’t take up a lot of room, and only costs about $569.00.  Growing plants without soil gives me the advantage of not having the fungus, and weeds that can often be found in even the best potting soils. Growing plants in the dirt of your back yard is a gamble too.

When the plants began to grow, I was really surprised at how big they got as quickly as they did. The yield on the hydroponically grown plants was also quite a bit more.

To recap, you can grow plants just about anywhere, anytime, by using a Hydroponics System.