6 Hot tips for starting a hydroponic garden this summer
As South Africans become more conscious of green and sustainable living, hydroponic farming is gaining popularity because of its many benefits. Not only is hydroponic farming healthier, but it also uses fewer resources and produces higher yields.
But what is hydroponic gardening? It is a way of growing plants without soil where the crops grow directly in nutrient-rich water. It allows producers to provide food anyplace in the world, at any season of the year, and to net higher output with fewer resources, and it requires less space than conventional farming.
Hydroponics is not limited to mass production in agriculture. Anyone can build a hydroponic system to provide fresh vegetables. All you need is fresh water, good root support for your plants, light, the right nutrients or 'plant food', and of course, an easy-to-assemble Hydroponics Home Kit.
Here are five hot tips for starting your hydroponic system for growing vegetables this summer.
Know the Elements of Hydroponics
Different hydroponic systems have distinct components but practically all systems will have a nutrient tank, a pump to distribute water and keep it fresh, and places to keep the plants and growing medium. You will get a complete set of instructions with your Hydroponic Home Kit, so all you need to do is read them before venturing on to construct them.
Understand the Growing Medium
The growing medium is an indispensable element of the hydroponic system. It is a soil replacement but does not store nutrition. The main purpose of the growing medium is to provide the roots with ventilation and acts as an anchor that supports the weight of the plant.
Establish a Watering Plan
The watering plan relies on various factors, so you want to tailor it according to your specifications. You should set the watering plan by plant type, size, the type of growing media, and the position of the plant.
Add Nutrients to the Water
In conventional gardens, soil gives the plants nutrients to grow. In a hydroponic system, nutrition is administered separately by a nutrient solution that you need to combine with water and pour into the media.
Plants cannot survive without light and the most reliable source of light is the sun. Be sure you put your hydroponics system in a position with a healthy amount of sunlight. You will need to recognise the plant species before you decide on the positioning.
The Best Plants to Start Growing
The five best plants to grow in a hydroponic system are lettuce, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers, and herbs. Producers have observed that these plants take to hydroponics like a duck to water. They are long-lasting, fast-growing and do not require a lot of work to get started.
Now that you know a little bit more about growing your vegetables in a hydroponic system, I hope you will join the growing community of hydroponic home-producers this summer.