This article is a complete guide to starting an Indoor Hydroponics System. If you want to build an indoor hydroponics system, it is very easy. We will help you learn about the different types of hydroponic systems so you can easily understand which hydroponic system will benefit you. Here you’ll learn about the tools you need to start your first hydroponic grow system, where to find them, how much they cost, and how to use them.
Keep reading to learn how to start a hydroponics System.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:
- What is hydroponic?
- What are the six types of hydroponics?
- How to design an incredible indoor and outdoor hydroponic garden
- Lots more to starting an Indoor Hydroponics System
So if you want to set up your hydroponic garden, you’ll love this guide. Let’s dive right in.
- What is Hydroponics?
- History of Hydroponics?
- Why Hydroponics?
- Cons of Hydroponics?
- Should you Endeavor Hydroponics?
- What to Consider Before Starting Hydroponics?
- Who Should or Shouldn’t Start a Hydroponic Garden?
- Choosing A Proper Location for Your Hydroponic Garden
- What Supplies Do You Need for hydroponics systems?
- Type of Hydroponic Gardens
- Growing Different Plants in Hydroponics
- Tips and Tricks for Successful Growing in hydroponics systems
- The Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a novel technology for growing plants in water. Nutrient solutions of different mixtures, depending upon the nature of the plant, are then added to water, from time to time, to grab higher yields. This means hydroponics is a type of gardening that uses no soil. Thanks to the efficiency of the system, plants grown in a hydroponic system can achieve rapid growth rates and produce large yields, making it an attractive option for outdoor growers and home gardeners alike.
This type of gardening is becoming increasingly popular among hobbyists and geeks because it takes up less space, is trouble-free, and is less expensive than traditional gardening. If you are interested in starting your own hydroponic garden, there are a few things you need to know. In this out-and-out guide, we will cover everything from choosing the right plants to setting up your garden. And you can know everything to start the best Indoor Hydroponics System.
History of Hydroponics?
This type of gardening was first practiced by the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, who used it to grow crops on floating rafts on the Nile River. The word “hydroponics” comes from the Greek words “hydro” (water) and “ponos” (labor), meaning “working water.” Hydroponics gained popularity in the United States in the 1930s when scientists began experimenting with ways to grow plants in artificial environments. In 1954, Dr. William Gericke of the University of California, Davis, wrote a book called “Aeroponics,” which outlined his findings on how plants could be grown without soil. Gericke’s work led to the development of modern hydroponics systems. Today, hydroponics is used by hobbyists and commercial growers alike to produce crops indoors and in other difficult-to-grow environments. There are several different types of hydroponic systems, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Hydroponics, in many ways, is streets ahead against soil-based gardening. This method offers you a number of advantages over traditional gardening:
- faster growth rates, faster harvest
- smaller footprints, and
- less water and fertilizer usage.
Here are the top five benefits of hydroponics:
Hydroponic gives the best value for space consumed:
The best thing about hydroponics is that it uses less space. You can save up to 98% of space. It gives you an upper hand to set up hydroponic gardens and cultivate more and more of your favorite plants per unit area in small spaces, such as balconies or patios. This efficiency makes them ideal for people who live in apartments or modest homes. it is very valuable forIndoor Hydroponics System One good reason for hydroponics being space efficient is that the plants in typical gardening have to spread their roots and root hairs vertically and horizontally in search of water and nutrients. In doing so, they take up a lot of gardening space. But plants in hydroponics get all the essential nutrients from nutrient-rich water in their exact position. They don’t need to spread their roots in search of water, oxygen, and nutrients.
It is water efficient:
Hydroponics uses 80 to 90% less water than traditional farming practices. No doubt, plants in hydroponics are solely grown in water. But the plant’s roots don’t soak up all the water at once. When the water touches the exposed roots of hydroponically grown plants, they take in a small amount of water. The rest goes through a tied channel of pipes to the reservoir. Upon reaching the container, the unused water is replenished repeatedly with nutrients and reused for multiple cycles. Moreover, the water loss from evaporation is minimum. While on the other hand, we have typical soil-based agriculture. In this form of gardening, we have to apply water to the whole field. A substantial amount gets evaporated, and some part of it loses to other field factors leaving only 1% out of 100 to reach the roots of the plants. It’s startling to know how economical hydroponics is!
Allows effortless gardening:
Since there is no soil, there’s also no need to worry about weeds taking over your garden. And the hydroponics system is less likely to be affected by pests and diseases. No need for tilling, weeding, fertilizing, pests, and disease attacks makes hydroponics a true champion of indoor and outdoor gardening. This also rollbacks the cost of cultivating crops and frees up time for other hobbies. In truth, you can single-handedly control your small scale to the medium-sized hydroponic garden or Indoor Hydroponics System.
Hydroponic is independent of soil:
I want to introduce you to some specific soil terms here! Research shows that the organically rich topsoil has been swept away in the past 150 years. This means the workable soil on which cultivation was possible is no more available.
Sad news, indeed. It’s been due to soil erosion, nutrient degradation, salinity, compaction, and loss of soil structure.
What can we do about it? We have less soil to farm food on but an ever-increasing mouth to feed.
Luckily, we have the solution! And it’s hydroponics. So, with the help of hydroponics, we can feed 9 billion mouths.
It facilitates faster growth and produces healthy plants:
Plants grown in a hydroponic system grow up to 50% faster than plants grown in soil. Further, plants are less likely to be affected by pests and diseases than plants grown in soil. So, the high-tech Indoor Hydroponics System is a great choice if you’re thinking about farming round-the-year fresh produce for your friends and family.
Cons of Hydroponics?
One side of hydroponics shows us the bright side, while the other side is jam-packed with some noteworthy drawbacks. Therefore, it’s necessary to know the dark side of the high-tech gardening system to avoid surprises.
Expensive to build:
No brainer here. Hydroponics is money-consuming to build. The middle class has to empty their wallets and pockets to pay for the tools and essentials such as nutrient solutions, distilled water, and fertilizers. And on top of all that, you must sweat some extra blood to pay for the electricity bills.
Electricity is the main skeleton of high-tech gardens. Without it, you can’t even imagine hydroponics. Grow lights, water pumps, timers, aerators, and fans depend on electricity to run perfectly. In an untimely event of a power breakdown or shortage, your whole effort and money will go to the garbage.
Calls for continual intensive care and protection:
Hydroponics needs more oversight and micromanagement than conventional plant cultivation. All elements, including lighting, temperature, and several properties of the nutrient solution, such as pH and electrical conductivity, require ongoing supervision to create a precisely regulated growth environment. The nutritional solution must also be flushed and refilled regularly, and the system parts must be cleaned routinely to prevent accumulation and clogging.
Highly prone to water-based diseases:
Waterborne illnesses are far more common in hydroponically grown plants than in soil. Infections can spread swiftly across the growing system damaging the entire collection of plants because water is constantly moving through the system. A waterborne pathogen, such as a bacterium, can destroy all the plants in a hydroponics system within hours in extreme circumstances.
Plants at the risk of damage:
Soil shelters the roots from unpleasant temperature swings delays disease and insect infestation, and discharges and absorbs nutrients regularly. On the other hand, plants grown in a hydroponic culture react significantly faster to challenges like nutrient deficits and illness since there is no soil to act as a buffer.
Should you Endeavor Hydroponics?
Without a doubt, yes. Hydroponics as a new gardening hobby will give you new wings to produce fresh vegetables, herbs, and small fruits. As mentioned above, hydroponically grown plants provide better yields and a variety of additional advantages. Just keep an eye out for any hazards along the road.
What to Consider Before Starting Hydroponics?
Are you ready to give your best shot at high-tech gardening? Have you decided to try hydroponics at home? If your answer is a flat yes, then you’re good to go to try out hydroponics. But before you go into the specifics of hydroponics, it’s imperative to know certain things. In this section, I’ll guide you through those THINGS you should consider before setting out Indoor Hydroponics System at home.
Who Should or Shouldn’t Start a Hydroponic Garden?
This question needs a round-up thought. Hydroponic gardening is ideal for people who want to garden but don’t have enough space or time for traditional gardening. You shouldn’t start high-tech gardening without some prior basic knowledge or experience. If you want solid success with hydroponic farming, polish your skills, and read online sources such as blogs, internet sources, and research papers. To gain confidence in hydroponic farming, join community groups online. There are thousands of Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit groups, where piles of outstanding data are available. YouTube is a goldmine. Subscribe today to your favorite hydroponic gardening creators.
Choosing A Proper Location for Your Hydroponic Garden
It is critical to pick the correct location while considering large-scale or small-scale hydroponic farming. Choosing the right location involves indoor and outdoor spaces as well as whether to grow in a box, tent, or room. If you plan to grow in a room, it is preferable to have white walls or, at least, to cover them with Mylar, which reflects light to the plant’s surfaces.
What Supplies Do You Need for hydroponics systems?
You’re probably wondering what tools and supplies you’ll need to set up a properly working hydroponics system and how much each piece of equipment will cost you. In this section, I’ll show you what supplies you need to set up a properly functioning hydroponic system. As plants are living entities, they need four things to endure and blossom:
- An artificial or natural growing medium
- And nutrients
Let’s explore the elementary hydroponic tools necessary to offer all four key elements:
Growing Media or Substrate
Plant roots can’t sustain their root system without some proper support. So, soil works as a perfect supporting material in the typical style of agriculture. But what about hydroponics? How do plants grow to their maximum potential without the soil? In most hydroponic systems, a growing media that is soil-less is used to start seeds and root cuttings. The substrate provides vital support. Some common examples of substrates are:
- Coconut coir
- Agriculture grade perlite
- Expanded clay pellets
- And common pea gravel
The less growing media a system uses, the cheaper and less expensive it becomes. The following are the top qualities of a perfect growing media:
- It must maintain a balanced air-to-water ratio.
- It should aid in buffering pH variations over time.
- It must be readily flushed and re-wet after being entirely dehydrated, as can occur during storage.
- It should be reusable or biodegradable for proper disposal.
- It must be cheap and undemanding to get.
- It should be lightweight to use both indoors and outside.
Basic growing mediums:
- Coconut Coir: A perfect loose organic growing medium. In markets, you can find these by different trade names: Cocopeat, Ultrapeat, and Coco-tek. This medium is organic as they made it from shredded coconut husks. Why coconut husk? Because it protects plants from unfavorable conditions in the system, and on top of that, it’s a hormone-rich and fungus-free medium.
- Perlite: Perlite has existed far longer than any other soilless growing medium. Perlite, made of air-puffed glass pellets and near as light as air, has excellent oxygen retention. Its ability to keep oxygen is the main reason it’s used in soil-free cultures. The major disadvantage of perlite is its lightweight. This property makes it easy to get washed away.
- LECA: Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate is a strongly granulated growing medium. Some of LECAs common trade names include: Hydroton Geolite, and Grorox. They made LECA of stretched clay pellets that increase the surface and porosity area to store water. These pH-neutral, washable media are suitable for hydroponic systems.
- Rockwool: Rock wool is created by spinning molten rock into long, glass-like strands. These fibers are then compacted and marketed as “flocks” or sold loose. It readily soaks up and has good drainage capabilities, which is why it is extensively used as a seed starting medium and a rooting media for cuttings. The primary advantage of Rockwool, in my estimation, is its purity against infections and pretty about anything else that may corrupt a hydroponic system.
Have you ever wondered how plants make their food? Plants, being living entities, make their food through a process called photosynthesis. So, photosynthesis is a process through which plants make their food in the presence of light. In nature, plants get their light from sun rays. But, in indoor hydroponics, you must have alternatives to sunlight. Today, in markets, you can easily find High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights that work as a viable alternative. With these, you can grow multiple vegetables, herbs, and fruits. HIDs consist of lamps, reflectors, and power supply, and they provide a maximum output of photosynthetically active radiation for the amount of power consumed. Moreover, HID lighting systems will provide the proper amount and quality of light to produce spectacular results.
Plants also call for nutrients to flourish and prosper. In soil-based farming, plants get their necessary nutrients from the soil. But, in hydroponics, there is no soil. Then, without soil, how will plants get their proper nutrition? The nutrient solution is the essential product you’ll need, and it’s crucial to have a high-quality solution appropriate for the plants you’ll be growing.
As the term “hydroponics” implies, you’ll need water for your plants—a lot of it, all at once. While you will use less water in the long term than in soil gardening, the first time, you have to fill or refill the water basin. Before you fill up, check the natural pH of your water, and look for any minerals or chemicals that might hurt your plants. If your water has an unbalanced pH, you might consider purchasing purified, filtered water with a neutral pH. It will be easy to adjust the pH of filtered water to keep your plants healthy. Knowing about any water concerns will help you troubleshoot your plant health if any of your plants are experiencing growth challenges. You might wish to invest in a pH checker to make testing pH levels a simple chore that you can conduct frequently.
Once you’ve determined your water supply, you’ll need a basin (or reservoir) from which your plants may drink. Gardeners have used everything from domestic storage boxes to empty buckets to make these basins. For rapid water top-offs, use a basin that allows you to keep track of water use. The size of your basin will be determined by the size and quantity of plants you are cultivating. Each tiny plant requires half a gallon of water; medium plants call for one and a half gallons; giant plants demand two and a half gallons. Remember, this is the primary minimum. You can add extra if you’re happy with it.
pH testing kit
Measuring your plants’ pH level is crucial while caring for them, especially in a hydroponic system where the plants are constantly submerged in water. Several plants like different pH values, but a good starting point is 6.0 to 7.0. You can purchase a pH testing kit at any general shop to keep track of the pH level.
Several plants need a warm environment to thrive. As the weather changes outdoors, be sure you can easily alter the temperature of your grow area. The optimal temperature varies on the type of plant you are growing, although many plants enjoy temperatures in the mid-to-high 70°F range. To avoid shocking the plants, keep these temperatures consistent throughout the day and night. Next, don’t forget to note the temperature of the water in the basin. The water should be around room temperature, if not slightly warmer—between 65°F and 80°F.
Type of Hydroponic Gardens
In this section, we’ll take a deep look at six popular types of hydroponic gardens:
Wicking is one of the simplest and most common types of hydroponic systems. In a wicking system, plants are grown in a growing medium (usually perlite, vermiculite, or coco coir) that is saturated with nutrient solution. The growing medium is placed on top of a wick, which is then used to transport the nutrient solution to the roots of the plant. Benefits:
- Wicking systems are very easy to set up and maintain, making them a great option for beginners.
- They are also very efficient, using less water and nutrients than other types of hydroponic systems.
- Wicking systems can be less reliable than other types of systems, as they can be susceptible to drought and over-watering.
Ebb and Flow
Ebb and flow systems are one of the most common types of hydroponic gardens. They are simple to set up and maintain and can be used to grow a variety of plants. Ebb and flow systems consist of a growing tray, a reservoir, and a pump. The pump is used to circulate water from the reservoir to the growing tray. The growing tray is filled with a growing medium, such as gravel or perlite, and the plants are placed in the medium. The pump is turned on and off at regular intervals, typically every few hours. When the pump is turned on, water flows from the reservoir into the growing tray. The water then drains back into the reservoir when the pump is turned off. Benefits of Ebb and Flow:
- The main advantage of ebb and flow systems is that they provide a constant supply of fresh water to the roots of the plants. This helps to prevent root rot and provides optimal conditions for plant growth.
- Ebb and flow systems can be expensive to set up, especially if you need to purchase a pump and other equipment.
- These systems can be difficult to maintain, as the pumps and other moving parts are susceptible to breakage. If something does break, it can be difficult to repair without the help of a professional.
- The nutrient solution in an ebb and flow system can become quickly depleted due to the frequent watering cycles. This means that plants may not be getting the full range of nutrients they need for optimal growth.
Deep Water Culture
Deep water culture is a type of hydroponic gardening that involves suspending the roots of plants in a nutrient-rich solution. The plants are typically grown in a mesh basket or net pot, which allows their roots to evenly receive the solution. Deep water culture is an efficient way to grow plants because the roots are constantly being oxygenated and receiving nutrients. This system is also relatively easy to set up and maintain, making it a popular choice for home gardeners. Deep water culture offers many benefits to its growers such as:
- Increased yields – Deep water culture systems can produce larger yields than traditional soil-based gardens. This is because the plants have access to a constant supply of nutrients and moisture, which they can use to grow more quickly and vigorously.
- Reduced costs – Deep water culture systems are very efficient, and they can save you money on watering and fertilizing costs. You will also save time by not having to till or weed your garden beds.
- Enhanced root growth – The roots of plants grown in deep water culture systems tend to be longer and healthier than those grown in soil. This is because they have access to oxygen and nutrients that encourage root growth.
- Easy to set up and maintain – Deepwater culture systems are relatively simple to set up and maintain.
- Can be difficult to set up: Deep water culture systems can be difficult to set up and maintain. If you are not careful, the roots can become tangled, and the system can become clogged with debris.
- Regular Maintenance: Deepwater culture systems require regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly. You will need to check the water level and pH regularly, and you may need to add nutrients to the system on a regular basis.
- Limited Plant Growth: Deep water culture systems can only support a limited amount of plant growth. This is because the roots are submerged in water and do not have access to oxygen. As a result, plants that are grown in deep water culture systems tend to be smaller and less robust than plants that are grown in other types of hydroponic systems.
Nutrient Film Technique
Hydroponic gardens come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular types is the nutrient film technique (NFT). NFT systems use a thin film of water to deliver nutrients to the roots of plants. The plants are typically grown in plastic channels or tubes, and the water flows constantly over their roots. Major Benefits:
- NFT is a great option for those who want to grow hydroponically, but don’t have a lot of space. These systems can be set up on shelves or in other small spaces, making them perfect for apartments or small homes.
- NFT systems are also relatively simple to set up and maintain.
- If the nutritional water flow is interrupted, the roots will quickly dry out and become stressed.
- Plant loss can happen quickly, especially in hot weather when the water pump fails.
Aeroponics is a type of hydroponic gardening that uses a closed-loop system to grow plants in an airy, oxygen-rich environment. The roots of the plants are suspended in the air and misted with a nutrient-rich solution, providing them with everything they need to thrive. Major Advantages:
- Aeroponics is a great way to grow plants indoors without the need for soil or artificial light.
- This type of gardening is extremely efficient, using less water and nutrients than traditional methods.
- Plus, it’s perfect for those who want to get started with hydroponic gardening but don’t have a lot of space.
Major Disadvantages: There are a few potential disadvantages of aeroponics that you should be aware of before deciding if this type of gardening is right for you.
- One of the top disadvantages is the initial cost. Aeroponics systems can be relatively expensive to set up, especially if you want a large system.
- Another disadvantage is that aeroponics requires more maintenance than other gardening methods. The plants need to be misted regularly and the system needs to be monitored closely to ensure that everything is working properly.
- Finally, aeroponics can be messy. The mist from the plants can cause mold and mildew to form on surfaces near the system. If you have allergies, this might not be the best gardening method for you.
Hydroponic drip systems are one of the most popular types of hydroponic gardens. They are easy to set up and maintain and can be customized to fit any space. Drip systems work by slowly delivering nutrient-rich water to the roots of plants. The water is delivered through a system of tubes and emitters, which can be placed at the base of each plant or in a central location for multiple plants. Major Benefits:
- The main advantage of drip systems is their efficiency. Water is delivered directly to the roots, so there is very little evaporation or runoff. This means that less water is needed overall, which can save money on your water bill.
- Drip systems are ideal for small spaces, as they can be easily tucked away out of sight.
- They are also great for larger gardens, as they can be customized to meet the needs of any number of plants.
- Drip systems also have the added benefit of preventing root rot and other diseases that can occur when plants are overwatered. Because the water is delivered slowly and evenly, it prevents saturating the roots and allows them to dry out between watering cycles.
- Drip systems can be quite noisy, especially if they are turned on for long periods of time. If you have sensitive hearing, or if you live in an area where noise pollution is a concern, this may not be the best option for you.
Growing Different Plants in Hydroponics
Different plants have different hydroponic requirements, so it is important to research which plants you want to grow before setting up your system. Some plants do well in just about any Indoor Hydroponics System, while others require a more specific setup. Once you have an idea of which plants you want to grow, you can start planning your hydroponic garden.
There are many different ways to set up a hydroponic garden, so there is no one right way to do it. You will need to decide what type of system you want to use, what type of media you want to grow your plants in, and how you will provide nutrients to your plants. If you are new to hydroponics, it is best to start with a simple system that uses one type of media. You can always add more complexity to your system later on as you become more familiar with hydroponics.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Growing in hydroponics systems
If you’re thinking about starting a hydroponic garden, there are a few things you should know to ensure success. Here are some tips and tricks for successful growing:
- Choose the right location. Make sure your hydroponic garden is in a place where it will get plenty of light and ventilation.
- Start with the basics. Don’t try to grow too many different types of plants at once. Stick to a few basic varieties that you know will do well in hydroponics.
- Keep your system simple. There are many different types of hydroponic systems, but it’s best to start with a simple one that is easy to maintain.
- Be diligent about maintenance. Hydroponic gardens require more attention than traditional gardens, so be sure to check on your plants regularly and perform any necessary maintenance tasks.
- Have patience. It can take some time for plants to adjust to their new growing environment, so don’t give up if they don’t seem to be doing well at first. With a little time and care, your hydroponic garden will be thriving in no time!
The Bottom Line
It’s time to wrap up our discussion about hydroponics. But before you go away to create some magic in your indoor and outdoor gardens, I want to give you a quick recap about a few things you need to know. So, with hydroponics, everything starts with the best location. Choose your indoor or outdoor spot very carefully. Second, ensure you have enough space to accommodate your equipment and plants. Next, you’ll need to purchase the necessary supplies. As hydroponic gardens can be expensive to set up, be sure to do your research and find the best deals. Finally, you’ll need to plan out your garden carefully. Work out what plants you want to produce. And how you want to arrange them around your garden. With planning and effort, you can have a beautiful and bountiful hydroponic garden of your very own.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a technique of cultivating plants in water without soil. The nutrients that the plants need are delivered directly to their roots in the water. This allows the plants to grow faster and healthier than they would in soil.
Can I use hydroponics to grow fruits and vegetables?
Yes, hydroponics can be used to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. The key is to ensure that the plants have the proper nutrients and that the roots have access to enough oxygen.
What are the best vegetables for hydroponics gardening?
If you want to learn about the best vegetables for hydroponics gardening systems then you can read our next article https://indoorhydroponics.info/what-are-the-best-vegetables-for-hydroponics-gardening/
What is the process of hydroponics?
Hydroponics is an efficient way to grow plants without the use of soil. Water is used as the primary growing medium, and nutrients are added to the water to feed the plants. The plants are supported by growing media such as gravel, perlite, or coco air.
Can I use hydroponics for growing cannabis?
Yes, you can use hydroponics for growing cannabis. Hydroponics is an excellent approach to growing plants, involving cannabis. Cannabis grows well in hydroponic systems because it gets the nutrients it needs directly to its roots.
Can I use Indoor Hydroponics System?
Yes, you can use hydroponics indoors. Hydroponics is a great way to grow plants indoors without the need for soil. Plants grown in hydroponic systems can often be faster and larger than plants grown in soil. You can easily get your vegetables to create an indoor hydroponics system in your home