Do you love gardening? There is nothing quite like going out to your own garden and picking fresh ripe vegetables for your daily meals. If you love gardening as much as I do, then you probably feel a little sad when it all comes to an end each fall.
Well. I have found a way to have fresh vegetable growing all year by growing them with indoor hydroponic systems. It takes a little work to get set up, but then so does traditional gardening.
Hydroponics means soilless gardening. That’s right. You can grow lush healthy plants and vegetables without any soil whatsoever. Hydroponics actually is not new technology. I has been in use many years on the commercial and research levels. It has only been the past few years that hydroponic systems have taken off in the home use sector. Now you can buy indoor hydroponic systems in kits so it is easier to get set up.
There are actually several different ways to grow plants with an indoor hydroponic system. Soil is not used, but other growing material is. This material may be water, gravel, sand, or vermiculite. Water needs to be able to flow through the medium so the more porous it is, the better it will be for they plants to grow. One could even use bran, moss or coconut fiber as a medium for indoor hydroponic systems.
The lifeblood of indoor hydroponic systems is the nutrient solution which is added to the water and bathes the roots. The nutrient solution was first developed in the 1890s and continues to be used today. It contains phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, and trace minerals. This nutrient solution is used in the place of fertilizer.
The fun thing about indoor hydroponic systems is that you can design and build your own system if you want. If that sounds like too much trouble you can buy parts or entire kits. When you design your own system you can use whatever is available to you such as an old aquarium which can be used as a tank for the nutrient solution.
In addition to the tank or the reservoir, you will also need artificial lighting. Lighting that is specifically designed for growing plants, or grow lights, should be used. These can be obtained easily at any garden shop.
You will also need an air pump to maintain the proper levels of oxygen in the nutrient solution for the plant roots. An aquarium air stone works just fine. Anything can be used that aerates the water and makes bubbles.
A growing tray or tubes are needed to support your plants. Design them in such a way that the plant roots can hang below the tray to come into contact with the nutrient solution.
The easiest thing to do is to buy a kit that has all the indoor hydroponic system parts in one easy package. This is especially helpful if you know little about designing and building things, particularly hydroponics systems. Once you see the system in action and have a good grasp of how it all comes together, you may want to design your own system from then on.
If you are wondering what types of plants can be grown in indoor hydroponic systems, you will be pleased to know that you can grow anything you want from tomatoes, to mushrooms, to green vegetables, and anything else you want to try.