The word “Hydroponics” derives from two Greek words that combined mean, “working water.” Simply put, Hydroponics is the process of growing in water without using soil. (read more)
When using hydroponics for gardening, you are providing the essential four things plants need to grow through an alternative means. The first item needed is light, normally provided by the sun in a wide spectrum of color. The other three items are water, nutrients, and an anchor or growth medium. The last three are normally provided through the soil, not from the soil, meaning the soil is not really essential. With hydroponics you must use an alternative mean to provide all of these four items for your plants to grow.
The light provided by the sun can easily be replace by grow lights. Grow lights come in many shapes, sizes, types, and in all of the needed color spectrums for plants to grow properly. Many accessories are available to make you lighting more efficient such as light reflectors and air-cooled systems. Remember, when deciding which lighting your garden will require you must consider the needs of your plants.
The soil provides an anchor for your plants roots to hold on to. With hydroponics, you will have to replace this anchor with an alternative medium to provide your plants with support. There are many alternatives available on the market such as sand culture, gravel culture, or rockwool.
Nutrients are mixed within your water and supplied to your plants through water pumps that keep the water circulating. There are many combinations of nutrients and additives to choose from which give you complete control over what your plants receive for nutrition.
There are two methods of hydroponics, medium culture and the solution method. With medium culture you provide an alternative anchor for your plants with products listed above. In the solution culture there is no medium and therefore you no longer need to worry about disposing of it. Also with solution culture you get greater control over the rootzone as the roots are visible to you.
No matter which way you decide to setup your hydroponics garden, you will be able to grow plants just about anywhere. You create the controlled environment by providing light, nutrients and water to your plants and they grow. This allows not only growing plants in any region, but you can now grow plants all year long.
The best part is with you controlling the environment; there is no worry of pollutants, depleted soil, drought, or freezing temperatures. Your plants stay healthy and provide you with healthy foods in return. Build your own garden today and start producing your own homegrown food.