Setting Up a Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponic gardening is the practice of growing plants in water.  This soil less gardening method has been used in ancient times in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Floating Gardens of China.  Since then, some other countries, like Holland and Germany have successfully commercialized hydroponic gardening.

Hydroponic gardening is preferable to traditional soil planting because plants grow 30-50% faster and yield more produce.  Part of this is because plants grow in an oxygen rich environment since oxygen is in the water and the environment, which encourages root growth.  In addition, because nutrients are added to the planting medium, plants are able to better absorb the nutrients over time in a way that is not possible in traditional soil planting.  Since nutrients are easier to take up the plant wastes less energy trying to find the nutrients and break them down as food for the plant.  In addition, hydroponic plants have fewer funguses, disease and bug infestations all while using less water than soil planting.

If you want to begin hydroponic gardening, you will have to select a growing medium.  Choices include perlite, vermiculate, sand and shale.  Supplies are available at most nurseries and home improvement stores.  Supplies can also be purchased online.  You will also need nutrient solution.

Finally, you will need to choose whether you will use an active or passive system.  Active systems rely on a pump to circulate the water and nutrient solution while a passive system relies on the plants’ root system to pick up the nutrients.  Systems can be purchased as a kit or built at home to your specifications.  To reduce frustration, beginners might want to consider purchasing a kit from a hydroponic supply store.

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