Hydroponic gardening is a method you can use to grow plants without putting them in soil. Instead of using soil, you use water with a mineral nutrient solution and pebbles or netting to anchor the plants. The key to this type of gardening is that dirt is not necessary in order to grow plants.
Hydroponic gardening, also known as “soilless gardening” works by using a controlled environment to provide plants with the water, minerals, and sunlight that they need in order to grow. The plants are held upright with the support of either some sort of netting or pebbles. You then submerge their roots in a reservoir containing water and a nutrient-rich solution. Next you will hook up devices to the reservoir to periodically drain the water and add new water and nutrients.
Hydroponic gardening is advantageous primarily because it costs you less to produce plants. You don’t need to buy soil, and you can re-use the water since it has not been absorbed in the soil. You also have more control over the nutrients used, which can lead to lower nutrition costs. The containers are also more mobile, which makes it easier to get rid of diseases and pests. Hydroponics produces plants that are healthier and that use fewer pesticides, while the space requirements for this method of gardening are considerably less than gardening with soil.
Home Hydroponics Gardener
You will find that hydroponics saves time and money as well as space. There are no hard and fast rules for water gardening, and you, as the home hydroponics gardener, can use a wide variety of ways and types of equipment. You can even buy hydroponic kits that provide instructions and all the equipment you need to get started. You may also choose to build your own hydroponics setup and experiment with what works best for you. Of course, this trial and error method take time and patience as you experiment with growing plants hydroponically.
The use of hydroponics in commercial agriculture has grown significantly around the world in the past several years. Farmers have found hydroponics to be less expensive, more productive and easier to maintain than traditional soil-based growing methods. While hydroponic farming is not prevalent in the United States, there are some countries where it is fairly common. Countries with significant commercial hydroponic production include Israel, Holland, England, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
Hydroponic gardening and farming are generally used interchangeably. However, as with traditional soil-based methods, “gardening” usually refers to someone who raises crops for their use, while “farming” usually refers to a more extensive production where one is growing to market the produce. In the same way, hydroponic gardening does tend to be on a smaller scale than hydroponic farming.
Depending on the materials that you use for building and maintenance, your hydroponic garden may be organic. The hydroponic method of gardening actually helps you avoid using pesticides, which is a major aspect of organic gardening. In fact, hydroponics generally has guidelines that are stricter than organic gardening, resulting in produce that may actually be healthier than standard organic gardening practices.