On this occasion we will learn how to build a hydroponic garden and a good hydroponics system for beginners that you can easily build at home or in the yard. A water medium hydroponic plant technique is intended for beginners who want to start planting hydroponic crops and want to start to grow a hydroponic vegetable such as chilies, water spinach, tomatoes and others. This article will discuss the hydroponic technique that requires no equipments or materials that are difficult to obtain, but we are going to utilize what is we already have around us such as plastic bottles and other simple planting media.
Before we discuss more about how to build a hydroponic garden at home or yard, It’s good you know first what is hydroponic cultivation. In a simple review of the origin of the words, the hydroponic cultivation definition means a method of cultivation without the use of soil medium, but utilizing the water/nutritious mineral solution, which are needed by the plants, and other materials, such as coir fiber, minerals, sand, shards of tile/brick, sawdust, etc as a soil replacement.
Below are some of the advantages and reasons why you should learn the hydroponic technique:
Hydroponic cultivation is proved efficient in comparison with conventionally planted above the ground technique, because you do not need to water the plants every day as the plant’s container already accommodate the nutrient solution or the mineral solution which are needed by the plants, so all we have to do is monitoring and controlling it.
- Hydroponic cultivation can maximize a limited land because it does not require large land, even the media can be created by plant-floor.
- Hydroponic cultivation proved to be environmentally friendly because it does not use pesticides which can damage soil, only use 1/20 water compared to conventional planting methods, and is able to reduce CO2 as it is not necessary to use tools with engines.
- Hydroponic plants do not damage the soil because it does not use the soil medium and also they do not require a vast plantation ground.Hydroponic crops can be edible in its entirety, including the root because it is free from dirt and pests.
- You can easily check the plant’s roots to control its growth.
- Faster plant growth and quality of crops can easily be controlled.
- Growing hydroponic plants a is not depending on the season, because the hydroponic methods allow us to plant the crops any in any seasons.
- Hydroponics methods can reduce/conserve the use of fertilizer.
- Hydroponic cultivation does not need a lot of energy.
- The hydroponic cultivation environment tends to be more clean than the cultivation on the ground.
- Hydroponic plants rarely have problems with pests and plant disease which are caused by the bacteria, Nematode worms and grubs that usually are found in the ground soil.
- Hydroponic plant farm grounds are more flexible, they can be planted anywhere inside the house or in the yard which are already paved.
You may also want to read more about hydroponic systems in this article: 6 Homemade Hydroponic Systems
There are two simple techniques that will be discussed in this article, namely a hydroponic system wick (representing static solution techniques) and hydroponic system NFT (representing the flow solution techniques). First, we will discuss the wick hydroponics system.
Wick Hydroponics System
Wick hydroponic systems are great hydroponics systems for beginners, it is a hydroponic system that uses wicks that is plugged into the planting medium/pot plant that have a function to “pull” nutrient solution from the reservoir to the growing medium. Rockwool growing medium is used to absorb the nutrient solution which is transferred by the flannel cloth, so that the roots of the young plants can absorb the nutrient solution from the Rockwool. When the plant roots grow, then the roots will come out of Rockwool and propagate through the flannel towards the nutrient solution at the bottom and suck the nutrient solution directly. This system is the most convenient, and cheap, and very suitable for beginners or indoor plant hobbyists. Materials needed: 600 ml size bottles. The planting medium: Rockwool, suggested alternative: Dacron, cotton rolls, foam, or a roll of flannel. Wicks: could use a stove wick/flannel fabric that can absorb water.
How To Make A Simple Hydroponic Growing Media
- Cut the mineral water bottles into 2 parts;
- Make holes on the bottle neck on each two sides with solder or a heated nail;
- Input the wick/the flannel pieces lengthwise through the two holes previously made;
- Attach the upper part of the bottle upside down into the bottom part of the bottle;
- Simple Hydroponic growing media are ready to use.
The next step of preparing the seed plants will we plant. For exercise I recommend to get started with hydroponic vegetable plants that are easy to grow as Chinese cabbage or lettuce.
How To Sow The Seeds Of Hydroponics Use Rockwool
- Cut the Rockwool into pieces each measuring 2.5 x 2.5 cm.
- Dampen the each Rockwool piece with water by means of splash or spray so that the rockwools are not too wet. Place each rockwools on a tray or plastic boxes.
- With a toothpick, make a hole in the center of each rockwools with a depth of about 2 mm.
- Enter the seed of the plant into each hole.
- Cover the container with a black plastic bag and place it in the shade or dark place.
- For vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and lettuce, usually the sprout/the seeds will be broken in 1-2 days.
- At the time the seed was broken, expose the seeds containing containers immediately under the morning sun until noon. Etiolation can occur when the seeds are not exposed to the sun immediately.
- Do this every day. Add the water or spray the water to keep the Rockwool wet and moist.
- You will know when the seeds are ready for planting when the true leaves are starting to grow. At this point the plants are ready to be moved into hydroponic medium to get extra nutrients in addition to water and sunlight.
Hydroponics nutrients should be already prepared, at the time of the seed crop was ready to be removed from the sowing medium to the growing medium.
How to move the Seeds into Hydroponic Growing Media
- Prepare bottles, which were made before. Fill the bottom of the bottle with a nutrient solution.
- Move the Rockwool containing plants that already have four leafed to the inside of the top part of the bottle that is already filled with flannel.
- Attach the two parts of the bottle.
Hydroponic Plant Care
- When the plant grows bigger, the nutritional needs are also getting bigger. For example, in the early growing stage, the nutrient mixture is; 5 ml + 5 ml + 1 Lt, for the second week raise the nutrient mixture to 6ml + 6ml + 1, and so on until the plants are ready to harvest.
- Don’t let the nutrient solution at the bottom of the bottle is empty.
- A bottle containing a nutrient solution is vulnerable to the moss due to exposure to sunlight. To prevent the moss attack, cover the bottom of the bottle with the dark colored paper. Or paint it with dark colored paint.
- You can also clean the moss at the time of changing the nutrition solution to the fresh one.
- I hope you can find this article helpful and you can take this method, for example, of course, there are so many alternatives you can practice and try to build your own hydroponic garden. This is just one methods from many methods on how to build a hydroponic garden that’s suitable for beginners.