Hydroponics Made Easy!

So you’re interested in starting a hydroponics garden, but you need to know how are hydroponics made easy? After all, home gardening is supposed to be a fun activity, not a chore, and if this method of growing is going to be too complicated, you won’t be interested in doing it. Luckily, most hydroponics gardening systems are not too difficult to set up. Sure, they require a little more initial work than a traditional garden does, but once started, they’re much easier to maintain. Think of it this way: one of the great benefits of hydroponics is that only the plants you introduce to the system will grow in it. That means no weeding!

All by itself, that’s enough reason for a lot of us to want to grow hydroponically.

So let’s look at how hydroponics can be done without a lot of fuss or expense. The fastest way to get hydroponics made easy, of course, is to purchase pre-fabricated, ready-to-go growing systems that can be used almost right out of the box. This is the most expensive solution, but it eliminates most of the setup work and effort required to get started with hydroponics.

The less expensive, but more hands-on and labor-intensive way to set up a hydroponics garden is to build one yourself. For many, this is not much of a stumbling block and the many “how to” and “DIY” books on the subject can make it much easier. For the low budget hydroponics grower, this is the method of choice.

Whichever method you choose, you’re hydroponics system will be made up of four basic components: containers or trays for solution and plants, a circulation system for the nutrient solution, the nutrient solution itself (plus water), and a means of introducing or replicating sunlight. A basic hydroponics system provides the three things plants need to grow and thrive: nutrients, sunlight, and water.

A typical home hydroponics garden will consist of the above four elements set up in a place suitable for the system to operate and convenient to the gardener. Basements, closets, rooftop greenhouses, garages, and sheds are all popular choices. Most hydroponics systems will need running water and electricity conveniently close at hand and space for the gardener to work.

Most home hydroponics gardens are set up in basically this same way. To have hydroponics made easy for the gardener and enthusiast, the system will be put together and then run in generally the same setup. The following is an example of a common home hydroponics garden from setup to operation.

A Common Home Hydroponics Garden Example

For this example, the setup will involve the following parts: large “double window box” styled trays, a simple electric pump system to circulate, an infrared grow light, pre-mixed solution, and a rock wool medium.

The trays are set into place on a table or frame to hold them up off the floor for easier access to the gardener. The drain hole has a hose fitted to it to return the drained solution to a five gallon mixing bucket. Out of this bucket comes another hose, attached to the electric pump, to feed new solution to the other end of the beds, the solution moving through the beds themselves by gravity.

The bottom halves of the beds are filled with rock wool media to which the plants “attach” or root when planted in the beds. The solution is able to move freely through the medium and thus the roots of the plants, providing nutrients and draining off wastes.

The pre-mix is diluted in water into the five gallon bucket, leaving space to allow for additional mix and water to be added later. Periodically, the bucket will be dumped and a new solution started from scratch in order to remove the plant wastes and over-diluted solution and replace it with a fresh batch, keeping the plants healthier.

The light is plugged in and positioned over the plants so that it hits all of them. A small timer is used to turn the light on and off automatically in 18/6 hour intervals (18 hours on, 6 hours off).

Once this system is up and running, the only maintenance required is to check the plants regularly, periodically drain and replenish the nutrient solution, and to harvest the proceeds.

This typical setup is a fairly advanced, but not uncommon home “hydroponics made easy” garden.