Climate change is real, and the world has started realizing it. The unpredictability of weather has made it difficult for farmers to sustain and flourish using traditional ways of farming. This is why hydroponic farming has become extremely popular amongst professional as well as amateur growers across the world.
Hydroponic farming is a technique of growing vegetables and fruits without soil by creating a conducive environment that is suitable for their growth. The roots of the plants are submerged in a carefully mixed nutrient solution that provides them with the proper nutrients resulting in a faster and bountiful crop all year round.
Hydroponic systems are highly efficient, productive, and are easy to set up. All you need is proper hydroponic supply and basic knowledge to install an efficient hydroponic system at your home. The nature of these systems is that you don’t require a lot of space to set them up. They can be easily installed in your backyard, kitchen balcony, or even in a small room. Their soil-free nature makes them extremely tidy and easy to maintain.
So, if you wish to set up a hydroponic system at home, here’s how you can do it:
Begin with choosing the right plants
The first thing you must decide on is the kind of plants you wish to grow, which will determine the other things required to set up a home hydroponic system. Which hydroponic system you will set up, the lights, nutrient solution, the kind of environment you need to create, and the amount of space you need to dedicate will depend on the variety of plants you wish to grow.
If you are growing hydroponically for the first time, then starting with lettuce is ideal. Also, remember to use rapid rooter cubes for germinating the seeds as they accelerate their growth. Once the seeds have grown into healthy plants, you can shift them to your hydroponic system.
Choose the right hydroponic system
The next step is selecting the right hydroponics system for beginners. There are different kinds of hydroponic systems, and all of them are suitable for different plant varieties. So, take time to select the one that fits perfectly into your requirements.
Factors like the amount of space available, the variety of plants you wish to grow, your budget, and how much you want to produce will determine which hydroponic system you select. It is advisable to start with a small setup. You can expand the setup once you get experienced, gain the proper knowledge and understanding of these systems.
Select the right lights
The right kind of lights will be a major deciding factor on how well your crops grow. If you are setting up an outdoor hydroponic system, then sunlight will do the needful, but installing the right lights is imperative for indoor setups. Few important things to consider before buying the grow lights are the cost, light intensity, its spectrum, and how much area they cover.
Good quality lights will always help your plants grow better. Full-spectrum LED grow lights must be preferred as they provide the right kind of light from the sowing stage to the harvesting stage and are suitable for a wide variety of plants and fruits.
Know your grow medium
Grow medium is where your plants start growing, and these are important for a bountiful crop. When starting, clay pebbles are ideal as they are versatile and work well for a variety of plants. Even though which grow medium you should use will also depend on the type of your hydroponic system and the plants you grow, clay pebbles work well with almost all of them.
Purchasing the right nutrient solution
The nutrient solution is where the roots of the plants are submerged and provide the required nourishment to the plants. Any imbalance in the nutrient solution can hamper plant growth.
This is why it is important to understand what your plants require and choose the nutrient solution accordingly.
Most nutrient solutions available in the market come with the marking N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium). Their value must be according to the requirement of the plants. For example, if a plant requires more nitrogen to grow, the value of N should be higher. There are organic nutrient solutions available too in the market, and if you have the budget to spend slightly more, then choose an organic option for better results.
Invest in a pH meter
The pH level is extremely important for the regulated growth of your plants. Without maintaining the right pH value, your crop might not grow as expected. The pH level changes with a change in other factors like temperature, humidity, water, etc., and thus it is wise to invest in a pH meter. It will help you keep the pH level constant.
With the right equipment and hydroponic supplies, it becomes effortless to install a hydroponic setup for beginners. The key here is to plan well and understand the right requirements of your system. The idea is to start small and then expand to a bigger setup as you gain experience and enjoy an organic, bountiful crop round the year.