Hydroponics for Beginners: Your Beginner's Guide (2023)

If you are new to hydroponics, then this beginner's guide to hydroponics is for you. It may seem intimidating at first to build your own hydroponic system. You may think that you need a lot of special tools. Or maybe you think it's expensive to set up or the whole process is complicated. There are many things to learn about hydroponics, and no doubt some people still find it complicated.

However, you don't have to become a professional to grow plants hydroponically. You can create your own system without spending a lot of money and really enjoy the process.

With a little research, you will be able to find the best hydroponic system for your taste and needs. You can also make your own with some basic materials. Your hydroponic system can be as small or large as you like, and as simple or high-tech as you prefer, and you can decide in advance if you want to go all out with an expensive system or a budget style.

How does a hydroponic system work?

The term hydroponics is made up of two words, hydro and ponos, which mean water and work. In hydroponic systems, water combined with nutrient solutions does all the work for growing plants without soil.

A passive irrigation system is a good example of a hydroponic system.

In this configuration, the herbs are held in place by a growth medium. You can use a soda bottle as a water tank to hold the growing medium and water that is in the bottom compartment. You can add a small grow light to this setup and that's it. now you have onework hydroponicallymini-garden.

(Video) The beginner's guide to hydroponic garden, plus DIY Containers and Homemade liquid nutrients

Why grow hydroponically?

There are many reasons to grow plants hydroponically. The most common are undoubtedly

  • faster growth and
  • highest possible performance.

In a well-functioning hydroponic system, plants need the right amount of water, light, and nutrients.

When plants meet their basic needs without spending their energy extracting nutrients from the soil, the plants can devote their energy and resources to growth alone. No wonder this is considered the most effective way to grow plants.

Another amazing reason to grow plants hydroponically is that it solves the problem of lack of soil and space. Anyone who has an indoor garden knows how messy it can get. Trying to plant, transplant, or fertilize plants on a table or kitchen counter can easily create a bit of a mess. Surely this can lead to missed cuts or water spills. However, mess is easier to clean than dirt that brings mud to the carpet or rug.

Choosing a hydroponic system

There are many types of hydroponic systems that every beginner should know about. These hydroponic systems use nutrient and water solutions instead of soil. The basic elements are similar, but each system meets these requirements in a slightly different way.

hydroponic

This is considered one of the cheapest and easiest ways to grow hydroponics. The grass is placed in a basket on top of a reservoir full of nutrients. The roots hang down, completely soaked in the nutrient solutions. Since the roots are constantly soaked, it is necessary to aerate them to prevent them from suffocating and rotting. This can be accomplished with air stones, an air pump, or a waterfall system that creates air bubbles.

Nutrient film technique (NFT)

This is easy to set up. This system includes a narrow stream of nutrient solution that flows in a downward sloping channel. Plant roots hang in the system and absorb nutrients from the constant flow. This is great for small, fast-growing plants like leafy greens, herbs, and lettuce.

(Video) Hydroponics for beginners.All you need to know.

Aeroponics

This system creates an environment for the roots that provides them with more oxygen. Here, the roots are suspended in the air in a channel or growth compartment without growing medium, leaving the entire root system exposed. In the growth compartment, the roots are regularly sprayed with nutrient-rich water.

ebb and flow

This method uses a water pump with a timer. Floods and drains the root system with nutrients and water. The water reaches a level where it floods the roots. Excess water drains into an overflow pipe. When the pump stops, the water returns to the tank. It stays there until the pump starts working again. This gives the roots an alternating period of oxygen-rich air and nutrient-rich water.

drip system

This is a relatively simple idea, and it works exactly as it sounds. The plants are rooted in a growing medium such as gravel or perlite. The nutrient solution and water are then pumped from a tank through hoses to drip down to the roots. The roots and the medium are soaked, then the nutrient solution drips back into the tank and flows back into the tank. This is perfect for taller plants with wide roots. It works well as the growing medium retains moisture, thus keeping the large roots well hydrated.

wick system

This system is very simple and straightforward. The plants sit in an absorbent medium such as perlite or vermiculite. They are placed in a container directly over the nutrient solution and the water tank. Absorbent strips or strings are then used to bind the solution and the absorbent medium. In this way, the medium never dries out as, thanks to physics, it has a constant supply of water and the solution is drawn through the absorbent strips. This system requires no moving parts or pumps.

How do I start a hydroponic system?

To learn how to build ahydroponic system, there are important things to keep in mind:

secure materials

One downside to hydroponics is the initial investment it requires. Although you may need to spend it at the beginning of your project, it will also reap its benefits for a long time. When creating hydroponics, you will need a plastic tank or reservoir, a water hose, an air stone, a bucket, and an air pump.

check the room

You may not need land to farm; However, it will need space for installation, although it will not be too spacious and not too large.

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what plants grow

Choose the crop you want to grow in your hydroponic garden. Treats in hydroponics include cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, and more. You can also grow herbs.

Choose the right hydroponic system

As mentioned above, the best and easiest hydroponic systems for beginners are wick and DWC systems. Of course, you can choose the one that best suits your preferences. Just think of the cost and ease of manufacturing.

Make sure you have the right environment

Although plants can survive (and thrive) in hydroponics without soil, they still need light to grow healthily. When looking for a suitable location for your hydroponic garden, make sure the plants get a good amount of light, either from the sun or by using an electric grow light.

Can I use tap water for hydroponics?

Many people know that hydroponics grows plants that lack soil. Instead, the root is supported by a growing medium. One of the most common mistakes beginners make before fully exploring hydroponics is using tap water. So this raises the question of whether you can use tap water from your faucet in hydroponic systems.

You can certainly use tap water for hydroponics. However, not as it is. Plant growers must take additional steps to protect plants from harmful minerals and chemicals that may be present in water and affect plant health.

So use a pH meter and treat the water to get the correct pH balance and filter level your plants need. In short, tap water is a good start, but only a start.

How often should hydroponic plants be watered?

The answer to this question depends on the type of plants being grown, their size, and the specific system you are using. Remember that plants are very sensitive to under and over watering, so this is an important question.

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First, you need to determine if the growing medium you are using is repellent or absorbent. When you use Rockwool, you're dealing with an absorbent medium, while Hydrocorn is a perfect example of a repellent that doesn't hold too much water. You should keep your medium moist but not soggy or if you want your medium to dry out between waterings. So by viewing the plants or crops before and after watering, you can easily tell if you are watering too much or too little. If you notice plants sinking before watering and bouncing back immediately after watering, you may need to water them more often. Once the plants wilt after watering, this indicates that you are overwatering them. Therefore, you should allow more time between waterings. The best advice is to water the plants two or three times a day.

How often do you change the water in hydroponics?

If you're just getting started with this style of gardening or just want to make sure your plants are in good condition, you'll need to maintain or repair your water system. An important part of this is making sure you have the proper nutrients, clean water, and pH balance.

So how often do you need to change the water in your hydroponic system? The answer to this question is that the water should be changed every 2-3 weeks. It all depends on the system you set up. You can change the water more or less frequently to maintain optimal nutrient and pH levels.

The way the water in your hydroponic system changes is very important. On the other hand, how do you change it? Scheduling your water change is more complex than simply draining and replacing the water every week or two.

If you don't change the water in your hydroponic system as often as you should, the pH levels, nutrients, and other ratios will be out of balance. A discrepancy ratio can affect plant growth and encourage the emergence of noxious and harmful organisms, creating an environment that could lead to the death of your plants.

How deep should the roots be in hydroponics?

When it comes to how deep to submerge roots in a hydroponic system, your main concern is making sure that only the root material gets soaked in the nutrient solution. There is no trunk and certainly no vegetation. You also don't want to completely soak the roots. They can contain 1 to 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) of root above the waterline. The bubbles created by the air stone usually burst and the water falls onto the roots of the plants that are not soaked. So you don't have to worry about the roots drying out.

There is no minimum depth on the DWC hydroponic system as long as you have room for roots to grow and lateral space. There are plants that are grown in nursery trays that are three inches deep: the roots simply spread out in the bottom of the nursery tray, identical to an NFT.

(Video) Growing Hydroponic Vegetable Garden at Home - Easy for Beginners

What liquid is used for hydroponics?

In fact, the answer to this question depends on the source of the water. Tap water may contain chemicals or substances used to purify it, and well water may contain naturally occurring minerals that vary in ways you cannot see.

Tap water is a good option to start with. However, make sure that this is the case.filter itbefore using it. There are many techniques, from carbon-based filters to a complex reverse osmosis system. The differences are about convenience. Whatever you choose, the results are almost the same, liquid, which is close to a pure state.

The correct pH level for a nutrient solution is crucial for plants to absorb it most efficiently. Therefore, you must first test the liquid before use and adjust it if necessary.

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