Many people wish they could have their own garden to grow fresh produce, but find that they lack the space or time necessary to care for plants. Hydroponic gardens offer a solution to this problem.
You may have heard of plants being grown hydroponically on a commercial level, but hydroponic systems can be used in your own home as well. At home hydroponic gardens can:
- Fit into small spaces;
- Flourish even without direct sunlight;
- Produce more nutritious and fresher crops than what you would find at a grocery store.
This means plants that would typically require outdoor space and a specific climate can be grown year-round right in your kitchen, living room, or even a small corner space—and getting started with at home hydroponics is easier than you may think.
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What Is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil—instead, the plants grow in a nutrient-enriched water solution. There are multiple different types of hydroponic systems, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
How Does Hydroponics Work?
Hydroponics may sound new, but the practice of growing plants in water rather than soil has actually been around for hundreds of years. Plants grow their roots in water-based nutrient solutions, eliminating the risk of soil-based disease as well as producing larger plants with greater harvests.
Different Types of Hydroponics
Chances are you’ve seen a hydroponic system before—“passive hydroponics” like wick watering are often used by people looking for a hands-free watering solution. But at home hydroponic systems have a lot of variety. Deep water culture systems use a water reservoir with an air pump to ensure the plants get oxygen, while an aeroponic system will have a constant mist of nutrient solution spraying the roots of the plants.
Benefits of Hydroponics
An at home hydroponic system is beneficial in more ways than just accessible home-grown produce.
Healthier Fruits & Vegetables
In addition, you’re getting higher quality produce by harvesting the plant at the source when it’s ripened naturally, rather than buying grocery store produce that ripened on the supply chain after being harvested and thus significantly loses its nutritional value.
Plants grown using hydroponics produce more crops than plants grown outdoors in soil due to having a faster crop cycle and the opportunity to grow year-round rather than just the duration of the crop’s season.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics
While hydroponics are greatly beneficial, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind before you start your hydroponic system.
Keeping It All Balanced
Due to the lack of soil, the pH of the water the plants grow in needs to be carefully balanced manually, which can be difficult for first-time hydroponics gardeners.
The hydroponics system needs to be constantly monitored, making it difficult to maintain if you have a particularly busy schedule or travel frequently.
Gardyn seeks to eliminate the difficulties in hydroponics with their Gardyn Home Kits. The included water treatment solution, HydroBoost, ensures that you don’t have to manually measure the pH of the water. And no need to worry about checking in constantly—the cameras on the system enable you to check your plants from anywhere with its dedicated Gardyn app. Going away? You can set your system to “Vacation Mode” to “pause” your plant’s growth while you’re away.
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Getting Started With Home Hydroponics
There are a number of ways to grow plants indoors, but if you’re looking for a simple, mess-free way to start an indoor garden, at home hydroponics may be right for you.
Getting the Right Equipment
Most hydroponic gardens require the same basic necessities for the plants:
- Water basin (container and/or pots) for the nutrient solution;
- Grow lights to simulate sunlight and allow the plants to photosynthesize;
- In some systems, an air pump to oxygenate the water.
Specific systems will require more specific materials—a wick hydroponic system needs rope or felt for the wicks, while aeroponic systems require a mist nozzle setup.
Choosing the Right Plants
The plants you choose for your at home hydroponic system should be ones you use frequently. Luckily, many plants can be grown hydroponically—if you enjoy salads or cook with a lot of leafy greens, plants like lettuce, kale, and spinach thrive in a hydroponic garden. Smaller varieties of common produce like cherry tomatoes and mini eggplants work as well, and you can even have an indoor flower garden—petunias, marigolds, sunflowers and more can all be grown hydroponically.
Setting Up Your Hydroponic System
While it may seem daunting, setting up a hydroponic system is relatively easy. Many systems need only three components—a reservoir, lights, and an air pump—to function. After you find space in your home, simply fill your basin with a water based nutrient solution and set your lights to a timer and you’re ready to grow your plants.
Maintaining Your Hydroponic System
Despite not needing to be weeded and less of a chance you’ll be dealing with pests, hydroponic gardens still require some level of hands-on maintenance. Checking the pH levels and making sure there are adequate nutrients in the water supply is crucial to the health of your plants.
Additional Tips for Successful Hydroponic Gardening At Home
Are you convinced that the best way to promote healthy eating habits and sustainability is through cultivating your own fruits and vegetables at home? Here we give you some useful tips to carry out a successful indoor hydroponics setup.
Choosing the Right Lighting
You have a few choices when looking for lights for your at home hydroponic system. The simplest (and least expensive) option would be putting the system by a window for direct access to sunlight. But not everyone has a window with adequate light for plants, so there are numerous artificial options for hydroponic lighting.
- LED lighting: Most energy efficient, but can be expensive;
- Fluorescent lighting: Lower light and heat output; great for saplings but not as effective for fully grown plants;
- Metal halide lighting: Best for plants that need a lot of light over long periods of time.
Providing Adequate Nutrients
Nutrients are arguably the most important part of any hydroponic garden. Because the plants won’t be getting nutrients from soil, it’s necessary to provide them manually with plant food and nutrient-rich water. These are sold at most gardening stores, with multiple varieties designed to cater to your at home hydroponic garden’s needs—whether that’s eliminating vitamin deficiencies or raising or lowering the pH level of the garden.
Monitoring pH Levels
Perhaps one of the more intimidating parts of starting a hydroponic growing system is monitoring the pH levels of the water. This is important for keeping your plants healthy—an outdoor garden’s pH is naturally balanced by the soil the plants are in, but in a hydroponic system you will need to do it yourself. There are many ways to check the levels and regulate them, from paper test strips to digital pH measuring meters. Adjustments to the pH can be made with pH up and pH down solutions, or with specific types of plant food designed for adjusting pH.
Controlling Pests and Diseases
While it is less likely your plants will suffer from pests and disease with an indoor water culture hydroponic system, there is still some risk. Water-borne diseases can easily build up and destroy a hydroponic system if you’re not careful.
And while you don’t have to worry about pests as much with an indoor garden, bugs can still penetrate inside your house to infest your plants. Neem oil is an excellent repellent for many of the pests that live on hydroponic plants, and being vigilant about checking in on your garden can help stop an infestation before it devastatingly harms your crops.
Harvesting Your Produce
With an at home hydroponic garden, harvesting your produce is the most rewarding part. No need to pick everything at once—simply take what you need from your plants when they’re ripe. Produce grown yourself also stays fresher and maintains optimal nutritional value longer because it has the chance to ripen naturally on the plant rather than on a processing line.
Gardyn Home Hydroponic System – Everything You Need to Know
Gardyn is looking to make at-home hydroponics accessible for everyone. Their home kits make it easy to get started with an indoor garden. Both systems feature:
- Plug-and-play design for easy setup;
- Space to grow up to 30 plants;
- Automated watering and light cycles;
- Live cameras to check on your plants anytime.
The new 3.0 design offers upgrades like enhanced durability and easier cleaning with the newly designed watering system. Not sure which Gardyn kit is best for you?
Compare the Gardyn 2.0 and Gardyn 3.0 and decide which system is right for you.
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Get Started With Home Hydroponics Today!
At home hydroponics are an easy way to have a garden in your own home. Setup and care is simple, and in many cases the benefits of being able to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs outweigh any difficulties of caring for plants in a traditional hydroponic system.
Gardyn’s home kits aim to eliminate the complicated parts of hydroponics. Everything you need to get started with your indoor garden is included, and available with a Gardyn membership is Kelby, your Gardyn’s AI virtual assistant. Kelby ensures that your plants are well cared for and gives tips on how to optimize your crops to grow, taking some of the guesswork out of hydroponics.
Take a look at Gardyn’s kits and get started with your at home hydroponic garden today.
Start to Harvest Your Microgreens Indoors Today!
For those who own a Gardyn Sprout Nursery
Start to Harvest Your Microgreens Indoors Today!
For those who own a Gardyn Sprout Nursery
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