What You Need For A Successful Hydroponic Setup
Hydroponics is growing plants without soil, using water and an inert medium.
By adding the same elements and nutrients usually found in soil to a water solution, you can grow plants with less hassle and better results.
So, what do you need for a hydroponic setup?
Your hydroponic setup will need fresh water. Not just fresh tap water. Tap water contains chlorine, chloramines and other unwanted chemicals.
It is recommended to filter the water through a reverse osmosis filter or chlorine/sediment filter. The Ph of the water will need to be adjusted. Plants typically like a pH level of between 5.5 to 6.5 but this varies from plant to plant.
You’ll need to adjust the Ph (acidity and alkalinity), you can do this using a digital pH meter or drop tester to give you an accurate reading and Ph Up & Ph Down to adjust the acidity or alkalinity.
Just like in traditional soil gardening, plants need oxygen. Overwatering them can lead to a list of problems.
Traditionally, the soil forms pockets of air where plants can draw oxygen from. In hydroponic systems such as DWC, NFT, or any recirculating system, you will need to supply oxygen into the water.
You can do this by installing an air pump and air stones in your reservoir.
Even in the absence of soil, the root system will still need support. A growing medium such as clay balls, perlite or vermiculite will give the root system something to bind into.
Your hydroponic plants will need plenty of nutrients to thrive in your setup. They’ll need a mix of both micronutrients and macronutrients.
Macronutrients for your plants include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Micronutrients include iron, manganese, zinc, boron, copper, molybdenum, and sulphur.
If you are growing indoors your hydroponic system will require lighting. The lighting for your setup will depend on the plants you are growing and the size of the area.
Plants develop and grow faster compared to plants grown in soil. In nature you don’t have that much control over the environment, nutrients or the lighting. When you grow plants in a
hydroponic setup, you can optimise their environment, nutrient requirements and lighting, dialing in your plants’ requirements for perfect results.
Hydroponics eliminates the need for soil. The vast majority of potting mixes, even the premium blends, will contain unwanted metals, pests and diseases.
Hydroponic setups can be created in a range of unique, space-saving configurations.
It’s pretty useful for apartments, where there’s no garden and not a lot of room to grow.
It’s even more useful in agriculture and farming, where these setups can be grown vertically instead of taking up massive amounts of land.
Hydroponic systems are being used extensively in the agriculture and farming industry. With quality farming land diminishing, the industry is turning to hydroponic systems to solve the problem.