Hydroponic garden

Indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening

Indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening, what is it? What is Hydroponics? How easy is it? Benefits?  I am a big fan of indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening and will answer all these questions and more based on my years of experience.

indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening

Hydroponic is the art and science of growing plants in water with nutrients.  Hydroponic vegetable gardening is taking that great technology and using it to grow vegetables.

And it is straightforward to do!  This series is for vegetable gardens, and I will keep it very basic, cheap, and easy.  The great thing about hydroponic gardening is its ease and flexibility.

Please read all the hydroponic and aquaponic posts when you finish reading this to understand all aspects.

Hydroponic vegetable gardening

Plants don’t actually need soil!

If you are an old soil gardener like myself, you may find the concept of not needing soil weird.

Soil is just a medium to deliver the nutrients that a plant needs.  However, if you can deliver nutrients in a different method, the soil becomes just a way to hold the plant in place. With hydroponics, you have other options to hold the main stem of the plant in place.

indoor hydroponic gardening

Soil, not a very effective way to deliver nutrients

I always found the hardest in my soil gardens was figuring out how much to water and how much (and what kind) of fertilizer to use.

There are so many different ways and opinions on how best to fertilize plants, and I found the whole thing overwhelming and time-consuming.  Those are not problems with hydroponic vegetable gardening.

Another problem with soil is that it is not an effective way to deliver nutrients to roots.

A plant needs to work to reach and find nutrients.  Ideally, you want the nutrients evenly distributed throughout the soil, but that is not always possible.

Roots need to work through the soil to find what they need.  If your soil is too dense or the nutrients are not easy to access, the plant will suffer.

What plants need to grow in a Hydroponic garden

All plants need:

  • air,
  • water,
  • nutrients,
  • light
  • warmth

Soil is just a medium to deliver these things, and it holds no special powers to make plants grow.

Benefits of indoor hydroponic vegetable gardens

With hydroponic growing, the roots have consistent and easy access to all the nutrients they need.

When hydroponic gardening, you can easily test the exact nutrient level of what your plant is receiving.  Because of this, it is easy to change to levels of nutrients instantly.  Keep an eye on your plants. Then change the nutrient solution if you find that your plants need something different. There is no guessing.

Some other benefits of hydroponic growing include

  • NO weeding!
  • Less prone to disease,
  • much fewer pest issues.

On average, hydroponic vegetable gardening will grow vegetables 30% bigger than soil gardening.

Why? Because the roots are easily getting what the plant needs.

So less work, more flexibility, and more productivity. That’s why I knew hydroponic gardening was for me!

Getting started with hydroponic vegetable gardening.

hydroponic garden

Which kind of hydroponic system works best?

Hydroponic systems

There are 3 main hydroponic systems used in commercial growing will work nicely in a scaled-down home planter.  I often mix and match systems to fit a specific purpose.  So don’t worry; flexibility is my favorite part of growing this way.

The three methods that I find work best on a small scale are:

  • The Kratky method (non circulating),
  • the NFS systems ( Nutrient film systems)
  • Dutch buckets.

What do they all have in common?

They all have in common that each allows for a method of delivering nutrients, warmth, and air to your plant’s roots.  Each type of system has its benefits and is best for certain types of plants.

Noncircular methods, Kratky method

The best known of the noncircular methods is the Kratky method. These are best for small plants like any greens, and this method is also best for vegetables that have a quick growing time to harvest.

Dutch Buckets

Dutch buckets are wonderful for large plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash.

 

Hydroponic garden

NFT or NFS

These are a good choice for lots of things. Greens, herbs, peppers, broccoli all work well. This system is really limited by the size of the root system that will fit inside the tube or waterway you choose to use.

Aquaponics

There is also a great subcategory of hydroponic called Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a way to produce a nutrient solution to feed your plants naturally. The basic idea is that you can use fish tank water to feed your plants, and in return, the plants will clean the water for the fish. Fish water can be used in any of the types of hydroponic systems.

I am such a fan of using aquaponic for indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening that I wrote a book.  It goes into great detail and gives step by step how to.  Please get your copy on Amazon.


I hope that you try indoor hydroponic gardening.  Let me know how your garden does.  Leave comments or questions.  Thanks

 

For an easy way to get started, please visit “2 DIY easy hydroponic gardens”

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