What is Hydroponic Gardening?

A Beginner’s Guide to Home Hydroponic Growing.

Welcome to the captivating world of hydroponics. This innovative agricultural method has been used for millennia – from the Aztecs to the Babylonians and Egypt to China. 

Although this is an ancient growing practice, hydroponics continues to advance and open up new possibilities for human health and environmental progress.

What’s so great about hydroponic gardening?

In a hydroponic system, nutrients are sent directly to the roots of your plants in a liquid solution instead of using soil. This simple switch is highly effective, delivering better growth results in just a fraction of the time.

Hydroponic gardeners have reported larger vegetables, better-tasting produce, fewer pests, and countless other benefits to using this method.

Are you excited to learn more? Let’s begin by exploring how this fascinating growing technique works.

In this guide, you will learn the following:

What Role Does Soil Play in Plant Growth?

Every backyard gardener loves good nutrient-rich soil to help their plants grow strong and healthy. But did you know that your plants can flourish without ever touching soil?

Contrary to popular belief, the soil isn’t what your plants feed on. Instead, it is a sponge with phenomenal living conditions and micro-organism communities that help break down organic materials into the essential elements your plants need to grow.

The truth is, soil alone has minimal nutritional content, so your plants don’t require it to survive; they only need the nutrients it holds.

The Trouble With Modern Agriculture

Over-cultivated agricultural soil is often loaded with salts and lacks a rich ecosystem of microorganisms. Unfortunately, without this natural life, there is no way to convert organic materials into nutrients the plants need, making it challenging to grow successfully.

To meet the nutritional needs of the growing plants, farmers frequently add mineral fertilizer to the depleted soil, attempting to eliminate the need for this community of microorganisms.

However, many of these minerals will also wash down beneath the plant roots, oversalting the groundwater. Sadly, this soil salinization will quickly make it impossible for any form of plant life to thrive.

Needless to say, this is an issue.

Commercial agriculture already covers more land than Africa and North America combined. With the devastation it causes to natural ecosystems and the continued pollution, farming in its current form is unsustainable and cannot support us for much longer.

So how can hydroponic gardening methods help?

Hydroponic Growing is Green + Sustainable

Knowing that plants don’t actually require soil – but rather certain levels of essential elements – help us to break away from conventional farming practices that are less environmentally friendly.

In fact, this method could eliminate the need for soil in cultivation and the ongoing loss of critical global ecosystems. Hydroponics may be the key to keeping our planet green and introducing endless opportunities.

We’re not the only ones who think so.

Hydroponic gardening systems and fully operational farms exist in grocery stores, spacecrafts, submarines, greenhouses, desert regions, basements, balconies, and other unconventional growing environments.

The future of gardening has arrived.

How Does Home Hydroponic Growing Work?

Soil-based gardening requires us to wait for the natural process of decomposing organic matter to receive the minerals needed for our plants to flourish. In comparison, most hydroponic methods use a concentrated mineral solution to deliver all necessary nutrients directly to your plants.

How does this work?

  • Hydroponic formulas contain an average ratio of nutrients to meet the demands of many plants. This mixture is added to water, forming an instant mineral-rich fertilizer for your plants.

  • All you have to do is use electrical conductivity to monitor the mineral content in the water. More minerals = higher electrical conductivity. If the levels are too low, add more of your mineral solution.

What Makes Hydroponics Better Than Soil-Based Growing?

Your Plants Will Grow Bigger & More Quickly

When your plant's roots don’t have to hunt for hydration or nutrients, it can direct its energy into creating more buds, branches, and fruit, helping it to grow faster! Research has found that hydroponic systems allow up to 3x quicker growth and 2x higher yield than comparable soil conditions.

Up to 99% More Water Can Be Saved

Only a limited quantity of water reaches the roots of plants grown in the ground. The remainder frequently drains into vacant spaces, water weeds, or evaporates.

In hydroponic gardening, a closed-circuit irrigation system is commonly used. This is where the water is delivered directly to the plant roots through an enclosed, circular system that eliminates water loss. This minimizes waste while ensuring that your plants receive the water they need.

A typical hydroponic system has been shown to save at least 85% more water than soil-based gardening!

There’s No Need For Harmful Chemical Sprays

Although pesticides and other chemical sprays are known to be hazardous to our health – they’re still widely used in commercial farming and home gardens to fend off pests. 

But how can our garden survive without this protection?

Many pests that like to nibble on your plant's leaves and fruit are typically found in outdoor soil-based growing settings and aren't present in hydroponic cultivation. As a result, gardeners have fewer problems to solve and can do so without using chemical sprays.

For example, let’s say you discover an aphid in your hydroponic system on the lettuce. Take the plant to your sink, rinse off the leaves, and return the plant to the system – all without using any pesticides. 

But wait – there’s more! Hydroponic gardening methods are also:

  • Clean & Dirt-Free
    Grow outdoors or in the comfort of your own home. Hydroponics is a soil-free growing method that keeps your space clean and tidy.

  • Low Effort & Minimal Maintenance
    Spend less time worrying about maintaining your garden and more time admiring your plants! With hydroponics, you can say goodbye to days of weeding, cleaning, and working on your knees.

  • Filled With Endless Nutrients
    According to a number of scientific studies, vegetables cultivated hydroponically are even more nutrient-dense than those grown in soil.

  • Functional and Versatile
    Many home hydroponic systems are compact and lightweight – allowing you to place them just about anywhere! So whether you have a backyard greenhouse or a corner in your kitchen, your crops will have plenty of space to flourish.

Grow A Hydroponic Garden in Your Planta Greenhouse

The incredible benefits of hydroponic growing combined with the strength, durability, and enclosed environment of a quality backyard greenhouse is truly a match made in heaven.

Hydroponics helps take the guesswork out of more complex greenhouse gardening tasks like growing tomatoes in the summer or preventing your soil from freezing in the winter. So you can spend more time enjoying your garden and harvesting delicious vegetables.

Have you used a hydroponic growing system in your DIY backyard greenhouse? We want to hear all about it! Please share your experiences and photos in the comments below.

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