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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

How to Start Your Own Hydroponic Garden at Home

Updated: Mar 4



Lettuce growing in hydroponics system at home

Finding space to grow plants in urban areas can be challenging, especially for apartments with little or no outdoor space.


Growing plants with hydroponic gardening is a perfect solution. Hydroponic gardens use nutrient-rich water instead of soil.


You can set up an indoor hydroponic garden in your apartment, balcony, or any room with or without natural light and have fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits at your fingertips.


In this article, I'll guide you through starting your hydroponic garden at home.


Choose your hydroponic system.





The first step to creating your hydroponic garden is to decide on your system. You can buy many hydroponic systems online or at your local gardening store.


Some popular ones include Aerogarden and Click and Grow, and the one I currently use is Mufga. When choosing a system, consider its size, ease of use, and cost.


You can start with a small hydroponic system and upgrade to a larger one as you gain more experience.


Select your plants





One of the advantages of hydroponic gardening is that you can grow plants all year round.


Some of the best plants are herbs, salad greens, and small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and peppers.


When choosing plants, consider the space you have, the light and warmth, and the nutrients needed to grow the plant.




Prepare the nutrient solution.


Nutrient-rich water is a crucial element in hydroponic gardening. The solution should contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium nutrients.


You can buy pre-made nutrient solutions at gardening stores or make your own using a nutrient mix and distilled water.


Follow the instructions on the nutrient mix package, and adjust the pH of the solution to be between 5.5 and 6.5 to ensure optimal plant growth.


Set up your hydroponic garden.



Once you have all your materials, it's time to set up your garden. Choose any location whether or not there is natural light because your system will provide grow lights.


Consider pruning or buying additional lights if your plants grow outside the grow light range. Fill your hydroponic system with the nutrient solution, and add your plants.


Ensure that your plant's roots are submerged in the nutrient solution and receive enough light and warmth.


Maintenance and monitoring


To keep your hydroponic garden healthy, you will need to maintain and monitor it regularly. Ensure that your hydroponic system's water level is constantly topped off, and replace the nutrient solution regularly.


Also, monitor the growth of your plants and adjust the lighting and temperature as needed. Ideally, The light should be about an inch away from the plants, preventing plants from growing thin and leggy and eventually falling over.


Also, try not to use fertilizer, as your plants will not grow well. Look for discolored leaves, as that is usually a sign of over-fertilizing.



 

Starting your hydroponic garden at home is an exciting and rewarding experience.


With the right hydroponic system, plants, nutrient solution, and maintenance, you can grow fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits all year round, regardless of your living space in the city.


With some creativity and patience, you'll soon be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor and share your success with others. Happy hydroponic gardening!

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