Hydroponics may be as ancient as the hanging gardens of Babylon but it’s a more recent phenomenon that hydroponics has become practical for the average home. Materials for constructing a home hydroponics system are widely available these days. Resources such as plans, online instructions, efficient lighting technology, automation technology, and a wide availability of hydroponic nutrients to choose from make the present an ideal time to embrace indoor gardening with hydroponics.
Reasons for Embracing Home Hydroponics
One of the main reasons to begin an indoor garden with home hydroponics is food quality and food security. These days just about everyone is aware of the multitude of pesticides and herbicides used in conventional agriculture. Hydroponics is often practiced in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse – or a home. In most of these instances plants can be grown hydroponically with little to no pesticides needed. Keeping the grow area clean will further reduce pest issues and any need for pesticides. It isn’t just spraying less chemicals that makes hydroponics worth embracing, it turns out hydroponics tends to use less water than conventional agriculture. In a study of hydroponic roses, the roses were shown to use about 65% of the water that the conventional gardening methods required.
Why Not Just Buy Hydroponic Produce?
Produce being grown hydroponically is growing in popularity and in many instances it may simply be easier to purchase what others grow at the local supermarket. Many gardeners however report feelings of greater fulfillment and a connection with nature when they work with their plants in their garden. There’s a genuine feeling of satisfaction that can be felt when you watch the seed you planted sprout, grow, and thrive. A home hydroponic grower will witness just how much hydroponically grown produce flourishes in terms of increased growth speed and plant vigor. This speed of growth can mean increased production compared to soil gardening and because many home hydroponic growers will use artificial lighting in their indoor gardening, this means they can keep the production growing all year long. This can mean a rewarding year-round hobby that can literally put some food on the table.
Practice What I Preach
As a hobby hydroponicist for almost a decade I have had the chance to experiment with different growing methods for home use. I recently developed a home hydroponics system built to take advantage of a south facing window in the home. The system was built using standard materials available from a hardware store and more information and plans are available at TheHydroCultivator.com. What excites me about this simple system is the use our family has received from it. We’re able to keep it continuously cycling and giving us a steady and reliable supply of salad greens – mostly romaine lettuce. The best part is knowing what’s on the food as well as what went into the food.
Time is Money
Home hydroponics may be a very rewarding hobby for those who enjoy working with plants and water but what about people who don’t have a lot of time? Fortunately there are more and more technological advances being made. There are devices that can automatically fill your reservoir with water, automatically dose your tank with nutrients, pH and conductivity meters that constantly monitor the nutrient solution, timers for lights and fans, and inexpensive cameras you can monitor your plants with via a smartphone when away from home. So if you were avoiding home hydroponics because you didn’t think you had the time, you may want to reconsider.