So what if are you living in a small space? It should not restrict you from growing plants in your home, which can even supplement your daily meals with your family at home! It is okay if you do not have the best and richest soil like the farms in the Great Plains – you can imitate the whole growing cycle right in the comforts of your home. You might be worried about the space required since you are living in a small space but fret not – you can actually do so in a room as small as four feet by four feet to grow your plants. And how can you accomplish this? With hydroponics! Apartment hydroponics is a totally feasible way of growing plants without a garden. With the correct knowledge, you can build a working hydroponic system at home, and you will be able to grow just any vegetable, fruits, or plants in your own space. Now, your ability to grow plants of your own will no longer be limited to your imagination.
Benefits of hydroponics
I am sure you have heard about growing plants with hydroponics. What is the main benefit of using hydroponics to grow plants instead of the conventional way with soil? You get to grow plants in limited space, which is precisely the problem you are facing now with the limited amount of space in your living space. What’s more, the growth cycle of your plants is faster by approximately 30% compared to the conventional methods of growing. This is due to plants saving the energy originally required for their roots to seek food sources in the soil. In a hydroponics system, the plants will be hovering above a nutrient pool, which saves the trouble that many faces with having to handle soil or other bugs within the soil, which can be really messy and dirty. The nutrient mix usually includes potassium, zinc, magnesium, bromine, copper, and many more nutrients that are vital for plant growth. However, the pH levels of the nutrient solution have to be checked regularly to ensure balance. There are many meters and monitors to help you with the checks that are already readily available in the market, such as a pH meter. pH strips are not the best measurement tool as it is not always accurate.
Individuals who grow crops on a large scale reap many advantages with hydroponics systems, which surprisingly excludes the soil factor – messiness, filth, and some soil-borne diseases. Growing with hydroponics has gotten much more convenient as the system takes care of all the timings for you. Furthermore, as hydroponic systems reuse the water by recirculating it, you only have to switch the reservoir once a fortnight. You get to immerse in the joy of growing with the huge diversity of plants you can grow such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, greens, lettuce, and other unique herbs.
Building your own hydroponics system
The simple 5.4 square feet (0.5 square meters), sixteen unit hydroponics layout is hassle-free and economical. You can either purchase one from an online merchant, a brick–and–mortar hydroponics store, or even create one yourself! There are many alternatives you can adopt for your own customizable hydroponic system, but if you are restricted by the space factor, you should adopt the drip setup that has a pump and clock tools. However, you should choose if you are buying premade systems or build your own. When considering the cost, remember to factor in the money you will spare from groceries.
You can even allocate less space than 5.4 square feet if you set up the system vertically, with a space of about two feet by two feet on the ground, and an additional two feet by two feet space against the wall above the ground. This means you have allocated 16 units for your plants to grow. You can allocate the space to each type of plant as you like – you can use all the space to grow the same breed, or you can choose to grow different species, or split the space evenly. This is entirely up to your decision, with respect to your preferences and food cravings. However, you need to take care that the setup is exposed to sunlight so that the plants can accept the sunlight required for their growth. If this cannot be achieved, you can purchase specialized grow lamps that provide a light bandwidth and range that your plant needs.
A drip system is one of the simplest hydroponic systems to operate. The set up is conceivably simple and is considered low–maintenance compared to other systems. The whole setup includes a reservoir of a nutrient mix that is constantly supplied to the plants’ roots in their own units. Most of the time, the drip timing is 15 minutes every few hours. As the plants are susceptible to the watering schedule, do set a timer so that you will not forget.
This is also precisely the reason a timer should be paired with a pump – else it can be very easy to forget about the watering schedule. As the pump and reservoir recirculate the solution and water, you only need to intervene to switch the solution every two weeks. Instead of throwing away the water, you can reuse it by watering your other plants you are growing at home.
Since you now know the fundamentals of how to begin creating your first hydroponic system at home – be it on your porch or in your garden, you are ready to go! Of course, there is really much more for all growers to continue understanding more about the hydroponics systems as there are many other different methods you can use to grow your plants. If you are looking to optimize your hydroponic system, you can go and read up on the more advanced methods for you to change your set up. Also, there are many other tools and equipment out there in the market to help you set up your hydroponic system efficiently and at a low cost. So what are you waiting for? Start building your own hydroponic system in your home today!