What are Hydroponic Gardens?

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Hydroponic gardens popularity is exploding.  If you are a beginning gardener and want to learn the basics of this technology, there are many options open to you. 

You may be be wondering, “What are hydroponics?” You may know that it has something to do with gardening, and you may know that it has something to do with water, both of which are correct. This article can give you a basic rundown on what hydroponics are, how you can make one and what may limit you.

What are Hydroponic Gardens?

Hydroponics refers to the science of growing food in a controlled environment with specific factors. Growing in hydroponic gardens is distinct from other forms of gardening, in that soil is usually removed from the process. With soil comes pestilence, disease and dehydration to the plants. Hydroponic plants will most likely be planted in a different substance, or medium, such as perlite, vermiculite, (both are a mixture of different elements and chemicals to make a suitable planting material) sand or gravel.

Most often when thinking of hydroponics, people think of plants that are suspended in water, however it is much more than that. There are many different types of hydroponic gardens, some of which can involve water tanks, air pumps, and timers.

In a simpler system, all you may need is a water tank, wicks to carry the water from the tank to the plants, and the vegetables you want to grow. In some more complicated systems, which can be found in greenhouses or other mass production centers, water pumps, specialized timers, and draining systems may be used. It's easy to make a garden that is very easy and basic, or to go all out for this healthier, faster, and more efficient gardening methods, hydroponics is a hobby you can sink your teeth into.

How do I make a Hydroponic Garden?

Depending on the time and money you are willing to invest, you can find various hydroponic starter kits online or at your local home improvement store. If this is your first hydroponic garden, you may want to start out with a basic, pre-built model that requires little maintenance and care. It is also possible to find tutorials and DIY’s online if you are wanting to build a system yourself. A more advanced hydroponic system may be more fitting if you are looking for something to spice up your personal greenhouse. With such a garden, you can grow innumerable healthy fruits and vegetables faster and more efficiently.

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When choosing which materials to use in your garden, do some research beforehand. Some plants may not grow in certain systems or certain mediums, which means you will have to decide what is best for your circumstances. As you will also learn, hydroponic gardens do not simply use water to nourish their plants. As another outstanding variable that separates hydroponics from traditional gardening, a nutrient rich, plant specific solution is used in hydroponic gardens. The reason for this is so that your plants are getting the exact right amount of nutrients fed to their roots, versus in a normal garden, where your plant’s roots would have to seek out such nutrients.  Learn what you need to supply to your garden so that you can effectively feed your plants.

HOA Hydroponic Garden Rules

As far as your time and wallet goes, the sky's the limit on how simple or complicated you want to make your garden. There are kits, tutorials and opportunities to make small, indoor hydroponic gardens, which is good for those who don’t have a yard or an area to put a garden in. Research the best model of garden to fit your lifestyle, so that you do not have to be discouraged by your location.

Keep in mind that if you are one of the millions of homeowners living in an Homeowner's Association, you may be under certain, HOA specific rules and restrictions. Some HOA’s limit the height of plants in homeowner’s gardens, or the area of the yard that your garden might take up. Before creating and installing a Hydroponic garden, read through your governing documents, or ask a board member in your HOA about such restrictions. If you must stay within certain boundaries, keep in mind that you can also create indoor hydroponic gardens that are just as effective.

Overall, hydroponic gardens are efficient, fast and cutting edge. It is a great new technology that allows us to grow and nurture healthy foods at anytime, anywhere. Realize the potential for hydroponics in your life, whether it is at home, at work, or in your community.


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