How to Set Up Hydroponics at Home
A hydroponics system allows you to grow plants indoors and ensure they thrive. It is the fastest growing method possible. This system is ideal for water-loving plants such as lettuce. Plants don’t really need soil to grow as they only use the water and nutrition present in the soil. The earth provides an anchor to the roots and provides enough food for them to thrive. You can supply all the nutrition they need through an efficient hydroponic system without any soil. This system is easy to set up if you have the right tools and equipment.
You can purchase an at-home hydroponics kit and assemble it according to the instructions provided in the user manual. Every kit comes with a detailed set-up instructions book, plant nutrients, pH control products, grow media, pump, drainage valve, and other such necessary equipment. Different systems have different set up procedures so it’s a good idea to read the instructions that come along with them, but here’s a basic guideline that can help:
1. Purchase a Kit
There are many different kinds of kits available in the market. You should choose what suits your purpose well. If you want to grow just one or two plants, you can use single or double Autopots designed for windows and small balconies. If you want to grow many plants at once, you can choose raised beds, garden wall, and planter hydroponic systems. You can also add NFT channels to grow a large number of plants at the same time. Often these channels can be attached to an existing hydroponic system to add more plants and increase the capacity of the system.
2. Find the Right Space for Your System
Your plants need either sunlight or artificial lighting (grow lights) to thrive, so you need to place your hydroponic system in places of ample light and some fresh air. If the plants are stored in a dark and confined space, they won’t thrive, regardless of how sophisticated and efficient your hydroponic system is.
3. Assemble the System
Once you have the right location in mind, assemble the hydroponics system according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This process usually involves:
- Placing the system or pot in the right location. At least 3 hours of Direct Sun per day, and more than 6 hours direct sunlight for flowering plants.
- Connecting the pump and drains to the reservoir.
- Connecting the system to a power supply.
- Filling the reservoir with water and nutrient solution.
- Check pH if required by the kit instructions (varies by nutrient type).
- Placing the air line (if provided) kit inside the reservoir to oxygenate the water.
- Filling the individual pots with the grow media provided according to instructions.
- Switching the pump on to circulate the water.
Once the water and nutrients are in circulation, you can add the plants carefully.
- Make sure the media is moist
- Make a small dent in the media large enough for all the roots
- Gently place the plant into the dent and fill the media around the roots to cover them
That’s all it takes to plant and set up a fully functional hydroponics system. Once the system is set up, you just need to make sure it runs as you expect it to by checking it regularly. Make sure the water drains and cycles well and check the pH level in the grow medium periodically. If the water becomes too stale, acidic or alkaline, it will damage the plants and hinder growth.