Hydroponic gardening is simply growing without soil. In this type of garden you provide all of the nutrients your plants need through the water in the hydroponic system. Plants require water, nutrients, and Oxygen at the root level, and different hydroponic systems will provide these three elements in various different ways.
The key to success in an indoor garden is to know the requirements of your plants very well, and then to simply provide for them. This is especially true when it comes to the lighting requirements and feeding requirements of different plants. A crop of lettuce may do very well grown under fluorescent lights, whereas tomatoes and other vegetables require a much more intense light source to guarantee vigorous growth and healthy development.
In addition to nutrient strength and light intensity, every plant has a pH that is preferred. It is also very common for the light requirements and/or nutritional requirements of your plants to change as they grow. For example, they may need a dark photo-period to get them to fruit, or they may require less Nitrogen and more Phosphorus and Potassium as they go from vegetative growth into flowering/fruiting.
Having a feeding plan in advance, tailored to the needs of the plants you are growing, is extremely helpful to getting great results. Once you have a feeding plan, it's just a matter of maintaining your nutrient solution properly on a day to day basis...according to the feeding plan.
Indoor organic and hydroponic gardening can be very
rewarding, but the challenges of providing for plants indoors can be
overwhelming to a beginner, and can be challenging to even an
I started gardening indoors over 20 years ago, and I quickly realized how much conflicting advice
was out there, and how little useful advice there was for indoor
gardening in general, and for hydroponic gardening in particular.
After many years of persistent trial and error, I now enjoy
helping garden lovers all over the world. I try my very best to make the
information here easy to understand, yet very helpful (Easy RSS feeds
to the left).
Find help choosing your indoor grow lights, understanding the different hydroponic systems, and learning some of the finer skills of indoor gardening...such as how to force flowering, how to take clones successfully, and how to maintain your nutrient solution properly. My indoor guide is here to save you time and frustration (and money) by...
Helping you do it right the first time!
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT
having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow
your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality
nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with
and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as
possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only
just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only
because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique
and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more
high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole
year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to
increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the
same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your
own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...
The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!