Hydroponics At Home, With Their Own Hands

Hydroponicsis a modern method of growing plants in special solutions.  In Greek, the term "hydroponics" literally means "working solution". With this method plants do not need any soil, they are in a substrate, which serves as a support for the root system and receives the necessary nutrients from the solution. It is selected individually for each plant, depending on the species.

The soilless method of growing plants began to be used in ancient times.

The Hanging Gardens in Babylon were the first successful attempt at hydroponics. The Aztec Floating Gardens in Central America used the same technology. When warlike neighbors displaced the nomadic Indians living on the shores of Lake Tenochitlan in Mexico, they invented their own method of growing vegetables and fruits. The Aztecs built rafts of reeds and covered them with silt from the bottom of the lake, growing fruit trees and vegetable crops.

Hydroponics at home, with their own hands

Before the method of hydroponics emerged, scientists investigated how the plant fed.

While growing plants in water, they determined what nutrients the root extracted. They found that the plant needs minerals for normal growth and development. Potassium promotes plant growth. Calcium helps form the root system. Magnesium and iron are involved in the formation of chlorophyll.

Sulfur and phosphorus are used for the formation of nucleus and protoplasm.

Benefits

In comparison with the traditional way of growing plants, hydroponics has many advantages.

  1. The plant receives the whole supply of nutrients in the right amounts. This results in a rapid growth and development. Plants grown this way are characterized by good health.

    Fruit trees give a good harvest, and ornamental plants enjoy an abundant and long-lasting bloom.

  2. With groundless cultivation one can get rid of problems like drying out and overwatering.
  3. With watering control reduces the amount of watering. You can forget the daily watering by choosing the right container and growing system. Depending on the size of the hydroponic tank, watering can be reduced from twice a week to once a month.

    No need to worry about how much of it to apply.

  4. No need to apply pesticides. A hydroponically grown plant is resistant to soil pests, root rot and fungal diseases
  5. Transplanting is easy and simple. The roots are not injured during transplanting and do not need to be freed from the soil. It is enough to put the plant in a different container and add a solution.

  6. Hydroponics is a very economical way to grow your houseplants. They do not need an earthy substrate which has to be changed every year. Nutrient mixes and special equipment can be afforded by most people.
  7. Earth tends to accumulate harmful substances that threaten human life (radionuclides, nitrates, heavy metals, poisons). With a soil-free growing method, the plant absorbs only what it needs.

    Fruit plants will be environmentally friendly and safe. They are not inferior in taste to plants grown the traditional way.

  8. Growing plants with the hydroponic method is not only economical, but also pleasant. No need to get your hands dirty like with soil. In addition, hydroponic containers are lightweight and compact.

    A green corner in the house will look neat and there will be no offensive smells or garbage.

Hydroponics at home, with their own hands

Don't pay attention to the centuries-old stereotype that a plant can only be grown in soil. It is not an artificial method using toxic chemicals. The hydroponics method is completely safe.

Hydroponics is easy

After learning the basics, you can start growing plants.

This method requires very little work. Taking care of your houseplants will be much easier. Especially if you use automated circulation systems, which in some cases you can assemble yourself. You can make your life easier by reducing watering and fertilizing.

Hydroponics is inexpensive

You need an ordinary plastic pot and any suitable larger container to make a hydroponic pot.

The main thing is that it should not let in light, hold a certain amount of water and be chemically inert. A normal paper bag from milk or juice, designed for long term storage, will do. On the side of the seam in it cut a hole for the pot. The container is turned on its side. The pot with the substrate is immersed in the solution for 1-2 centimeters.

The substrate should include vermiculite, perlite, keramsite, mineral wool, coconut fiber. Do not forget about the inert chemical fiber, as which you can use foam rubber, capron, nylon or polypropylene threads. These materials will not cost more than the soil mixture. Whereas the earth substrate must be changed every year when replanting, the hydroponics substrate will last for several years.

To grow one small plant, one liter of nutrient solution must be prepared.

The concentrate is designed for 50 liters of hydroponics solution. It makes it possible to take care of 50 plants a year or to stretch the liquid for 50 years.

Hydroponics at home, with their own hands

What kind of plants can I grow hydroponically?

The hydroponic method can be applied to most plants that are grown by seed or cuttings. When transplanting adult specimens it is better to take plants with thick and coarse roots. They should be well cleaned from the soil.

Hydroponics is not done if the plants have a soft root system.

Rules for transplanting plants

To transplant a plant in hydroponics you should remove it from its pot and soak the root ball in a bucket of water at room temperature. After a few hours, carefully separate the soil from the roots. Then the roots are washed under a light stream of water. The cleaned roots are spread downwards and covered with a special substrate, keeping the plant in place.

It should not touch the water layer with its roots. The solution will rise through the capillaries of the substrate, so the roots will reach the desired depth. After transplanting, the hydroponic substrate is watered with plain water, fill the vessel. To allow the plant to adapt to the new conditions of detention, it is left for a week. When it comes to the end, the water is replaced with a solution.

  It should not be filled immediately.

Basic concepts of hydroponics

Solution concentration

Hydroponics at home, with their own hands

The concentration of the solution should be chosen according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The volume of the solution in the hydroponic tank has to be kept at a constant level. This can be done by regularly topping up with plain water. It is very important that it is soft (standing or filtered).

According to the manufacturer's instructions, the solution should be completely replaced every three months. For insectivorous plants and epiphytes, prepare a solution with a 2-4 times lower concentration. Fast-growing plants need to increase the concentration of the nutrient solution by 1.5 times. Annual vegetable crops prefer a concentration that is 1.

25 times the average concentration. During the cold season, the concentration of the solution is reduced by 2-3 times. It is equally important to lower the water level.

Solution acidity (pH)

Hydroponics at home, with their own hands

5.6 is the optimum pH for most plants.

Generally all hydroponic formulations are close to this value. Depending on the type of plant you are trying to find the right value. Not all plants are suited to 5.6. Gardenias and azaleas prefer an acidic environment (pH = 5).

An alkaline environment (pH = 7) is good for palms. An electronic pH meter is used to determine the pH value. This device shows accurate values, but not everyone can handle it. In addition, it is very expensive. It is better to use special tests to determine the acidity, which are designed for aquariums.

  They can be purchased in specialized zoological stores. They give accurate readings and are easy to use. Universal strips-indicators do not buy. They have a large error.

How to prepare a hydroponics solution

Hydroponic solution consists of two ingredients.

A medical five-cup syringe is used to determine the exact dosage. The first ingredient of the solution is complex fertilizer (1.67 ml). Two types of fertilizer can be used. "Uniflor Bouton" is suitable for fruit crops and flowering plants.

For other species, it is better to take "Uniflor Growth", which promotes the growth of the green part of the plant. The fertilizer is diluted in one liter of water.

The second ingredient for preparing a hydroponic solution is a 25% solution of calcium nitrate (2 ml). It is prepared simply. 250 grams of four-water calcium nitrate is diluted in a liter of water.

This amount of nitrate is used for soft water. For example, distilled water or Peter's tap water with a concentration of 100 mg/l. If the water is hard, the amount of calcium nitrate is adjusted differently.

Only two simple ingredients and a solution of normal concentration (1 liter) is obtained.

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