Around Since Ancient Times
Both China's floating gardens and Babylon's Hanging Gardens used hydroponics. There are many different kinds, including flow, ebb and drip systems.
However, hydroponics has some complexity, so you should have a good understanding before jumping in.
Basics About Hydroponics
For clarity, let's define hydroponics. "Hydro" is a Greek word meaning "water," and "ponics" is another Greek word meaning "labor." So water labor is an apt name, because it is the water that works to supply the plants with their life force - nutrition - instead of the soil.
A garden that uses hydroponics can either have all-natural or chemical ingredients to nurturing. The form of this nutrition directly determines plant health.
Containers and pots of all types are an integral part of hydroponics. You can find just about any size, color or design in gardening stores.
Keep in mind that the plant roots still need an anchor; for this reason, containers made of shale, Hydroton or Rockwool tend to work very well. In fact, Rockwool is something you can use in any type of hydroponics system, but shale is more effective for flow and ebb systems.
Three Systems: Flow, Ebb and Drip
With the flow and ebb systems, your containers automatically flood with water to give your plants their nutrients, and afterward it drains back out. Drip systems use a constant drip to accomplish the same goal - nutrition.
Many people have noticed that hydroponics creates a superior yield with vegetables and fruits, which helps to explain its bourgeoning popularity. The effectiveness is not time-of-year dependent. Rather, how well your crop produces depends solely on your skill at designing your hydroponic garden.
Before You Start
Tools and knowledge will help you become well-prepared for the task of creating a hydroponic garden. In fact, think of knowledge as your most important tool. As with anything, you want to make this process as easy as possible, freeing the bulk of your time for the actually gardening tasks that await you.
Once built, choosing what to grow depends largely where you live and the type of hydroponic garden you've designed.
If you decide to try hydroponics, though there are some complexities, it's still really not that hard. But it does require taking your time to put it together properly so your garden realizes the great results you're expecting.
When you plan to build your own hydroponic system or purchase a starter's kit, it is important to bear in mind that you are not only just getting a container or a tray, putting your plants in it and supplying the plants with water and nutrients. There are two primary objectives that you need to achieve in hydroponic gardening.
The hydroponic system structure must be able to support the root system without soil.
You need to have an efficient method of supplying air, light, and nutrient to your plants.
When these two requirements are fully satisfied, you can then begin experimenting a more complicated and automatic system.
To meet the first requirement which can be quite easy with the help from good beginner's guides. All you need is a simple hydroponic unit that consists of a waterproof container filled with a growing medium or aggregate for root support. You place seeds or young plants into the aggregate. Then you pour a nutrient solution over the aggregate to feed the plants, and that's it, you have your own hydroponic garden!
Unfortunately, most of the times, when the hydroponic system is in operation, beginners encountered several problems. This is mainly because the second requirement is not well planned. No matters what kind of system you select, air, light and more importantly, nutrients are vital to your success.