How to Grow With Hydroponics

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Hydroponics means "working water." A plant that is grown by hydroponics does not receive its nutrients from soil but rather through water. Commercial hydroponic plant food, which is mixed with water, can be purchased at many garden centers. Plants grown with this method require the same amount of light as plants grown in soil. Hydroponics allows crops to be grown where the soil is inferior or places where there is no soil, such as on a ship. Growing hydroponically also allows scientists to better study the needs of plants. Hydroponic gardening can involve plants that are suspended, with their roots submerged in water, or where they are planted in gravel.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant seedling Pot with drainage hole Plug for drainage hole Lightweight gravel Hydroponic plant food Water Container
  • Fit a removable plug into the bottom of the pot.

  • Transplant a seedling (when the secondary leaves appear) into a pot filled with lightweight gravel. The level of the gravel should be about 1 inch from the top of the pot.

  • Mix the hydroponic plant food with water, according to the directions on the packaging.

  • Fill the pot to the top of the gravel with the liquid mixed solution.

  • Remove the plug from the bottom of the pot and drain the solution into a container.

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5, twice a day for a week. Reuse the same solution. After a week, make a new batch of solution and repeat Steps 4 through 6.

Tips & Warnings

  • Connect a drain cord from the pot's drainage hole to the container holding the solution to avoid manually draining. The pot should be placed higher than the container. Investigate automatic feeders, which pump the solution into the plant's container twice a day.

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  • Photo Credit A. Johnson
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