Hydroponics is the science of growing plants, usually edible ones that are grown in nutrient fluid not in soil. In many cases, earth based plants can be grown in fluid and the roots are soaked in that rather than buried in soil . The hydroponic mediums that are most commonly used are perlite, gravl, clay pebbles or even mineral wool.
When plants are grown naturally they are covered in dirt. It was in the early part of the 18th century that scientists discovered that they could plant items in nutritional fluid rather than dirt and that the roots would absorb the nutrients that were dissolved in the fluid. Nearly any plant that will grow in soil can also be grown in hydroponic solutions. Hydroponics are standard to most biology classes and nearly every gardener knows some level of hydroponic growth, but most are not aware that it can be done on a small scale at home.
There are small kits that are available to use that can help you to grow hydroponic plants in your own home or, if you’re crafty, you can make your own hydroponic kits. The pebbles and other methods that are used to hold the plants in place are very commonly found even in online venues, allowing you to do small scale hydroponics inside your home, while larger hydroponics are often practiced outside in larger pots.
What’s necessary is a medium that will hold the fluid and the pebbles, or other materials that are in place to hold the plants. Nutrient medium can range in makeup, depending on what you’re growing in the hydroponics. Some plants will require a more acidic medium while others will need a more akaline one.
Nearly any plant that you’ll grow in your garden can be grown in the hydroponic fluid and in most cases, if you’ve got a large enough pot, the plants will grow to the level of the an outdoor plant. They will produce, in many cases, the kind of produce that you’re accustomed to from an in-ground garden, with less effort and certainly without having to weed and accommodate pesticide issues.
Hydroponic gardening at home is becoming much more common with the pots, mediums and nutrients available to you in nearly any gardening store. If you’re looking for a way to get fresh herbs and other produce year round while using smaller spaces and getting a higher yield, hydroponic gardening may be just what the doctor ordered.