A hydroponic system is a water-based growth system that recirculates the nutrient solution on a continual basis.
They're ideal for both indoor and outdoor gardening because hydroponics uses less water than traditional soil farming methods.
In this guide, we're going to discuss the essential hydroponic supplies needed to set up and maintain hydroponic systems in your home, so you can grow edible plants all year long.
Hydroponic gardens need constant monitoring to ensure they’re healthy. Regardless of the system you intend to use, it's vital that you keep monitoring every part, so that you have less chance of failure.
Hydroponic monitoring equipment is relatively cheap and easy to use, so even if you're on a budget or strcit timing schedule, you can be sure that your plants will continue to grow properly.
Pots and Trays for Germination
Depending on the system you use, you’re going to be using pots and trays.
The pots will be used for germination and the trays will be used for plants that have already germinated.
Pots for Germination
Just like with soil, you’ll need to put some sort of potting mix in the pots. The difference is that hydroponics uses a soilless mixture instead of regular soil. There are many different types out there and it’s best to look around until you find one that works well for your needs.
One of the most popular is rockwool cubes. You can put your seeds in some sort of growing medium, then place them into a cube and start sprouting!
If you don’t want to use pots and trays for germination, you could also try using plastic bags with holes poked in the bottom as well as paper towels.
Trays for Germination
Depending on the system you are using, the trays will be used differently. For example, in an ebb and flow tray, your seeds would go into holes inside of a Rockwool cube which is placed over a water well. As long as you continue to add water to that well, everything should stay moist enough for germination.
Once your seeds have sprouted, you can move them into some sort of hydroponic system where they will continue to grow. The trays are used in an ebb and flow tray because it allows growers to reuse their seedling cubes once all of the roots have grown through them.
Using a fogger with your hydroponic setup is a good idea if you want to make it look like natural mists are coming out of the top.
This is also great for delivering smaller amounts of nutrients at one time. You can use this fogger with other types, but leave enough room that they don’t get mixed together too much.
Foggers work well in an open room where you can see them spraying, and they work well when the pump is very close to the fogger.
For this reason, it’s a good idea not to spray too much at once with a fogger because it could reduce how far your nutrients get distributed throughout your garden space. In addition to that, if there are any clogs, it could stop the nutrient solution from leaving the fogger.
The heat mat is one of the most critical devices to use when growing plants with hydroponics. The key thing about using a heat mat for your plant’s roots is that you need them to stay at around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since soil-free growing mediums like Rockwool and coco coir don’t retain as much heat, you’ll need a dedicated source to keep the roots warm and happy.
The best place for your hydroponics heat mat is underneath of your grow tray – this way all of those precious nutrients won’t be wasted if they leach out into the growing medium.
Hydroponics root conditioner is important for your plants. They provide nutrients to the plant roots and help them grow better in hydroponics systems where there isn’t soil or soil-like growing media, like coco coir or peat moss. The best root conditioners are organic so they don’t harm your plants by adding in any chemicals.
It’s a liquid that you add to your nutrient solution when growing hydroponically so it can dissolve and mix with the water before drip-feeding nutrients to your plants’ roots. This keeps them healthy and happy, which means they grow faster than if they were deprived of moisture or food for long periods of time.
When it comes to hydroponics irrigation, there are three main components that need to be addressed: the nutrient solution, oxygenation, and humidity.
The last component is a type of aeroponic system in which roots hang freely inside an enclosed chamber with intermittent jets spraying them with a fine mist or fog at regular intervals. This method offers faster growth times than traditional media with an increased yield.
What’s the difference between indoor and outdoor hydroponics? Well, the major difference is that in indoor hydroponics, you grow your plants in a controlled environment rather than outdoors.
This could be inside or outside depending on what climate conditions are best for growing your plant of choice indoors. For example, if you live somewhere with extremely hot summers and cold winters it probably wouldn’t make sense to try to grow plants indoors at that time of year.
Without grow lights, your garden will not grow – plain and simple.
There are many different types of supplemental lighting that you can use to provide growth lighting for your plants, but the most common type is LED Grow Lights. These typically come in either cool or warm colors (colors like reds and blues) and mimic natural light.
Research shows that more than anything else it comes down to the color of light you give your plants.
A good rule is to use lights with a color temperature around 3000K (the higher, the better). So LEDs are great because they provide this type of lighting and typically last about 50,000 hours, not bad huh?
They can be used with any kind of hydroponics method and work well alongside drip systems because the water doesn’t have to be recycled back into the reservoir.
How much do I need to spend on supplies?
It really depends upon what kind of hydroponics system you want to use. For example, a simple nutrient film technique will require less equipment than a deep water culture setup.
The best advice is always to buy the highest quality equipment that your budget allows for because it could reduce how far your nutrients get distributed to the roots.
Conclusion: Getting started
You know now what hydroponic supplies you need to get started. It's up to you to choose the system that you think will work for you, based on what you want to grow.
Then buy the supplies with a budget that you have in mind. It's that simple!