Hydroponic gardening requires more care than traditional soil-based gardening, but is easily mastered and can provide many benefits and exceptional growth rates. There are various types of hydroponic, deep water culture, ebb & flow, and aeroponics systems available, but each utilizes a method that directly applies a nutrient solution to the roots of a plant. Because of this direct-contact of the nutrient solution, pH, and PPM/EC levels of the solution must be carefully monitored and maintained or problems can arise. In soil-based gardening the soil acts as a buffer between the nutrients and the plant roots allowing for slight fluctuations in pH and PPM/EC levels that would otherwise harm the plants. However, because of this it can take more time to see the effects of nutrient adjustments in soil gardens whereas that time is dramatically reduced in a hydroponic garden. Therefore you must be comfortable with measuring and adjusting pH levels, as well as correctly following specific nutrient schedules, to be successful when growing with hydroponics.
Drip systems and ebb & flow (sometimes called flood & drain) systems can be easier to start off with than deep water culture and aeroponic systems. They can both utilize a soil/soilless grow media which can add a buffer to nutrient uptake. This can help prevent or slow the effects of errors in nutrient calculations buying the grower more time to adjust.
Not sure what type of hydroponic system is right for you? Check out our Hydroponics Buying Guide to learn about the options currently available.
Learn about hydroponic water temperature, filters. and meters.
Questions? Call 888-815-9763 or email [email protected].