Indoor gardening is something that you may be interested in if you love plants but have struggled to look after an outdoor garden. It is a super convenient and space saving way to grow plants that is also cost effective and low maintenance. This method can be a lot of fun and is less stressful than growing plants outside because you will have better results with less work.
People who have switched to hydroponics or use it alongside traditional methods enjoy the benefits that it brings. There are many benefits but some are more impactful than others. For example, people who grow fruits and vegetables can enjoy more produce in a smaller space because it is highly efficient.
There are many different kinds of plants that do exceptionally well in hydroponics systems so you will be spoiled for choice when deciding which plants you want to grow. If you like to eat fresh vegetables and love your salads to be as fresh as possible then you should definitely give hydroponic lettuce a try.
Lettuce takes to hydroponics systems extremely well and is something that benefits from being harvested as close to the time it will be eaten as possible so it can retain as much of its nutrition as possible. If you want your own home grown salad bar, why not grow some herbs, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers hydroponically? Let’s take a look at some of the kit you’ll need to get started.
The most simple and popular hydroponics kits are deep water culture systems. These are basically a water reservoir that your plants will be housed in. The roots will be permanently suspended in water so the plants can take up all they need, and the roots will be anchored into a non-organic substrate such as perlite or clay pebbles.
Any hydroponic system needs to be supplemented with light so the plants can grow properly, and LED or CFL lights tend to be some of the most popular because they are extremely cost effective and cheap to run. Grow lights need to be strong enough to provide enough light for the entire grow space, so make sure you choose something suitable for the number and type of plants you are growing.
A decent grow tent will keep your grow space contained and will help you to control your grow environment. This is best for plants that need high heat and / or high humidity to thrive because they are usually lined with reflective material to retain and distribute heat. You can get small tents for compact setups, or large ones that are suitable for entire rooms. You don’t strictly need to buy grow tents but they do protect your home from moisture and help you to keep everything organised.
Plants need water and light to grow, but without nutrients they will not be able to grow to their full potential. In fact, plants grown in a low-nutrient environment will be stunted and short-lived. You will need to mix nutrients into your plants’ water to make sure they have everything they need in terms of essential nutrients and minerals. These nutrients are specially formulated for use in hydroponic systems for plants that are grown in this way. They are different from regular garden fertilisers that can crystallise in your system and cause blockages.
Monitoring devices are not strictly necessary but they can make a huge difference to the success of your grow project. Because hydroponics is such a technical method to grow plants, it is possible to go overboard when buying all the bells and whistles to go alongside your kit.
If you are itching to get some extras, the most useful ones will be a thermometer that you can use to keep a close eye on the temperature. A good model will record temperatures over a 24 hour period so you will be aware of any major fluctuations and can check for faults in your system.
Humidity monitors, or hygrometers are another piece of kit that can help you ensure the health of your plants. Many plants need elevated levels of humidity to prevent their leaves from drying out, browning and curling. If you are using a grow tent, humidity becomes easier to manage, but you will need to keep an eye on levels of humidity in your space especially if you are using central heating.