Indoor Hydroponic Systems
Having a garden in your backyard is a wonderful way to get fresh vegetables all summer long. But what about the rest of the year? For fresh vegetables 365 days a year, turn to indoor hydroponic systems.
Hydroponics is soilless gardening. For years now, scientists have known that plants may be cultivated in a medium other than soil. To apply this principle of soilless gardening, they came up with agricultural systems like indoor hydroponic systems that do not require soil for plant cultivation.
There are several different methods used to apply indoor hydroponic systems. Typically, instead of soil, an inert growing material or plain water is used to grow plants.
The growing material may consist of vermiculite, gravel, or one of many other types of inert substances that permit water to flow through with the rule that the more porous the material is, the better for growing. Thus, coconut fiber, bran, moss, and something similar may be perfectly suited for indoor hydroponic systems.
For the plants’ nutrient source, indoor hydroponic systems use nutrient solution. It was in the 1890s when Russian researchers first developed the right formula conducive for plant growth. The nutrients of course consist of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and other trace minerals, which are dissolved in water and allowed to flow throughout the growing area, delivering the necessary nutrients to the roots of the plants.
One advantage of indoor hydroponic systems is that they do not use standard fertilizers. Instead, what is used is the nutrient solution, which is really just a specially designed fertilizer. Because of the concentration of nutrients in these solutions, the essential growth elements needed by plants are more readily available to them.
Indoor hydroponic systems can be very simple to build. In fact, you may not even need to purchase a lot of materials for you to start building your own system. Depending on the size of your planned indoor hydroponic system and the interior space you have available, you can even use that old aquarium tank you have as a tank to contain the nutrient solution.
Besides the tank or the reservoir, most indoor hydroponic systems consist of a growing tray or tube, a timer, and a pump. It is also necessary to provide a source of light, which in this case where sunlight may not always be available, should be a special lighting device designed specifically for growing plants. You can find these in any garden shop anywhere.
The air pump is responsible for keeping oxygen levels in the nutrient water adequate for the plant roots to survive. Usually, an air stone, a kind of porous stone that produces air bubbles, is used to produce the oxygen necessary to plants.
Some stores sell indoor hydroponic systems in kits. These are composed of materials you need to build the system, plus the design. It’s a very convenient way to start your own indoor hydroponic system, especially if you know next to nothing about designing, let alone building, a hydroponic system. Others who already have some background in hydroponics prefer to design and build their own.
Any type of plant may be grown indoors. Indoor hydroponic systems can cultivate anything from green vegetables and tomatoes to mushrooms and many more.
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