The Hydroponic world has opened up to people that don’t have the space to grow their own vegetables and flowers. Small Hydroponic gardens right in your kitchen make it possible to take your cooking to another level with the freshness and natural goodness. How to Start a Cheap Hydroponic Indoor Garden:
- Start Seeds
- Seeds Sprout
- Transplant Seedlings to Container holding Water
- Mix proper amount of Nutrients with water for the Roots of the Plants to Absorb
- Hang a Grow Light Above Container for Heat & Growth
- Maintain & Monitor your System
When you read this article you will see that an Indoor Hydroponic Garden is not only simple and inexpensive to create and maintain, but also, that the rewards are wonderful. You’ll wonder why it took you so long to get one going.
Hydroponics Setup Beginners
The materials needed for Indoor or outdoor Hydroponic Gardens are easy to find. You can make some of the materials needed right from your kitchen or garage. Since the cost are really inexpensive the easiest way would be to order online through Amazon or take a ride up to Walmart or Home Depot. There are pre-fab kits using containers for starting up it would be up to you but the cost is low.
Stone wool Starter Cubes are for Seed Starting. These sheets come in sheets of 200 and are a reliable way of getting your seed to sprout. The sheets are sized perfectly to fit a planter flat, that you would find under a tray of young plants from a greenhouse. The cubes or plugs that they are called has a pre-formed hole that easily will hold the seeds or cuttings. Once rooted the gardener can transfer the whole plug to a larger piece of stone wool or soil.
These pre-made holes in the cubes allow for easy transition from the seed to sprouting. Once the seed sprout, you can separate the cubes individually. Greenhouses recommend soaking these sheets of Stone Wool for 4 or 5 minutes before you add the seeds.
Stone wool cubes are transferred to Stone wool Blocks to accommodate the seedling and support the seedling as it develops. The different sizing purpose it to allow for growth and hold and secure the young seedling. The seedlings are easily transferred from the cubes to the larger blocks. The blocks and plugs are made of similar material that is fibers of melted down rock that is spun into this wool-like fiber. The planter flats have plastic lids that will help keep added moisture and temperatures in.
The fiber and the trays make a perfect setting for the seed to get going and sprout. Also, an added feature for your starter flat is a Heat Mat for added warmth for your seeds that will lay flat down in your flat tray. This is a 10 inch by 12-inch heating element especially made for Indoor hydroponic Systems to ensure the health of your seedling. They can order online for as little as $10.00. It will keep your roots at a constant temperature of 75 degrees to 85 degrees that will ensure germination. They come in different sizes and are waterproof construction.
The Cost of a Hydroponic Indoor Garden
LED Grow Light hung overtop the seed trays to bring your seedlings to sprout. The full, spectrum grow lights provide the perfect wavelength for all stages of plant growth for using a Hydroponics garden indoors where not enough light is available. High luminous lamps should adjustable from 4 to 12 inches off the tray depending where they are in the plant growth cycle. A perfect wavelength for Indoor Hydroponics Light is Red+Blue+UV+IR for the seedling germination.
A 45 watt Light with a coverage of 3 ft. by 3 ft. at 2 feet above the flats is suitable and the cost would be around $25.00 dollars. Some quick tips for the lighting would be to add a timer to the system to ensure the plants get enough if you’re not home to turn them on. Add small pulley to bring the light fixture up and down to adjust the amount as the plants change size.
- Pre-Hole Container
- Net Pots
A container or Bucket is needed for the plant’s new home. Now that the seedling has developed into a plant it’s ready for a new home. The container can be a 5-gallon bucket or any plastic container that supports a lid. You can cut through the lid with a hole saw attached to a portable drill. This will hold the Net Pots that the transferred seedlings will live in and the Net Pot will sit in a hole that is partially filled with water where the roots will be able to reach and continue on their journey through the plant’s growth cycle.
Plastic storage containers make great Hydroponic vessels and you can get these at a Home and Garden Center for around $20.00 dollars. Cut the holes out with a portable drill. They work great and they are inexpensive. You can also shop online for containers or larger cell plant growth boxes but you’ll be limited how many plants you can grow. There are Indoor Home Hydroponic Kits online that come with everything you’ll need to get from seed to plant. They are made of food-grade plastic and can last for years. They also have everything you need to get it going.
How to Mix Nutrients For Soil
The water used for your hydroponic plants has added nutrients in it to deliver to the roots system as a food source. It needs to be dechlorinated before filling the container. If you have a carbon water filter on your faucet or a pitcher water filter that will take the chlorine out of the water.
If not use the Bubbler pump you will be used to maintain the oxygen level of the container water. This will be the most important piece of equipment you will need for the Indoor Hydroponic System.
You can run the pump and aerate the water in the container overnight and this will dechlorinate your system’s water. Otherwise, the bubbler adds important oxygen levels by aerating the water just like it does in an aquarium. These pumps run quiet and again I know I have said this a hundred times they are really cheap.
You can get them online for 10 bucks and if you go to a thrift Hobby store you can pick up a second hand one for a couple of dollars. The PH of most drinking water is somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6 so you shouldn’t have to adjust it but if you do there are online additive to do just that.
In the world of Hydroponics water and nutrients are delivered to the roots system instead of soil that is used in regular plant growth farming. Because soil usually carries the nutrients that enable growth in the earth and water does not have these, the farmer needs to mix and feed them to the growing plant.
These building block nutrients contain the complete primary secondary and micronutrients to enhance the crop yield and quality of the yield. Users can adjust the mixtures to suit what particular plant they are trying to improve and that specific plant’s needs are altered. You can enhance the flavor, nutrition, or aroma of hydroponic and soil plants. In Aquaponics, the nutrients are provided for you with fish. It’s easier than you think. Take a look at this article I wrote for MyWaterEarth&Sky called Raising And Harvesting Trout For Aquaponics
The Serious Indoor Hydroponic farmer
Once you get your system up and running, you might want to improve on what you have created and maintain better control for more of a variety of plants. Just like a working aquarium water chemistry needs to exactly right on the button.
Living bio systems can make changes without some kind of bad results taking place before you figure out what is the problem. So keep up on water testing when mixing the nutrients and use reliable equipment. You’ll find anything and everything Hydroponic at Amazon.com just check out these home systems and prices. Testing equipment or components to get your indoor or outdoor garden growing. Check them out.
It’s the lifeblood of your system. Electronic readout monitors are fast reliable and under 20 bucks for TDS(total dissolved solids) PH and temperature all important for maintaining the health of your Hydroponic Indoor Garden. The timer for no worry energy-conserving control for the light on your Indoor Hydroponic System ensures you are constantly in control
- Pulleys for Hanging Light
- Bubbler Pump
Cheap Indoor Hydroponic Startup System is a Great Hobby
For around 100.00 dollars you could be well into a great DIY project that really can produce much than you ever put into it. There are ways to take these prices and make them a little cheaper. Most of the equipment is very affordable and can be used over and over. Depending on what you are growing you can switch the nutrient over to regular plant food products or one other idea is using a noodle from a swimming pool and cut it into sections to use instead of the Stone wool. Instead of using Net Pots use can use Yogurt containers.
Growing fresh vegetables is always a cost savings venture. The more you Know-The the more you Grow.
How to start hydroponics seeds?
- Assemble the Hydroponic System.
- Mix the Nutrients & Water in the Tank. Add Plants to the Growing Tubes.
- Tie the Plants to the Trellis
- Turn on the Pump and Monitor the System Daily.
- Monitor Growth.
- Inspect for Pests & Diseases.
How do you start seedlings?
- Soak, scratch, or chill seeds before planting,
- Fill clean containers with a potting
- mix made for seedlings. Pour soilless mix into a large bucket and moisten with warm water. Plant your seeds according to your seed packet.
- Cover containers.