The 4 Essentials Of Hydroponic Gardening
If you don’t know what hydroponic gardening is, it is merely the technology of soil-less farming. It entails the production of healthy plants from mineral-rich water medium instead of the typical soil platform. Crops only require water, sunlight, and minerals to grow and they can do so without soil. The roots do much better in another growing medium besides soil, say water. So, what do you need to practice hydroponics in Australia?
A growing medium
This is the groundwork in which the roots will grow into. There are various growing media to use such as Rockwool, soil-less mix, hydroton, and coco. Some of them are modified beforehand with the fundamental nutrients; others have nothing to offer except a base for the roots to hold on to. Soilless mixes are very popular and may be modified to meet various needs. Coco is a medium that’s created from coconut husks- it has good qualities such as good aeration and moisture retention capacity. Hydroton refers to an upgraded clay pellet with an excellent ratio of water to oxygen. It is the ideal medium for both soil gardens and hydroponics. Lastly, Rockwool medium consists of stones which are spun into fibers and pressed to form starter cubes and blocks. Rockwool is best used in drip systems.
For plants to give optimal yields, they need a healthy fertilizer program. Nutrients are found in fertilizers- both organic and artificial. Plants need micro and macronutrients. Macronutrients include Potassium, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Calcium. The micronutrients are iron, zinc, boron, manganese, chlorine, molybdenum, and copper. Most fertilizers contain three major nutrients namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Plant growth needs adequate light. How plants bloom normally depends on the amount of time, they are exposed to light per day. Plants need 15 hrs to 18 hrs of light every day during their vegetative growth stage. During the boom phase, the light requirement shifts to 10 hrs – 12 hrs. For lighting an indoor garden, High-Intensity Discharge bulbs are recommended for plants in their flowering or bloom phase; while Metal Halide lighting is good for the vegetative phase. The other hydroponic lighting alternatives are the T5 fluorescents which are both energy-efficient and low-heat. T5 lights are perfect for clones, mother plants, and plant starts. As you can see, the grow lights come in different designs, sizes, bulbs, and reflectors. It is important to choose one that suits your gardening needs.
How well the hydroponic plants thrive is partly dependent on the quality of water used. It is better, to begin with, low PPM (Parts Per Million) water which will add nutrients depending on the requirements of your plants. The contaminants found in water can be eliminated by reverse osmosis systems which are excellent options for attaining high-quality and low PPM water.
Hydroponic gardening is changing most people’s perspectives concerning plant growth and has an excellent potential for being the future of farming. If you have always wanted to grow vegetables at home but don’t have enough space, then hydroponics in Australia should be your ideal solution.