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Hydroponic gardening is the process of growing plant in a liquid nutrient solution and without the use of soil, perhaps supplementing at times with a soil-less medium such as pebbles or vermiculite. Using ceramic or some type of opaque container, a special container with double walls or a water tight trough of sorts, the containers can be home made, of wood, or metal.

Hydroponic gardening
Hydroponic gardening

It works wonderfully well in tight spaces such as an apartment or kitchen window sill. Growing herbs in this way will keep you in fresh herbs for your cooking through the winter and turn your window sill into a beautiful green garden.

Lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and herbs are very good choices for hydroponic gardening.

How to’s

Plants which are grown in this way need support. Place an inert medium in the bottom of the container for the plants roots to grab at, or plug the top of the container with a stopper that has a hole in it to allow the stem to come through.

Fil the bottle with nutrient solution and make sure that it does not go dry at any point, and keep a water level gauge for accurate readings, making sure to keep the plants in a warm place, between 65 and 75 F is best. The solution must be changed every two weeks.

Germinating Seeds

Single seeds can be germinated hydroponically by taking a strip of cloth and folding it in half, and placing the seed inside the strip, folding down the top over the seed and then the securing it just below the seed with a large paper clip and laying the paper clip, or pin across the top of a narrow necked bottle such a an older style glass soda bottle. The bottom of the strip of cloth should lay in the bottom of the water, so that it wicks up the moisture to the seed causing its germination. As your seed grows the roots will reach down into the water and the tops will sprout up to the fabric.

As it begins to fill its space transplant to a larger containers.

Provide Oxygen:

The plants that are growing require some gases found in air. To provide those if you are growing more than one plant per container, consider using a fish pump and settling an air hose down into the water. Your plants will grow a great deal faster this way.

Fertilizers:

The fertilizers that you use will need to be specially made for hydroponic growth. Normal fertilizers contain elements that may injure the roots, while the hydroponic variety contain the micronutrients that your plants require to survive.

Recycling Containers:

Save up your interesting jars or pretty bottles and use them to grow your house plants hydroponically. A brandy snifter, or an interesting liquer bottle will make a superb plant container. Fill it with colored gravel or clay balls or perhaps marbles of differeing varieties and add a liquid nutrient to the water, which will need to be changed about three times a year.

The roots will intertwine with the gravel and make a remarkably lovely addition to your house.

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