When people think of plants on land, they think of vegetation grown from soil. However, certain plants can grow just fine if their roots were submerged water. They would be known as hydroponic plants. You may think that water alone isn’t enough because it doesn’t have all the nutrients soil has. That’s why the roots aren’t submerged in just water but, rather, a solution that contains the nutrients needed. You don’t just put these plants in a vase of that solution like they were roses from a flower shop, however; they must first be held up by something called a medium.
A Growing Medium in Hydroponics
For unconventional gardening, growing mediums usually act as a substitute for soil. They could contain a mixture of components, but their sole purpose is to supply plants with nutrients similar to soil. Their sole purpose changes when it comes to hydroponic plants, though. Since hydroponic plants already get their nutrients from the solution their roots are submerged in, they won’t need any more nutrients from an extra source. For hydroponic plants, a growing medium is used to hold the plant up and keep it steady. The growing medium is located between both the roots and temp control device in the water and the rest of the plant on the surface.
Proper Temperature and Cooling for Hydroponics
When referring to temperature for hydroponics, people are specifically talking about the water. The water should be somewhere between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping it at that low-temperature range may require extra methods. Some manual ways to cool down the water can be with an ice pack or cool water. You could even paint the container white so it reflects sunlight. A water chiller, on the other hand, gives you a little more control over the temperature. Not only does it cool down the water, but it keeps the water at that consistent, cool temperature.
The Difference between Standard, Organic, and Hydroponic Fertilizers
Standard fertilizers are meant to be used with soil. A problem with this is that soil could be depleted of nutrients from actions like over-planting. With the help of microscopic organisms like bacteria, organic fertilizers have the nutritional substances broken down into smaller, more consumable pieces for the plant. This makes it easier for plants to absorb these nutrients. A trade-off for potentially requiring hydroponic chillers is the fertilizers, which have all of the substances needed for the plant to consume that are also readily available to be absorbed. Some organic fertilizers are starting to be made into a refined liquid and qualifying for use in hydroponic planting.
Nutrients contained in a Hydroponic Fertilizer
It contains three major nutrients all plant fertilizers have, which are Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. These fertilizers can come in solutions, making it easier for the plant to consume. Other nutrients contained include Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. These nutrients help make up for the lack of soil. A Hydroponic solution may also have Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc. The benefits of these extra nutrients may vary by plant. With all of the nutrients a plant needs in one potent solution, hydroponic fertilizers can contribute to helping the plant grow faster with better crops than soil-based plants.
Hydroponic planting has many benefits over conventional gardening, such as taking up significantly less water. This is a method that’s been used in many other countries, like China. It’s even been used in ancient times by Egyptian farmers. Hydroponic planting is highly recommended for those who want to plant a large number of crops. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, hydroponics can be a unique experience. Seeing the fruits of your labor can definitely be rewarding.