How Does Hydroponics Work? Find the best information from start to finish and the basics of how hydroponics work.
The term hydroponics collectively refers to methods of growing plants using nutrient solutions without the use of soil. The term hydroponics does not specifically reference a technique in itself, but rather encompasses several different growing techniques.
Although hydroponics is not limited to indoor gardening, it is very popular with indoor gardeners . Hydroponic gardening can be done using natural light, or artificial light (grow lights).
So, how does hydroponics work?....Hydroponic gardening achieves all the same goals as conventional gardening, but with a different approach. Plants need things. Plants need water, sunlight, and nutrition . Plants absorb water and nutrition through their roots.
In nature, soil acts much like a "sponge" for water and nutrients. It "holds" the water and nutrients within reach of the plants roots. The soil itself isn't consumed by the roots. Strictly speaking, if the plants roots receive all the things that they need, soil isn't necessary at all.
Although hydroponic gardening techniques may be quite different, they all share a common link... They delivery water and nutrients to the roots of plants. Although soil is typically not present in hydroponic gardening, the plants are often given a "medium" in which to live. This usually has more to do with physical support of the plant, rather than nutrition.
Photo Credit: pgoings
Several different approaches on how to grow hydroponics have been explored over the years. No "one" approach is best.
Some plants will react more favorably with different techniques .
Here is a brief overview of the major styles of hydroponic gardening:
Check out our illustrations of the below Hydroponic System Plans .
If your still wondering "how does hydroponics work?," check out our illustrations of the above Hydroponic System Plans . Seeing may be all you need.
Photo Credit: m-louis
Many ask, how does hydroponics work with only nutrients? When growing plants hydroponically, you need to remember that your plants depend on you for everything . In nature, lots of minerals and nutrients are made available to plants through the soil...Or more specifically...rainwater deposits lots of minerals and nutrients into the soil, which the plant can consume.
Since your water reservoir is the plants exclusive source for nutrition, you need to provide your plant with what it requires. There is a booming industry that manufactures nutrient mixtures for hydroponic growing. There is no "right" choice, it all depends on your situation, plants, and growing technique.
Read more about nutrients here: Hydroponic Nutrients
Same thing here. Many ask, how does hydroponics work without soil? Still a good question!! A medium.
A growing medium is the substance that your plant is "planted" into. Normally, this medium acts as an "anchor" for your plant. It provides a bit of protection for the plant. Additionally, it serves as structural support for the plant as it grows. It's the "thing" that the roots can latch onto as they grow. The major hydroponic media are:
Fortunately, it's become much easier in recent years to experiment with hydroponic gardening. Many companies manufacture small entry level units that are geared toward the beginner.