Hydroponic gardening is a great way to garden indoors if you do not have arable land suitable for gardening. If you are going to be gardening indoors, you will want to garden efficiently, in order to get more produce from your hydroponic garden.
Hydroponics means that the plant is grown without dirt and with a nutrient solution that provides for all of its needs. It can mean that you grow your plants in sand, gravel or rockwool, or it can also mean that you grow them in water. The advantages to growing plants hydroponically is that they can produce more food than in traditional soil growing methods, and the food can be grown in parts of the world that has soil that will not support the growing of crops. Because many plant pests live in the soil, hydroponic gardening also takes away the need for pesticides.
One huge key to making your garden work well and produce more food for you and your family is to make sure you are using a sufficient nutrient solution for the types of plants you are trying to grow. Once you have your light and hydroponic digital ballast, your next concern is the nutrient solution. Providing the plant with all of the nutrition it would be getting if it was grown in soil, nutrient comes in a liquid or a powdered form. How much you will use also depends on the medium in which you are growing the plants. For instance, plants growing in potting soil take less nutrient solution than plants growing in rockwool. You will want to mix your nutrient solution carefully following the instructions on the package. If not diluted enough, the too-strong nutrient solution will not allow water to be effectively absorbed by the plant, and can kill it. However, the produce you grow will be better tasting the more nutrients the particular produce can absorb. You can use a TDS meter to determine the nutrient strength. The unit shows the strength of the nutrient solution based on the salts that are dissolved in the water, because the electrical current will flow through the salt solution. The electrical conductivity factor is what is used to measure the nutrient solution strength. Watercress and lettuce require a two to four conductivity factor, whereas fruits, berries and ornamental trees require a factor of 35. Higher levels are used for tomatoes and certain types of peppers, but most plants will grow well at a 13 to 25 conductivity factor.
Gardening is a great hobby, and now it is one that you can enjoy in an apartment with no soil at all. Be sure to choose high quality lights and a grow light digital ballast. Also, another added benefit of this form of gardening is that there are no weeds to pull. That means more time for the fun of gardening, and more produce, too.