Hydroponics are quickly becoming one of the greatest tools for producing produce in the world. Their soilless, water based system helps to cut down on the food processing which largely contributes to things such as factory farming and climate change, and most hydroponic systems often offer higher yields than traditional farming methods. But for those living without a home or homestead, or who live in smaller, more enclosed locations such as an apartment, you can still utilize hydroponics as a feasible way for growing your own vegetables!
Benefits of a Hydroponic Growing System
While we mentioned earlier than hydroponically grown plants often have higher yields than traditional farming methods, there are plenty of other benefits to hydroponic growing which you wont find with traditional farming. For one, being able to grow plants in a limited space is the main benefit for apartment owners when it comes to hydroponics, as growing systems rarely need to be larger. In addition to a higher yield rate, your plants also grow faster, roughly 30% faster than plants grown with traditional farming. This is due to the fact that your plants do not need to expend as much energy searching for nutrients in soil, and instead suck the nutrients through their roots directly from the water in your hydraponic system. Additionally, you can outfit your hydroponic system to regularly monitor the pH levels of your system. This is important, as an unbalanced Ph level can kill your plants. Hydroponic systems also get rid of the filth and messiness of soil borne growing, and also prevent the possibility of soil borne diseases from occuring.
Building your Hydroponics System in your Apartment
To begin the process of building your hydroponics system, we’ll start with a smaller, simpler system. The sixteen unit hydroponics layout were building is roughly 5.4 square feet in size and is designed to be both hassle free and economically friendly to beginners. These systems can either be purchased from an online merchant, physical location, or you can even build the housing for your hydroponics system yourself. Before you begin the set up process, you should choose between purchasing a premade system or building your own. Those with space constrictions should consider utilizing a hydroponics system with a pump and clock tool to make growing easier.
If you cannot spare 5.4 square feet, you can try to set up your hydroponics system vertically. Vertical systems typically take up only two feet by two feet of space on the ground and an additional two by two feet for against wall space above the ground. When it comes to which plans you can grow in the sixteen units, this is entirely up to you. Whether you want to grow all the same type of plant or if you’d like to grow different species and types of produce is entirely up to you. However, one thing of note you need to make sure of is that your hydroponic system is exposed to sunlight. Even in a hydroponic setup, your plants need light in order to grow. If you’re setting up your hydroponic system in a location without natural sunlight, consider purchasing grow lamps or other specialty lights for plant growth needs. In addition to all of this, you’ll also need to install your drip system for your hydroponics. The set up for these systems is simple and low maintenance, and is typically the best for beginners to hydroponic growing. The set up for your drip system will include a reservoir filled with your nutrient mix and water. This will drip onto the plants roots inside of your unit at a timing interval of every fifteen minutes. Be sure to set a timer to ensure your plants receive regular feeding, but are also not over watered and thus, drowned. If possible, try to pair your timer with a pump system. This will help with your watering schedule, as the pump and reservoir will recirculate your solution and water for you. All you’ll need to do in terms of maintenance and upkeep is to remember to change out or replace the solution every two weeks. Consider utilizing hydroponic water to water other plants inside your home, helping you to save water overall.
Regardless of how and where you choose to set up your hydroponics system, its clear that this ingenius method of growing is perfect for anyone looking to save money on their grocery bill through their own home growing. By pre planning and ensuring you have enough space available, you’re able to take the responsibility of your food into your hands and stop relying on expensive grocery store produce which often doesn’t hold or even taste all that well. If you experience trouble while attempting your hydroponic setup, there are several guides and resources online for you to consider as you begin the journey of growing your own food.