Hydroponic plants are grown in water without soil. The simplest and easiest way to start growing hydroponic plants at home is to set up your aquarium outdoors for your plants to get much sunlight or indoors under a light bulb. If you have enough space on the kitchen counter, you can fit in an aquarium to grow your own fresh vegetables and herbs.
A checklist of what you will need:
1. Aquarium (let’s say 10 gallons)
2. Air pump
3. Airstone (aquarium bubbler commonly sold in aquarium shops)
4. Oasis cubes or Rockwool
5. Hydroponic nutrients
6. A thick polystyrene board
Begin with the seeds
You will have to plant the seeds in rockwool or oasis cubes. When the seeds would have sprouted, you will have to put them in holes on the polystyrene board.
Set up the aquarium
Sit your hydroponic growing aquarium in a place facing direct sunlight. Set up the common air pump, air tube, and bubbler or airstone. Then, fill the aquarium with water in which you would have added some hydroponic nutrients.
Cut-in the polystyrene board so it floats on top of the water. The easiest polystyrene boards that you will find usually come in the packaging of domestic appliances such as television, washing machine, refrigerator. You can also purchase one at your local store. Make 1-inch square holes in the board and leave a space of 6 inches apart. In this way, you will be able to grow six variety of plants in the aquarium. This will also allow enough space between the plants so that they do not have to fight for space among each other. After that, insert the rockwool or oasis cubes with your seedlings into the holes. Note that the roots will be floating in the top quarter of the aquarium and the bubbles from the airstone will keep them humid as the water bubbles pop up at the top of the water.
As long as the water pump keeps pumping, the water will remain in good condition. There will be no need to change the water regularly like can be the case with aquariums for certain kind of fishes. All that you will need to do, is to top off the water and add a dose of nutrient solution. Finally, after every growing season, you will simply empty and wash out the aquarium.
What plants to grow
Vegetables – Lettuce, pepper, tomato, spinach
Herbs – Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Basil, Lavender, Parsley, Mint
Flowers – Snapdragon, Marigolds, Petunia