Choosing The Right Hydroponics Setup to Feed Your Family

Every family wishes to have enough food in all seasons, which is possible if you’ve got the right hydroponics setup to harvest. The hydroponics system allows you to grow various healthy and fresh plants without much effort, plus reduces your trips to the market looking for food supply. Unlike traditional farming, the plants take less time to mature and grow without soil.

When choosing the best hydroponics system, you must consider your budget, experience, and needs. This article is for you who’ve been struggling to choose the right hydroponics setup for beginners. 

small hydroponic setup

How Do You Make a Simple Hydroponic System?

If you want to make your hydroponics system, you’ve got first to choose the kind that will meet your needs and give you an easy time maintaining. The deep-water culture is one of the best hydroponics setups that beginners can opt for.

In this system, plants grow with their roots deep inside nutrients rich water. You can make this using a large opaque container. But the most crucial part of this process is to know how to use the container to make a small hydroponics setup, as this guide elaborates below;

Materials Required

  • Storage container
  • Hard water liquid nutrients
  • Pipettes
  • Measuring beaker
  • Air pump with air stone
  • pH down
  • Hole saw with arbor
  • Drill
  • Net pots
  • pH meter

Step To Step Guide on How to Make Hydroponics Setup

If you want to make a customized hydroponics setup, this is the best way to achieve it;

hydroponics setup for beginners

Step 1: Look for An Opaque Container

The first thing you need to get is an opaque storage container that will give enough room for your plants to grow. An opaque storage container will prevent light penetration which discourages algae growth in the water.

The container should be deeper to create an enabling environment for the nutrient solution. Remember, a smaller storage container that’s not deep enough will contribute to the Ph and nutrients concentration fluctuation. You will also have to add water, which can be cumbersome regularly.

Step 2: Make Holes on The Container’s Lid

Make holes on the lid after getting the right containers for this hydroponics setup. The holes are for the net pots where your plants will grow through. Drill holes into the lids but make sure the holes are not larger than the net pots to prevent them from falling.

Also, space the holes well to give your plants room for growth. To prevent your lid from breaking, put some wood below it, then drill the holes.

Step 3: Get the Air Pump Ready

You then need to prepare the air pump before fixing it into the system. Ensure it stays outside the container. Usually, the air pump should have a check valve that stops it from sucking the water when switched off. If yours doesn’t have the check valve, place the pump above the water level.

Then fix the air stone on the check valve using a tube. Let the arrow on the check valve point towards the air stone. After that, connect the air pump and the check valve.

hydroponics setup

Step 4: Add Water and Nutrients

You should afterward bring in water and nutrients into the hydroponics setup. Before adding any of these, ensure the location is the ideal area where you’ll not have to transfer the system.

Pour water until it’s almost full. Leave a room of about 1 or 2 cm at the top of the container. Add nutrients to the water. Follow instructions on the bottle while adding the nutrients to get the best results.

Finish up by adjusting the water Ph level. Use a Ph meter to help you get the right Ph, enabling your plants to thrive. If you’re using tap water, it will have a Ph level of between 6.5 and 7.5. However, the vegetables you’ll plant will need an acidic nutrient solution. So, try to bring the Ph to between 5.5 to 6.5 using drops of phosphoric acid.

A pipette will help you do this with ease. However, ensure you put on your gloves and thoroughly mix the solution afterward.

Step 5: Finish Up the Setup

You should then finish your small hydroponic setup by fixing the air pump and the air stones in the reservoir. Then introduce your plants into the system. Opt for a growing medium that’s not messy for your plants, like clay pellets.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hydroponics?

Even though it’s advantageous to grow your plants in a hydroponics system, there are some disadvantages of opting for this smart farming technique. The disadvantages of this system include;

High Start-up Cost

You will have to dig deeper into your pockets to start the best hydroponics system. This makes it an expensive venture which is unlike the traditional garden. You will have to buy the components whose costs depend on the size and design you opt for.

hydroponics setup for beginners

Requires Close Monitoring

If you have a hydroponics setup, you need to check on it regularly to ensure everything runs smoothly. You have to be careful with the plants and replace the water after some time which can be time-consuming.

You’ve also got to monitor the water Ph level, lights temperature, and replace nutrients which is more work. This is unlike a traditional garden, where you can let nature take charge and create balance for the plant’s growth.

Highly Affected by Water and Electricity Shortage

In a hydroponics system, plants depend entirely on water and electricity to grow. So, you have to ensure you’ve constant water and electricity supply for your plants to do well.

However, your small hydroponics setup won’t do well if you’re in an area with frequent water or electricity interruptions. Remember, the grow lights and water pump are powered by electricity.

Plants Are Vulnerable

The plants that grow in a hydroponics setup tend to be more vulnerable than those grown on soil. The plants are prone to waterborne diseases, affecting their growth if not killing them.

Additionally, plants growing without soil are more affected by diseases or nutrient deficiencies than others. This can make you incur losses and discourage you from farming.

Requires Expertise to Manage

You cannot manage a hydroponics system if you’ve not enough knowledge about it. You need to know how to handle the equipment to enable your plants to flourish and get a bumper harvest. You should also know the mistakes to avoid when handling the hydroponics setup that can affect or destroy the whole system.

strawberry plant

Are Hydroponic Vegetables Healthy?

If you’re new to this farming technique, the number one question you are likely to ask is if the vegetables are healthy, which is okay. The good news is that growing your plants in a hydroponics setup allows them to grow healthy and protects you from unhealthy feeding habits.

Vegetables grow in this system without insecticides or herbicides. This ensures you harvest clean and safe foods which won’t harm your family members. The vegetables are also nutritious as they get enough nutrients without any chemical booster.

For example, the nutrients-water solution where the vegetables grow allows plants like lettuce to be juicer and crunchy. This ensures you enjoy eating it and benefit from the vegetable’s minerals, antioxidants, and carbs.

Additionally, the vegetables grown in a hydroponics system are healthier because you get to monitor their growth pattern. When you’re responsible for your kitchen supplies, you’ll ensure you give it the best to get a fresh and healthy harvest. You check the nutrients levels, temperature, and Ph and adjust them to favorable conditions that enable your veggies to blossom well.

Hydroponic plants have few pests/diseases, unlike soil-grown vegetables. You won’t have to use pesticides on these veggies, which are good for your health. Pesticides can react with skin, and if you don’t wash them thoroughly, they’ll affect your digestive system. The environment also gets affected by pesticides, which is not the case with hydroponic vegetables.

Furthermore, no adverse weather can affect your plants as the system ensures a steady supply of nutrients, light, and water vital for growth. The favorable growing condition will protect your veggies from diseases and allow you to plant regardless of the season. So, you’ll have a healthy harvest all year long, which is good for your family.

When you have healthy vegetables from your hydroponics setup, you’ll be able to protect your family from frequent disease attacks. Your hospital expenses will reduce, and you’ll raise a productive team that’s ready to conquer the world.

Verdict

As the hydroponics system continues to become more popular, you shouldn’t miss the chance to grow your plants healthily without much struggle. However, you need to choose the right system which will enable you to grow adequate vegetables, fruits, and herbs to feed your family. With the best hydroponics setup at home, you’ll be able to save money, reduce your trips to the market and live healthily, as this guide puts it.