Flood and drain system How to hydroponic will help you understand hydroponic gardening (also known as soiless gardening) growing plants using hydroponics is becoming a popular hobby and is also being used by commercial growers which has proved to be a very lucrative business. Hydroponics comes from the Greek words, hydro (meaning water) and ponos (meaning labour) literally means “water-working”, were you grow plants in a mineral nutrient solution, in addition some systems also use an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel or rockwool. You may think hydroponics is a new invention! But it has been practiced for centuries in one form or another, “The hanging gardens of Babylon, the floating gardens of the Aztecs are two examples and reference to the growing of plants in water was found in early records of Egyptian hieroglyphic dating back several hundred years B.C for more information go to An active hydroponic system

Growing Hydroponic tomatoes Once you have mastered the techniques of how to hydroponic you should be able to grow any plant you choose using a hydroponic method. You will find many different types of hydroponics systems, these form two main groups which are either media-based and include ebb-and-flow (flood-and-drain), top-feed (drip), or bottom-feed (Wick Feeding) or water culture, which includes Raft Cultivation and Nutrient film technique, then you can have either an active system or a passive system. An active system uses a pump to supply the nutrient solution around the plants roots and for aeration, with the passive system a wick can be used to draw the nutrient solution up to the plants roots or the root ball is suspended in the air and just the tips of the roots are in the solution, these methods have static solution for more information go to How to hydroponic

 Nutrient concentrate   The nutrient solution is the main element to get right a balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K) and trace elements to maintain healthy plant growth and reap a maximum harvest. You will need different concentrations of solution and formula i.e. “grow” or for the vegetative growth cycle and “bloom” or “flower” formula for the flowering cycle, as with all gardening, but especially with hydroponics you need to keep good records, a regular change of the nutrient solution is essential it is also important to keep PH levels right for the plants you are growing. For more information go to Hydroponic nutrients

Grow Light 28WT Next important element in How to hydroponic is lighting, hydroponic lighting comes in many intensities, sizes and types depending on what you grow and the purpose you wish to use them for, how well, how fast your plants grow will be effected by the lighting you use. The different types of lighting produce different spectrum of light, light omitted from sodium bulbs will be in the yellow to red spectrum it is thought that this has caused plants to go leggy while light omitted from metal Halide bulbs will be in the blue to violet spectrum. To learn more about lighting systems go to our Lighting Section