How to Use General Hydroponics

Overview

Growing plants with hydroponics involves using water instead of soil. The system is popular as a method of growing vegetables indoors due to the reduction of pest and disease problems. The hydroponics method benefits plant growth by providing nutrients directly to the roots to increase growth and production. Experiment with the different types of hydroponics systems available, to find the one that works best for you. Deep water or "ebb and flow" are common for beginning hydroponics.

Step 1

Grow plants from seed until they are 2 to 3 inches tall, or purchase seedlings of the same height.

Step 2

Assemble the hydroponics system according to manufacturer's instructions or directions for a homemade system. Place the system in a location with access to water.

Step 3

Fill the system with water and turn it on to verify it is working properly and water is pumping correctly. Set the growing containers 6 inches apart for small mature plants and 12 inches apart for large mature plants.

Step 4

Test the pH of the water placed into the hydroponics system. Many vegetable and flowers grow best in an acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Follow package instructions based on the amount of water in the system to amend water pH by adding phosphoric acid to make it more acidic or potassium hydroxide to make it more alkaline.

Step 5

Add nutrients each time when adding or refreshing the water to maintain a consistent level for best plant growth.

Step 6

Fill the hydroponics planting containers half-full of planting medium. Remove the seedlings from the growing medium and gently rinse the roots with water. Set the root ball into the growing containers and pack growing medium over the roots and around the stem to hold in place.

Step 7

Assemble grow lights over indoor hydroponics system so the lights are 6 inches over the top of the plants. Raise the height of the lights as the plants grow taller.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydroponics system
  • Netted pots
  • Water pH test
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Hydroponic nutrient mix
  • Plant seedlings
  • Grow lights

References

  • University of Arizona: Growing Tomatoes Hydroponically
  • Waiakeawaena Elementary School: Starting a Simple Hydroponic Garden
  • Simply Hydroponics: Hydroponic System Plans
Keywords: use general hydroponics, grow with hydroponics, plant in hydroponics

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.