Hydroponics is a method of growing plants with water instead of soil in a controlled environment. This method of growing plants stimulates large plant growth with increased harvest amount due to the ability to control the amount of nutrients available to plants. Make a simple deep-water hydroponics system for a beginner or purchase a more advanced drip method or ebb-and-flow hydroponics system to increase the amount of plants grown at one time.
Purchase small seedlings or grow seedlings to a height of 3 inches.
Test the hydroponics system by filling the reservoir with water and turning the system on. Assemble the growing containers and set them 6 to 8 inches apart for small plants or 10 to 12 inches apart for large plants.
Take a sample of the water in the reservoir and test the pH with a kit available at garden supply stores.
Add phosphoric acid to lower the pH if it is above 6.5, or add potassium hydroxide to raise the pH if it is below 5.5. Follow package instructions for amendment rates based on the amount of water in the reservoir.
Add water-soluble hydroponics nutrients to the water reservoir just prior to placing the plants in the system. Follow package instructions for the application rate for the volume of water in the system. Monitor the nutrient level and add more when water is increased or added to the system.
Plant the seedlings into the growing containers filled with hydroponics stones or growing medium. Remove the seedlings from the soil they were growing in and rinse the roots with water. Place the roots into the hydroponics growing containers, spread the roots and cover with growing medium to hold in place.
Place metal halide grow lights over the plants if they are growing indoors or a dimly lit area. Set the lights 6 to 8 inches above the plants. Raise the lights to keep them 6 inches above the plants as they grow.