Hydroponic gardening is the method of growing plants in a soil-free environment. Instead of planting seeds in the ground, seedlings are instead grown in a solution of water and specialized nutrients. Because the gardener has greater control over the nutrients and growing conditions, the produce yields of hydroponic gardens tend to surpass those of traditional gardens in both bounty and nutrition. It is relatively easy to get started with hydroponic gardening.
Decide whether you want to grow your hydroponic garden in a hydroponic gardening kit, or if you'd prefer a more do-it-yourself approach. Hydroponic kits are easier to use, but if you have limited funds, you can make do with an aquarium, air pump and a thin sheet of cork or plastic to cover the entire top of the aquarium.
Select plants that grow well in hydroponic gardens. The most popular hydroponic plants are tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers.
Place the plants into the hydroponic garden. In the case of hydroponic kits, this means simply placing the plants into their specialized pots. For those using aquariums, you will need to support the stems of your plants in in one of two ways: use pebbles to support the stems, or cut slits in the sheet of cork, allowing the roots to dangle into the solution while the plant rests atop the cork, out of the water.
Turn on the aerating pump to supply the plants with oxygen. Completely drain and replace the water every two to three weeks.
Fertilize the hydroponic garden regularly. Do not use fertilizers intended for regular gardening; use fertilizer made specifically for hydroponic plants. All fertilizers have different concentrations and instructions, so please read and follow the directions on your fertilizer's package carefully.