Hydroponic gardening may seem like a new method for growing crops, but the idea has been around since the 17th century. Today, commercial gardeners use greenhouse hydroponics to grow hothouse tomatoes that are sturdy and fast growing with a higher yield. But commercial growers don't have to be the only ones who produce high yield crops hydroponically. An indoor home hydroponic setup can grow vegetables and herbs in a spare room or closet.
Select an interior room of the home or basement. Controlling light is important for growing things hydroponically. A windowless room will best help you control the light. Another solution for controlling light in a hydroponic system is to use a grow box.
Fill a seedling tray with rockwool cubes. Water the cubes uniformly from above with a nutrient solution and water mixture from a watering can.
Plant seeds in the rockwool cubes to a depth of 1/4 inch. Cover with plastic sheeting and place under grow lights to germinate.
Remove sheeting once seeds have germinated. Check frequently to ensure that rockwool does not dry out.
Transplant rockwool cubes directly into larger rockwool cubes as the plants outgrow their original cubes. Place these cubes in flood trays.
When plants reach a mature height, transplant rockwool cubes into perlite in grow baskets. Suspend these baskets in hydroponic reservoirs.
Mix water and pre-mixed nutrient solution.Test the pH of this solution. If the solution's pH is too high, lower it with a diluted amount of battery acid. Fill the reservoir with this solution.
Add more solution as the level of the solution in the reservoir diminishes.
Test the pH of the solution daily. Add sulfuric acid as needed to lower the pH.
Change the solution completely every two weeks for immature plants and weekly for mature plants.
Support large or heavy plants such as tomato vines with support cages or trellises. As vegetables begin to grow, you can support the vegetables on the trellises by making a sling to cradle the vegetable until it is time to harvest it. This will prevent the heavy vegetable from causing strain to the plant.