How to Start a Hydroponics System


A hydroponic growing system is perfect for serious gardeners and those who want to grow larger crops of vegetables, flowers or fruit. This type of system can cut back on growing space, create more healthy and flourishing vegetation and provide the opportunity to grow anything inside. When starting a hydroponics system, it is best to start small before using it for large amounts of crops to save money and time. This is to make sure you understand all the steps and work out any problems. Keep in mind some key factors when starting a hydroponics system, such as your budget, whether you want it indoors or outdoors and what crops you are growing.

Step 1

Decide what you want to grow with the hydroponics system. Most likely this will be flowers, vegetables or fruit. Some starter crops that are popular and easy to grow include lettuce or other salad greens, tomatoes, marigolds and peppers.

Step 2

Decide where you want to keep the hydroponics system to let the vegetation flourish. This depends on if you want it indoors or outdoors and also on your climate and geography. For indoor hydroponics systems, you need to have artificial lighting, usually with fluorescent lights.

Step 3

Draw out a sketch of how you want your hydroponics system organized. This will depend on the location you want it to be in, the size, the available space you have and what you are going to grow. To start with a small to medium-size portable hydroponics system, consider a 5-gallon bucket with a 3-gallon growing container. This alone can hold one tomato plant or two pepper plants. Flowers do not have to be as spaced out as vegetables, so several could be place in this growing pot.

Step 4

Decide on a growing medium. There are two varieties: multi-use and one-use. What you choose may depend on what you are growing, but typically the multi-use mediums are ideal for long-term crops like houseplants, are expensive and have the ability to retain nutrients. One-use medium is thrown out after the first crop harvest, is inexpensive and is usually something like perlite or vermiculite.

Step 5

Invest in a good-quality aquarium pump. A pump is needed for aerating the roots in the nutrient solution. You want it to be good quality so it will be long-lasting and durable.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Growing medium
  • Pump


  • Easy Hydroponics: Starting a Hydroponics System
  • About Hydroponics
Keywords: starting hydroponics, using hydroponics, about hydroponics

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.