Are you interested in setting up your own hydroponics system at your home? It is quite easy, provided you have enough time and space to maintain it. If you thought a hydroponic gardening system required highly sophisticated tools and equipment, you are badly mistaken. Listed below are some of the basic supplies, which are the bare essentials that are needed for you to set up your home garden easily and effectively. These supplies are easily available from any Hydroponics grow shop. This is the list that is usually recommended for beginners because they contain the fundamental equipment required for one to start up hydroponics on a small scale initially.
- Nutrient solutions
These are not the normal fertilisers that you give for potted plants. Nutrient solutions for plants grown in a hydroponics system are in the form of a liquid and they are made from various essential ingredients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, zinc, sulphur, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron, molybdenum and nickel. The major advantage in these nutrient solutions is that the ingredients are found in their right percentages, in order to give maximum benefits for the plants. There are ready-made nutrients available at any online hydro store or retail store.
- Growing medium
This essential equipment is quite essential when you want to set up a home-based hydroponics system. It is the place where your plants will grow in. Though it is ideally based on the system of hydroponics that you use, it is usually made up of substances like clay aggregate, grow stones, coir peat, rice husks, perlite, vermiculite, pumice, sand, gravel, sheep wool, wood fibre, rock wool, brick shards, coconut fibre and polystyrene packing peanuts. The system and the type of plants that you wish to grow will decide on the growing medium that you choose.
A reservoir is one of the most important parts of a hydroponics kit. It is the place where the nutrient solution is stored from where a pump then sends it to the roots of the plants frequently. If you are planning to grow many plants or a few big plants, it is highly recommended to buy a big reservoir so that it is able to store a reasonable amount of solution in it. The frequency in which the solution will be sent from the reservoir to the plants will depend on the automated timers that you have installed in your garden. You can also buy a grow tray based on the size of the reservoir as this where your plants would be kept.
When you are looking to buy basic essentials for your hydroponic gardening system from a hydroponic grow store, it is very important to invest in a good timer. Irrespective of whether you use a normal system or a float and drain system you need timers so that you can control the timings when water has to reach the plants, when it has to be drained out and more. They are used to control the heating, ventilation and other systems as well; therefore, it is important to choose a timer that is sophisticated and automated. Yes, they are costly than the traditional ones; however, they are worth every penny spent on them because they save you a great deal of time and effort.
- Lighting system
Plants, whether they are soil-based or hydroponics-based, need enough lighting to grow. In addition to natural lighting, ensure that you invest in good LED lights in the place where you have set up your hydroponics garden. This is because they are safe and very durable. They don’t need to be replaced quite often and they consume very little energy, thereby leading to huge savings in your power bills. They are also quite good for the plants because they don’t emit harmful heat.
Pumps are the ones that give air and water from the reservoir to the plants. They are also used to drain out the water at a fixed time if you are using an Ebb and Flow System. All the functionalities of the pump are controlled with the help of the timers. You can choose either submerged pumps (located inside the reservoir) or non-submerged pumps (located outside the reservoir) based on your requirements and suggestions from an expert. A non-submerged pump occupies more space; therefore, go for it only if you have enough space in your garden area.