Making a Backyard Hydroponic Garden

Backyard Hydroponic Garden - Green Wall

Is it possible to have a Backyard Hydroponic Garden? 

 

For many people the word “hydroponics” conjures up a high tech image of rows of plants grown indoors. You’ve probably seen a photo of a grow room that looks like the inside of a spaceship with fans, lights, massive ventilation systems and even people in clean suits. But hydroponics doesn’t have to be that unapproachable! Plants can grow hydroponically anywhere. In fact, plants love being outside in a natural setting. You can easily set up a backyard hydroponic garden right at your home.

 

In an indoor hydroponic garden system, the grower is trying to mimic the ideal conditions for plants. Lights take the place of the sun and fans imitate the wind. In high tech situations, a computer figures out how many hours of light and dark the plants need, how much water and nutrient they will use, and the right amount of air exchange. 

 

But plants have been interacting with the elements for millions of years. The angle and color of the sun gives the plants all the cues they need for growing, fruiting and flowering. In the spring and early summer, the sun is higher and brighter and the days are longer. This causes the plants to grow tall and leaf out.  And as you may have noticed, in the autumn the days are shorter and the light is lower and more golden. This signals that winter is coming and the plants know they’d better produce their fruit and seeds ASAP. Furthermore, wind strengthens plants’ stems, and removes stagnant air from around the leaves. There is no need to keep your plants indoors if you have the space outside. Plants don’t care if they are growing in water instead of soil.

 

An easy way to get started with your backyard hydroponic garden. is to buy a kit. This way you will get the nutrients, pots, medium and pump. Or, if you have done some research, you can build your own

 

Backyard Hydroponic Garden - Blue Pipes

 

While you will certainly have success growing vegetables hydroponically outdoors, a greenhouse can give you some big advantages. You can plant seeds earlier and harvest later in a greenhouse. The greenhouse offers protection from rain, wind and pests. You can install a small heater if you want, which will further extend the growing season. And don’t be scared to combine systems - put perennials in soil beds and then try growing lettuce and other annuals in a hydroponic system. It’s really fun to compare conventional vegetables with hydroponic ones. 

 

If you are currently using an indoor hydroponic garden system to grow herbs or lettuce, can you bring it outside in the summer? Well, yes and no. Just like with any indoor plant (houseplants, seedlings, etc) you can’t just put it outside and expect it to adapt to completely different conditions. Plants love consistency. Going from grow lights and indoor temperatures to bright sunlight and hot or cold or windy conditions will shock your poor plants and possibly kill them. But if you slowly introduce them to the outdoors, you can transition them into your backyard hydroponic garden.

 

Indoors or outdoors, high tech or basic, with hydroponics you can have amazing results with your plants.

 

For more great content check out the Proponics YouTube channel below!

 

Proponics on YouTube

 

 

Meredith Bio Pic
By Meredith Martin
Meredith Martin started a small hydroponic farm in 2004. Within a few years, it was supplying basil to more than 20 supermarkets. She has since sold the farm and now spends most of her time skiing, windsurfing and travelling. 

 

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