How to Grow Plants Hydroponically

Four Methods:Germinating the SeedTransferring the SeedlingYour PlantMaturing Your Plant

Have you ever wanted a garden, but just don't have the outdoor space? Hydroponic gardening is for you! It's a simple way to garden without using dirt, and can be done pretty much anywhere.

Method 1
Germinating the Seed

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    Choose the seed you want to grow. Make sure that it can be grown where you live (don't choose a citrus plant if you're living in Alaska, for instance) and that it isn't a plant that is grown underground.
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    Take wet paper towels and place the seed(s) inside them. Fold it over, and place it gently in a clear, sealable bag.
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    Put the bag in a warm, dark place and give the seeds some time to germinate. Germination is triggered when a seed is wet, so keep the paper towels moist. Don't forget that some seeds take longer than others.

Method 2
Transferring the Seedling

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    Keep in mind that, when the sees had germinated and is showing at least one inch of stem, it is a seedling. What you do next depends on the type of plant.
    • If the seed has a frailer stem, keep it in the original paper towel but cut small holes for the leaves to emerge through.
    • If the seed has a stronger stem, feel free to cover only the roots in wet paper towels and let the stem straighten out and grow leaves.
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    Watch the seedling(s) carefully so that they grow straight. This is a very fragile time in their life, so be extremely gentle.

Method 3
Your Plant

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    Move your plant into its permanent container when the seedling is stronger and bigger.
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    Fill the container with water. You can choose between having one plant per container, or doing a larger container with many plants. If you choose the second option, make sure that all the plants have good support.
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    Place your grown seedling into the water, so that only the roots are emerged. If you are growing a plant that gets much taller, you should probably tape a support to the side of the container.
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    Change the water every few days, especially if it seems to get murky or translucent. Also, plants need nutrients to grow, so buy a pack of liquid fertilizer to add to the water every week. Follow the package instructions, and don't overfeed the plants.

Method 4
Maturing Your Plant

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    If you chose a plant that bears fruit, watch for flower buds growing near the leaves. They will open and dry up, leaving behind the start of a fruit or vegetable.
    • If the plant needs cross-pollination in order to be fertilized, place the plant outside or near an open window for a few days so that insects can do the job. A good plant for hydroponic gardening is one that self pollinates.
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    Make sure that the flowers don't way the stem down, if you chose a flowering plant. Normally, plants can anchor themselves into the dirt for extra support. Check your plant's stem daily for any cracks or bending points.
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    Harvest the fruit/vegetables like any other plant. Enjoy your hydroponic garden!

Tips

  • Stay away from underground plants or incredibly tall plants.
  • Choose a nutrient blend wisely, or make your own. Remember that the plants will not be getting the essential nutrients that you would find in dirt.

Article Info

Categories: Merge | Hydroponics