Hydroponics 101

Hydroponic gardening has become a new fad practiced among many in urban areas, areas with little water, or just those who simply want to try it out. Hydroponics is defined as “the growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (such as soil) to provide mechanical support”. 

Since many farmers are switching, or at least interested in hydroponics, it is important that the plants are grown properly. From the growing method you go about, to the shelving that holds your plants, it is important you are doing it correctly to maximize your crop. Here’s everything you need to know about hydroponics. 

How it works

Plants grown hydroponically are grown without soil. You may be thinking, how do the plants get the necessary nutrients? Well, a water-based nutrient solution is circulated past the plant roots, recirculating the unused nutrients. These plants develop several fibrous roots, which intake food and water very well. While there isn’t as many nutrients lost in hydroponics, plants obtain more energy throughout the growing process, dedicating energy into their foliage, flowers, and fruits. Also, yields of hydroponic crops can be up to 75% larger than plants in soil.

Benefits

One of the main benefits of hydroponic farming is how you can grow much more crop in much less space capacity. Hydroponic plants can be grown indoors, which is very beneficial to those in crowded, urban cities, or live in an apartment. Hydroponics also is a great way to preserve water. If regulated properly, hydroponics utilizes as small as one tenth of the water that a usual developed crop would need. 

Types of Plants

You are able to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits in your hydroponic garden pretty easily, depending on the plant. Long-root plants are normally harder to grow hydroponically, as well as plants that produce big fruit or grow large in size such as corn or watermelons. 

Some vegetables that are easy to grow and produce rapidly would include: lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, kale, cucumbers, spinach, and green beans. 

Herbs are also very efficient in hydroponic gardening. Chives, basil and mints are great herbs grown by many hydroponic farmers. 

Lastly, there is also some fruit that will produce well with hydroponics. Strawberries and blueberries are a couple examples! 

Storage/Shelving

Lastly, one of the most important parts to hydroponics is the shelving or storage system in which holds the plants. A high density storage system is very beneficial to hydroponics, as it is durable and very space efficient.

SpaceSaver offers a high density storage system that works perfect for hydroponic gardening. Spacesaver ActivRAC systems eliminate wasted space, encourage airflow, and allow for optimal light exposure. This high density storage system also has mechanical-assist handles that allow staff to easily open aisles so they can tend the plants, and the aisles are wide enough for staff on both sides of each growing area. 

Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc is the only sole-source and only factory authorized supplier of SpaceSaver brand shelving products in the entire state of Iowa and Nebraska. From the planning process to the implementation of your products, our consultants will guide you along the way so your project goes smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your hydroponic needs! 

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