Hydroponics: Growing Veggies Without Soil!

The Nuts And Bolts Of Hydroponics

Just what in the world is hydroponics! Hydroponics according to Wikipedia is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Indeed it is for the most part growing crops without the use of soil! Yes, we use the nutrients needed by plants to thrive, provide the proper environment for the plants and bingo, we have a hydroponics system!

 

 

Or it could be growing veggies on your  walls! Your imagination is the limit! The kit below is available in Amazon! Just click the picture below!

 

OPCOM Vertical Hydroponic Grow Wall — 75 Grow Sites, 5-Tier Display

 

OPCOM Vertical Hydroponic Grow Wall — 75 Grow Sites, 5-Tier Display

Basic Hydroponics Components

At its most basic form, a hydroponics system could be a jar or a bucket filled with the proper nutrient and a plant or two growing in it. No soil, just the right nutrient for growth. Now, as you will wish to expand your operation from a jar, we can expand the system so we build or buy a grow bed!

A grow bed is a platform usually raised to a certain level that is filled with a grow medium, then we add a nutrient-circulating system to it so the nutrient is distributed properly to all the plants. This is accomplished with the use of water pumps, some pipes , fluid containers, filters etc.

The picture below shows a complete hydroponics system kit for Indoor Tomatoes, Peppers, Melons etc! Available from Amazon.com!

 

 

SavvyGrow DWC Hydroponics Growing System-Kit - Large 5 Gallon Bucket w/Air Pump, Airstone

 

SavvyGrow DWC Hydroponics Growing System-Kit – Large 5 Gallon Bucket w/Air Pump, Airstone

 

Aerators

Some  hydroponics growers like to add water aerators or oxygenators to the system adding oxygen to the nutrients improving plant growth and quality. In systems where fish in tanks are used to supply parts of the nutrient, the issue of aeration is already part of the fish tank in such a way that the nutrient reaching the plants are already oxygenated.  Below are two products to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

Danner 04560 Pond Aeration Pump with Diffuser, 5500 Cubic-Inch/Minute

Grow Mediums Vary

Seedlings are first grown in very small grow mediums such as coconut husks shaped to handle the tiny plants or starter plugs. These individual seedlings are then nicely fitted into sheets of foam which are floating on the nutrient solution in a grow bed. As the nutrients are circulated throughout the whole grow bed, they are efficiently distributed and the plant growth is evenly achieved.

Others use pea gravel that is spread out on a grow bed. The same coconut husk medium for the seedlings could be used. The grow bed serves to hold the plants in place and also retain some of the nutrients.

Specially cut pvc pipes are also very effective as grow platforms for hydroponics. Available at Amazon.com by clicking the photo below!

 

DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 Sites 10 Pipe NFT PVC Hydroponic Pipe Home Balcony Garden Grow Kit

 

DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 Sites 10 Pipe NFT PVC Hydroponic Pipe Home Balcony Garden Grow Kit

 

Starter Trays And Starter Plugs!

Now starter trays serve to hold the starter plugs which are your grow medium for your seedlings! As your small seedlings will not be growing in soil, the starter plugs which are made out of rockwool material provide the medium for the roots to grow into. Trays and grow plugs are available at Amazon by clicking the photos or links below !

 

Extra Strength 32 Cell Seedling Starter Trays

 

Extra Strength 32 Cell Seedling Starter Trays

 

 

 

1″ Rockwool Starter Plugs

 

Hydroponics Artificial Lighting!

As mentioned above, hydroponics systems could be set up in enclosed spaces as basements! So we will have to use artificial lighting to make sure that the plants will get its necessary ‘sunshine’ through artificial lighting! The lighting below uses Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs. They are economical in its usage of electricity as compared to the old halogens.

 

 

 

Active Grow T5 LED Grow Light Fixture for Indoor Gardens, Hydroponics & Vertical Racks

 

Compost Tea Or Hydroponics Nutrients!

Now this tea is one of those that we do not want to drink! Leave them for our plants to drink! And for sure compost tea as the name implies are made out of compost material. Old rotten stuff like old leaves etc. Even cow dung that has dried up are placed in burlap sacks soaked in barrels of water and they become your hydroponics nutrient called compost tea! To make it easier, commercial nutrients such as the one shown below are available as well!

 

Humboldts Secret Best Plant Food For Plants and Trees Golden Tree, Explosive Growth, Yield Increaser, Dying Plant Rescuer, Use on Flowers, Roses, Fruit,

 

Humboldts Secret Best Plant Food For Plants and Trees Use on Flowers, Roses, Fruit

 

Control And Monitoring Of Nutrient Content

Control and monitoring of nutrient content is a great step to include in hydroponics systems. This helps maximize the application of plant nutrient necessary for the best growth and yield of crops. Monitoring soil nutrients however are a lot more troublesome.

 

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus - Handheld Digital Hydroponic Nutrient and pH Meter for Measuring pH Levels, Conductivity & Temperature in Soil & Plants

 

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus – Handheld Digital Hydroponic Nutrient and pH Meter for Measuring pH Levels, Conductivity & Temperature in Soil & Plants

 

Advantages of Hydroponics

Space for one is a great advantage. We can grow crops even in extremely limited space using hydroponics. In apartments, back or front patios, small backyards, rooftops, basements and walls as shown above…the possibilities are endless!

No Weeding Necessary

One of the major headaches encountered by growers using soil for its grow medium are weeds. The weeds compete for space and nutrients with our plants. These pesky headaches are totally eliminated in using hydroponics. No weeds to eliminate means less work and less expense. Weed killers are expensive!

Bugs Are Kicked Out As Well

Now, bugs and weeds go together! With no weeds involved in the system, the incidence of bugs is greatly reduced. Remember most of these bugs attack or eat our plants.

Do not forget that most hydroponics are built indoors or inside greenhouse structures. Bugs are effectively screened out in the process.

Easy And Clean Harvests

The roots of hydroponics plants are immersed in water and nutrient solutions. Soil-based plants have roots that have dirt or soil on them! More work of cleaning up during harvest is eliminated! And mind you these small advantages add up into big advantages!

Ease Of Operation Is Another Advantage

Now comparing the standard way of growing plants using soil as compared to using hydroponics, I find it easier to run hydroponics systems than soil-based grow mediums.

Hydroponics-Grown Crops Are Definitely Organic

Compost are easily turned into nutrients. Non-chemical or organic nutrients could be had using any kind of natural compost as leaves, grass, other materials that decompose. So this is another advantage for the use of hydroponics. We can grow food that are chemicals free!

Year-Round Production Advantage!

I would like to point this out as one of the top advantages of hydroponics systems. My research shows you can grow tropical plants or veggies in the middle of winter! Just make sure that your greenhouse has been designed and built to handle the extreme cold!  But it has been done and being done!

Hydroponics Underground!!!??

If you can grow crops in basements you can grow crops underground, inside caves using hydroponics! And that is not something that is easily doable using soil to grow things in!

Some Disadvantages, Initial Expense Etc

Establishing a hydroponics operation is expensive, at least as compared to growing plants in soil! The grow bed, the pump and pipes, the greenhouse and the nutrient will cost an operator initially. But no pains, no glory! All things that are excellent, come with a price!

Energy Cost

To run the water circulating pump could add a few more bucks to your expense list. But these pumps are truly small fractional horse power motors and their electrical consumption are tiny.

Return Of Investment!

The biggest ROI in my opinion is the joy and happiness with what you do in hydroponics! The whole process of setting up the system, growing your first crop of veggies, then just watching them grow is the best Return of Investment for a lot of us.  The harvest of food and some income is next to my ranking of benefit and ROI!

A quick research on the profitability of hydroponics is all over Google! Big farms have built huge greenhouses and producing crops using hydroponics! Indeed it looks like hydroponics  is a winner in producing food no matter where we are in the world!

 

Joe Joson

 

 

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “Hydroponics: Growing Veggies Without Soil!

  1. Hello Joe,

    I did not know about Hydroponics system before reading your review. It is very interesting to know about Hydroponics. After reading your post, I am feeling very keen attraction on it. Thanks for sharing. I am going to share your post with my friends and family members.

    In my opinion, it is the best way of cultivating veggies in home.

    Is there any other things you want let know about Hydroponics?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    Radeet

    1. Hello there Radeet!
      Excited to hear that you are going to share the information on hydroponics with friends and family! That is truly awesome! I am trying to do that here on the island in the Philippines during my yearly visits. I have to agree that hydroponics will beat the standard way of producing crops.
      Now I think you are interested in knowing more about hydroponics! My next post will be on AQUAPONICS! That is mixing aquaculture and hydroponics. Raising veggies and fish at the same time! Still no soil involved! So standby for the next post! : )

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my post!

      Joe Joson

  2. This is a lovely and educative post.

    It is quite a while I stumbled on an amazing article like this. The way you outlined this review is well comprehensive and understandable. So without soil we can grow some domestic vegetables. Nice to read about some developed devices like Aerator that is used in hydroponics system which helps to add oxygen to the nutrients to improve plant growth and quality. This is a very expository article. 

    1. Happy to hear that you found the article on hydroponics easy to understand Michael! It is amazing that a lot of folks have not heard of this amazing systems. Let me know if you have any questions at all!

      Thanks for your great comment Michael!

      Joe Joson

  3. Hi Joe Joson,

    I have read the whole article about Hydroponics: Growing Veggies Without Soil!Really this is an outstanding article.I haven’t heard that veggies Can be growing without soil.After reading this article i was surprised to learn properly that we can be growing plants without soil by mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.If someone read this article he will be able to know the hydroponics system.I have found this article so informative as i have understand the full protocol of Hydroponics system.Thank you very much for sharing such an informative article.I will share this article with my friends and relatives so that they can learn how to growing veggies without soil.

    1. Happy to hear that you found my article informative. As you will be sharing this information to family and friends, this will in effect increase food production wherever the knowledge is put to work. Thank you for your future efforts my friend!

      Thanks for your great comment!

      Joe

  4. Hi Joe! A few months ago I was introduced to this concept of Hydroponics for the first time. I was engaged with the idea and asked several questions. So, I’m here interested in this topic and want to continue learning.

    I really think it’s the best way to grow our own crop of veggies. And I like the fact that all can be purchased on Amazon. I really liked the DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 Sites 10 Pipe NFT PVC Hydroponic Pipe Home Balcony Garden Grow Kit. I’m considering it for my first experience with Hydroponics. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hello there Henry!
      I know an action man when I see one! I would start small just to learn the basics. Once you have a great handle on how the system works, have a first hand experience growing plants the hydroponics way, you will then have the necessary experience and knowledge to expand. The DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 Sites 10 Pipe NFT PVC Hydroponic Pipe Home Balcony Garden Grow Kit is recommended for beginners and is a kit ready to grow veggies.
      So let us hear from you once your veggies are growing!
      Thanks for your great comments!

      Joe Joson

  5. Hello Joe,

    I have read your article of Hydroponics: Growing Veggies Without Soil, you said that: Space for one is a great advantage. We can grow crops even in extremely limited space using hydroponics. In apartments, back or front patios, small backyards, rooftops, basements and walls as shown above…the possibilities are endless! is it really oi]]possible?

    1. The amazing thing about hydroponics is you can truly ‘go to town’ with your creativity. You can grow plants wherever you can send/circulate your nutrients using a small pump and plastic tubings! The OPCOM Vertical Hydroponic Grow Wall — 75 Grow Sites, 5-Tier Display would be great by positioning it against any wall, if you have very limited horizontal space! Available at Amazon by clicking the following link: https://amzn.to/2tNE0xH.

      Shoot me some questions if you run into some issues. Thanks for stopping by!

      Joe Joson

  6. Hi , 

    I have read the article of yours . I didn’t know anything about the plants can grow up without the soil with the correct amount of nutritions . As sometimes it is very hard to find the suitable quality for the soil through through different lab test . But the growing of pants without soil will be very easy to do . Hydroponics is going to be very special for different agricultural works . I’ll be trying it soon . 

    thanks foe sharing the information

  7. Thanks joe for taking the time to write this piece. it is educative. Actually I have heard of hydroponic long before now, and even watched some videos on how some companies in Israel have practiced it on large scales in growing different veges. However, your write up has widened my perspective of it. I want to ask with if wit can be practiced on a light scale with all the equipment you listed like aerator and artificial lighting.great piece

    1. Yes you can have mini-hydroponics kits and learn and prepare to build a bigger system! This link will take you direct to Amazon even if you just want to browse and read up on the system. https://amzn.to/2ThkyIX. Good luck my friend! Thanks for your comments!

      Joe Joson

  8. I’m a little curious about hydroponics and was amazed at how elaborate you can get with it. That 10 piece PVC system was impressive. If you’re growing them indoors, wouldn’t that limit the type of veggies you can grow? Would you have to stick to lettuce and herbs? I’d be interested to find out if there are systems that let you grow green beans, carrots, potatoes or tomatoes? It also seems that the system is reliant on electricity. If the power goes out for a day, will that kill the plants? How long can they survive without electricity to power the pumps?

    1. Hello there Annette!
      I have not seen carrots or potatoes grown in a hydroponics setting. That would be very interesting to see as we are dealing with root crops! But tomatoes are one of the crops grown in hydroponics. Beans I am sure will be good as well.

      The use of electricity is mostly for recirculating the nutrient. NO it will not kill the plants if we lose power for a few hours or even a couple of days. The aerator can also be off for hours or days without killing the plants. I would say that without electricity, the plants will survive for a good while. We just have to make sure that if our set up is a big grow bed, we have to make sure that the nutrient is still reaching all the roots and that the nutrients are still of the right mix.

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope I answered your questions well!

      Joe Joson

  9. Hi Joe, this is amusing, I was wondering what hydroponics is, not until I read your definition of hydroponics. I am quite familiar with hydroculture and know that it usually entails growing plants without the use of soil. Wow, the hydroponics system kit looks great. The idea of using artificial lighting for plants to get the necessary sunshine makes so much sense. As those hydroponics systems in basements space will definitely need sunshine to thrive. The benefits of hydroponics are many, if not for anything, the stress of weeding is ruled out and can be produced all year round. It is quite understandable about the cost of materials at the initial stage, but that can as well be recovered with time.

    1. Excellent observation Gracen! Indeed long term you can’t lose with a hydroponics system. When catastrophe strikes and food production is wiped out, we can still run hydroponics systems using solar and batteries and be able to produce food! In places where typhoons and hurricanes are common, a good, sturdy greenhouse should be considered. We are currently designing a typhoon-proof greenhouse where we are here in the Philippines. Will try to build one in my location in California as well.

      Thanks for stopping by and making a very smart observation about hydroponics!

      Joe Joson

  10. Thanks for writing an article on hydroponic  which is growing veggies without soil

    i most say a very well done job because I find this article useful in finding the right equipment to plant my hydroponic. 

    i have been doing my research on it for sometime now and I think I like dream joy hydroponic grow kit 90 site 10 pipe nft….i will like to find more about it and use it to plant tomatoes 

  11. Thanks for sharing this article. It is my first time of hearing or getting to read about hydroponics which is growing veggies without soil. I have been able to learn new things today. This site is loaded with knowledge and really informative. I must commend you for putting up an article embedded with things not known. Thanks for sharing this. 

    1. Super! Thanks for the ‘commendation’! Truly appreciate that! Happy to hear that I helped introduce you to something that you have not heard of that could also help you and many others!

      Joe Joson

  12. wow, this is such an awesome article. Thanks for enlighten me because my mind has never gone to maybe there is a way I can grow veggie without soil but reading this article has informed, enlighten and educated me on how to go about that and I have learnt new things about hydroponics. Thanks for sharing this information. 

    1. Hi Lok!
      Growing veggies without soil or growing your veggies right in your kitchen indeed is so awesome! Happy to hear it has sparked new interest in you! Let me know if you have any questions! And thanks for your great comment!

      Joe Joson

  13. This is my first time reading about hydroponics. It’s intriguing to see an alternative way to grow plants, especially if one has limited space. From what your article told me, hydroponics also allows for a simplified process without the weeding and killing off of bugs and other likely pests. I’m interested in learning more about this process. 

    1. Hello there Todd! For sure hydroponics is going to be the agriculture of the future! In some very limited and crowded cities, they are now creating commercial size hydroponics system in high rise buildings! You can have a mini-farm just about anywhere you decide to set up a hydroponics system!

      Thanks for your great comment!

      Joe Joson

  14. I have been considering this, since the soil at my house is basically non existent with just sand (I live in Florida).  I don’t want a garden on a grand scale, just a small area to grow some specific plants.  So I was wondering if there are kits you can buy to set this up.  As I know I would not know the first thing about setting up a hydroponic garden.  Can  I find such a kit for a smaller size garden?

    1. Indeed there are mini-hydroponics kits out there. Amazon has several small kits. Posting my Amazon link here if you are interested. This will take you to the product. This one is a complete kit but very small. With this kit you will be able to first hand identify the basic components, watch your plant grow and harvest your veggies. By running a small system, this will prepare you for any size system later. https://amzn.to/2ThkyIX

      Thanks for your interest and comment!

      Joe Joson/JosonInc,Wealthy Affiliate

  15. Hi there Joe joson, thanks for sharing this wonderful, educating and informational article about Hydroponics: Growing Veggies Without Soil!, I must say I have little or no knowledge about it before, although I have read few things about it before but as an engineer who doesn’t really gains much from that profession I didn’t read well on it, but I must say your article has opened my eyes and developed my interest in the hydroponic systems and am researching well on it back

    1. An engineer should have no issue creating a simple hydroponics system. To be honest almost anyone who has the interest can build one. Happy to hear that the article has rekindled the fire of interest in you about hydroponics! Looking forward to pictures of your plants that have been grown the hydroponics way!

      Thanks for stopping by and dropping off your great comment!

      Joe Joson

  16. I have often thought about hydroponics, since the soil at my house is non-existent. It is just sand everywhere, and I know that is not a good base for a garden. So I am wondering if this can be done a a fairly small scale and at a reasonable cost? Is it possible to purchase a mini hydroponics set up for a small area or no? I hope that makes sense. I can’t see myself doing this myself, as I really don’t feel I know what I’d be doing. But we recently moved into a new house, and I miss my garden!

    1. Indeed you can have a mini hydroponics system! Remember that you can use a small jar, fill it up with hydroponics nutrient, stick your seedling in it and you have a hydroponics system! Thanks for stopping by!

      Joe Joson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *