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Hydroponic farming is an excellent way to garden indoors. And it's not as hard as you think! You can grow plants, fruits, and vegetables all year round in your own home.
You can set up your own home-based hydroponic farm with the right tools.
You'll need to make sure you have the right tools. Not every tool is necessary for everyone, so you must research and figure out what will work best for you.
This blog post will outline the essential tools that all hydroponic farmers should have!
How Does Hydroponics Work, and What Are the Benefits of Using This Method for Farming?
Hydroponics is a water-based solution without soil for growing plants. Though soil can also be used as a hydroponic medium, it is not generally used. Instead, plants are grown in an inert medium, like Gravel, Perlite, Vermiculite, Rockwool, Oasis cube, Coco coir, and Rice hulls.
The water is improved with all the nutrients that the plant needs to grow. This method is often used for growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs indoors.
There are several types of hydroponic systems. They are often classified by the type of water used. The three main types are Wicked system, Deepwater culture system, Ebb and Flow, Drip system, NFT (Nutrient Film Technology), Aeroponic Systems, and Aquaponic system.
This method of farming has many benefits, including:
- Reduced water usage
- Faster growth rates
- Increased yields
- Year-round production
Now that I've answered the question, "what is hydroponics?" let's move on to the tools!
What Are the Ten Essential Tools That Indoor Hydroponic Gardeners Should Have?
Here is a list of essential tools that you'll need to start your hydroponic farm at home indoors:
1 . pH meter:
This tool is used to measure how acidic or basic a substance is. This is important to know when growing plants because they need a certain pH level to grow appropriately. Too much or too little pH can be harmful to your plants. If the water's pH level is not right for your plants, you will need to purchase some pH adjusters to adjust it. Ensure that your pH meter is calibrated correctly before each use because pH meters can drift over time.
2 . Nutrient test kit:
A nutrient test kit helps you measure the levels of different nutrients in the water. This enables you to ensure that the plants are getting the right amount of nutrients. The kit usually comes with a testing solution to put in a vial. You then add a few drops of the vial to the water and wait for a color change. The color change will help you determine the levels of different nutrients in the water. You should test your water for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). You can purchase a nutrient test kit from your local garden center or online.
3 . TDS meter:
This tool measures how many dissolved solids, salt, minerals, and other concentrates are in the water. These readings are crucial for determining how much water, minerals, and oxygen your plants can absorb. It also tells you when it's time to feed your plants. This helps you make sure that the water has enough minerals for the plants to grow.
4 . Timer:
This tool helps you keep track of how long each light cycle is so that you can adjust it as needed. Your plants will get the right amount of light. Timers can also track how often you need to water your plants when to add nutrients and control the ventilation duration depending on the type of timer.
5 . Thermometer:
This tool helps you keep track of the temperature in the grow room to make sure it is not too hot or too cold.
If the temperature is not maintained properly in a hydroponic farm, the plants will not grow correctly. The temperature needs to be within a specific range for the plants to photosynthesize properly. If it is too hot or too cold, the plants will not produce enough food for themselves and will die.
The thermostat is used to regulate the temperature in the grow room.
6 . Hygrometer:
This tool helps you keep track of the humidity in the grow room to make sure it is not too humid or too dry. If the humidity is not within a specific range, the plants will struggle to photosynthesize properly. The humidifier is used to add moisture to the air if it gets too dry. The dehumidifier is used to remove moisture from the air if it gets too humid.
7 . Watering can or hose:
You'll need to water your plants regularly, so make sure you have a watering can or hose handy. Watering by hand using a can or horse is one method only. There are some others, such as the Top-off method and watering by submersion.
You can make holes in the available bottle with a lid for manual watering.
However, manual watering using a can or hose has some pros and cons, as mentioned below.
- You can control how much water the plants are getting.
- You can see if the plants are getting too much or too little water.
- The hand-watering method can be time-consuming.
- If you don't pH balance the water, it can damage the plants.
8 . Scissors or Trimmers:
This is used to cut off any dead leaves or stems from the plants. You'll need scissors also to trim your plants and harvest the fruits and vegetables. Trimming is required for plant growth as it helps the plant focus its energy on producing more leaves, flowers, and fruits.
9 . Measuring cups:
This is used to measure the nutrients you'll be adding to the water. There's no need for expensive cups. Whatever you can get your hands on is fine.
10 . Grow room glasses:
This is used to protect your eyes from the bright grow lights and avoid any eye damage. There are different glasses available for various types of grow lights. You can find these at any hardware store. By using this, you can see the plants without straining your eyes.
With these tools, you will be well on your way to success with your indoor hydroponic farm!
What Are Some Other Things Needed for Your Indoor Hydroponic Farm?
In addition to the essential tools listed above, you will also need some other things to set up your indoor hydroponic farm:
- A grow room: This is where you will set up your hydroponic system. The grow room should be dark, cool, and well-ventilated.
- Nutrients and fertilizers: You will need to purchase a nutrient solution to add to the water. This provides the plants with all the nutrients they need to grow.
- Growing medium: You will need something to grow your plants other than soil. Popular growing media include gravel, perlite, vermiculite, Rockwool, oasis cube, coco coir, and rice hulls.
- Grow lights: These mimic the sunlight that plants need to grow. These are important because they provide the plants with light to photosynthesize. There are a variety of different grow lights available, so you should choose one that fits your needs and budget. Before choosing the grow light read this article on How to Choose the Right Grow Light for Hydroponic Plants?
- Containers: You will need some containers to grow your plants in. This could be a simple plastic pot to a more elaborate hydroponic system.
- Pumps, tubing, and filters are necessary to circulate the water and keep it clean.
- Trellis: This is used to support the plants as they grow.
- Ventilation system: This is keeping the air in the grow room fresh and prevents mold and mildew from growing. It would be better if you had a natural ventilated place in your home.
- Carbon filter: This is used to remove unwanted smells from the grow room. Carbon filters require replacement after 18-24 months of regular(24/7) usage in a broad sense. They can endure up to four years in less demanding settings. However, this period is determined by the carbon's quality, frequency of use, humidity level, plant species, etc.
You will need several different tools and equipment to start your indoor hydroponic farm. The essential tools I have listed are necessary for success, but there are other things you may need depending on the type of system you choose to use.
However, if you need a hydroponic system right away, don't wait until you've gathered all of the above. You may begin with minimal equipment and acquire more as your needs develop.
With these tools, you will be well on your way to having a thriving hydroponic farm!
Thank you for reading!