Are you looking for a survival gardening method that will allow your plants and crops to grow up to fifty percent faster than any normal garden?
What’s more, what if this gardening method could produce a larger yield of crops in addition to growing them faster too?
And as the icing over the cake, what if this gardening method would be less vulnerable to pests and disease?
The gardening method that is being described to you is called hydroponic gardening.
What is a hydroponic garden?
A hydroponic garden is simply a garden where the plants are grown in water or any other soilless solution for that matter. It allows your plants to grow faster and at a higher yield in contrast to methods that involve soil.
Here is a step-by-step process for how you can easily set up a hydroponic garden system:
Step #1 – Build Your Table
Your table needs to hold the water for the garden. Most are built out of wood and have a rectangular shape.
To give you an idea of how big of a table you need, an eight by four foot hydroponic table will hold approximately twenty gallons of water. This is a good size for a beginner.
Step #2 – Build A Floating Platform
The purpose of the floating platform is to stop the roots of the plants from rotting. The floating platform enables them to float in the water.
You’ll need an eight by four-foot sheet of Styrofoam, that’s anywhere from 1-2 inches thick, to serve as your floating platform.
Step #3 – Cut Holes In Your Platform
Next, you’ll need to cut holes in your platform. Each hole should have a circumference of around 2-3 inches; you can use the bottoms of your planting pots as references. The plant pots need to fit into the holes, but cannot extend very far beneath the floating platform.
Step #4 – Install An Emitter In The Table
The ‘emitter’ allows water to drip out of your garden slowly. This way, the water will not remain stagnant, and you can add more water to replace it.
The best emitter to get for your twenty-gallon hydroponic garden will be one that can drip out water at a rate of at least one gallon per hour.
You’ll need to punch a hole in the bottom of your flood table for your emitter, and then install the emitter into the hole. Use hot glue to seal the gaps.
Step #5 – Elevate Your Flood Table
Now that your flood table is complete, you will need to elevate it. This can either be done using stands, stools, logs, or buckets.
Also, have a bucket on hand underneath the emitter to catch the water.
Step #6 – Choose A Suitable Location For Your Garden
Your hydroponic garden will need to be outdoors in a sunny location. The more sun it can receive, the better.
Step #7 – Fill Up The Table
Next, you can fill up the table with water. You’ll want to fill it up about halfway, so the twenty-gallon table in our example will need around ten gallons.
Step #8 – Fertilize The Water
Usually, with gardening, you need to fertilize the soil to get the crops and plants to grow. But in this case, we’re going to do things a little bit differently by fertilizing the water instead.
As an alternative to fertilizer, you can also order or buy plant food that is designed specifically for hydroponic gardening. This plant food will contain rich levels of magnesium and calcium. Most gardening centers or plant supply stores in your area should have it; if not, you can order it online.
Step #9 – Choose Your Plants
Not all plants grow well in a hydroponic system, and this is admittedly one of the limitations that come with the method.
The best places to use for a hydroponic system will be leafy greens with narrow roots.
Examples of plants that fit this criterion include, but are not at all limited to:
Step #10 – Create Your Potting Mixture
Next, it’s time to create the mixture that you’ll be using for your plants in the pots. Mix eight parts of perlite with one to two parts of coco fiber. Add three or four parts of coco fiber if you live in a dry, hot, and air climate. You can use peat moss as an alternative to the coco fiber if you so choose.
Proceed to pour the mixture into the pots. Speaking of pots, you’ll want four-inch ones with holes on the bottom that allow the plants to get the water.
Each pot should be filled up at least one-third of the way with the mixture.
Step #12 – Start Planting
Next, you can start to plant your crops according to the given direction for each one. Just make sure that each plant is snug in your pot, and that the roots only extend a little bit out of the holes at the bottom.
Step #13 – Place The Pots In The Table
Now place floating platform over the water in the table, and then place each pot through the hole in the platform.
The roots of each plant should be submerged in the water by only a fraction of one inch. This way, they’ll get enough water to survive without being soaked.
Congratulations! Your hydroponic garden is now complete. Just ensure that the garden receives plenty of sunlight and use your emitter to rotate water out so it doesn’t get stagnant.
You can expect your crops to grow at a much faster rate than if you were to use soil, which is a major benefit when it comes to disaster preparedness, and especially if you have a large family you need to feed.