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Can You Do Hydroponics in a Garage?
Believe it or not, not all plants need soil to grow. They just need water, nutrients and sunlight. Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants without soil. Hydroponic farming has become mainstream. You can do hydroponics at home too. But can you do hydroponics in a garage?
You can do hydroponics in a garage as the space requirement is quite low. Garage hydroponic systems use little water and LED lighting replaces natural sunlight. A garage hydroponic system can provide you with fresh greens every day with little effort & cost.
Growing plants in a garage hydroponic system brings many benefits. You can get fresh nutritious organic leafy greens, herbs and vegetables everyday, irrespective of the weather outside. A garage hydroponic setup does not take much space, uses very little water and is not messy as no soil is used.
Growing plants in a garage hydroponic system can become a rewarding hobby as very little time & effort is required. The range of plants that you can grow in a garage hydroponic system is quite large, so you will always be learning & experimenting.
What Are the Steps for Hydroponics?
To do hydroponics in your garage you need to take a few decisions as under:
What Plants Would You Like to Grow?
The first decision to make is what plants you would like to grow. Every other decision depends on this. A range of plants can be grown using the garage hydroponic system but different plants will require different hydroponic systems as well as different nutrients, mediums, etc.
For example, an NFT hydroponic system to grow leafy greens but a DWC hydroponic system to grow plants with deep roots.
Which Hydroponic System to Go For?
There are as many as seven different hydroponic systems that could potentially be set up in a garage. These are:
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) – great for growing leafy greens such as lettuce
- Deep Water Culture (DWC) – great for growing plants with deep roots such as tomatoes
- Wick Hydroponics – a simple system that does not need pumps, aerators or electricity
- Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System – are ideal for garages and beginner hydroponic gardeners
- Drip Hydroponic Systems – are easy to customize and work well with all kinds of plants
- Aeroponic Systems – are difficult to set up. The roots are misted rather submerged in water
- Kratky Method of Hydroponics – another passive system that does not require electricity
For more information on these please check out “Different Types of Hydroponic Systems” by NoSoilSolutions.
What Type of Lights Do You Need for Hydroponics?
A great advantage of hydroponic gardening is that you do not need natural sunlight. However, you can not just use any artificial light. You need to consider the following when choosing the lights for your garage hydroponic system:
Plants need a different spectrum of light in different stages of growth. They need blue cool light (high K) during vegetative stage but red warm light (low K) during flowering stage.
LED lights with a variable temperature in Kelvin are best for garage hydroponic systems.
Different plants need to be under lights for different durations. The duration also depends on the growth stage of the plant.
Typically plants need to be under lights for 12 hours initially. The time should be reduced once the plant reaches flowering stage.
The light intensity that a plant receives depends on their distance from the lights. The requirement varies from plant to plant.
Do You Need “Grow Medium” for Hydroponics?
In hydroponics a “grow medium” is required as a replacement to soil. It physically supports the stem and part of the roots so that the plant can stay upright. The “grow medium” retains the water, the nutrients and air to feed the plants.
Do You Need to Add Nutrients to Hydroponics?
Nutrients are the food for plants being grown in a garage hydroponics system. Every plant has its own specific nutrient requirements, which is listed on the packaging. This should be followed.
Which Hydroponic System Is Best for Beginners?
If you have never done hydroponic growing before it is best to start with a small beginner kit. Couple worth taking a look at are:
For Fresh Herbs & Veggies
This is a great starter set. You can keep it on the kitchen counter. Once you are comfortable with the hydroponic way of growing plants you can upgrade to a bigger garage hydroponic system.
For Fruits, Flowers & Larger Plants
Which are the Best Plants to Grow Hydroponically?
There are a lot of plants that can be grown hydroponically. The 10 best plants to grow hydroponically according to YOUR INDOOR HERBS AND GARDEN are:
However, there are many more that work just as well. You should make your own list based on what you like and what works for you.
The bottom line is that you can grow vegetables in your garage. If you are short on space and time then using hydroponics in your garage is a great alternative!
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.