Starting my own business

Hydroponics: Turn Your City Apartment into an Indoor Farm

by Martin Williamson

If you've ever tried to grow your own plants and vegetables in a city apartment, you know it can be hard. The lack of space, light and fresh air can make it difficult for most novice (and even experienced) gardeners to keep plants alive for more than a few days. Thankfully, there is a great alternative that makes growing your own food on a small scale possible: hydroponics.

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the method of growing plants in water with added nutrients. The word hydroponics comes from two ancient Greek words, 'hydro' and 'ponos,' that together literally means "water labour." In essence, hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil.

A hydroponics system is composed of three parts: water, growing medium and root system. The 'growing medium' is actually any inert material that allows for water to flow through it. Examples include gravel, clay pellets, perlite/vermiculite, rock wool or even small gravel or pebbles. Hydroponic systems also employ various supporting structures such as racks or trays with holes in them to support the root system and allow for light to reach the plants.

Why Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is considered by many to be a safe and reliable method of growing fruits and vegetables, as compared to soil-based systems. Completely inert materials are used for growing mediums, and no additional fertilizers or pesticides are needed. There is a very low risk of crop failure because plants are using only water, nutritionally balanced solutions and light as their source of nutrients.

Because hydroponic systems provide for optimal growing conditions, plants grow quickly and produce yields comparable to traditional gardening. This makes indoor hydroponic gardening especially popular in the winter months when sunlight is scarce. Hydroponic systems also consistently provide the same ideal growing conditions from one crop to the next, thus making it possible to grow the same variety of a plant over and over again with great results.

Why Use Hydroponics for Gardening in an Apartment?

Hydroponics is especially easy for apartment and condo dwellers because there is no need to have a yard or outdoor space where you can dig in the soil. There are many different kinds of indoor hydroponics systems that will fit into an apartment or condo and provide you with fresh fruits and vegetables right at home.

It is a great way to start your own food production at home, even if you have never done any gardening before. Hydroponic gardening is easy to get the hang of, especially if you already know a little bit about how plants grow. It is also a great family activity that will give you and your children a fun hobby to do together.

A local hydroponics shop can get you started if you want to venture into this style of gardening.