What is organic hydroponic gardening?
Well, first you need to know what hydroponics is before you can understand how it is used organically. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water and nutrients as opposed to growing in soil. Many people feel that this is better for the plants. Many people use organic hydroponic gardening when growing food items like vegetables for eating.

When it comes to hydroponics, many people have mistakenly thought that it was non-organic but this is not true. Water is organic, as is the nutrients that are used and the fertilizer can also be adapted to be organic so you can easily have organic hydroponic gardening.

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a Latin word that when translated basically means “working-water”. Hydroponics refers to a method of gardening that is safer for the environment. Using indoor gardening methods, water and lighting, etc. plants are grown. This method of growing plants without soil has been dated back as far as the 1600s but has really become more popular recently. People have been growing in water since before they began planting in soil.

Hydroponics progressed over the years but with the invention of plastics, it really took off again. The creation of plastic was a huge step forward for hydroponics. This is because it allowed you to use plastic for the pots and it made the entire process a bit easier so more people are willing to try it over traditional soil planting.

You know that your plant needs nutrients to survive. The key to hydroponics is how you feed the nutrients to the plant. In addition to water and oxygen your plant as needs large amounts of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Some other nutrients that are needed in smaller amounts are iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc. Your plants can also use molybdenum and chlorine but in such small supplies that they usually get it from the water or from the other minerals so you don’t really have to worry about adding these.

What is Organic Gardening?

Organic gardening typically refers to gardening that uses on organic methods. Something is considered “organic” when it comes from the earth. For example, animals and plants are organic. Anything that comes from animals such as fecal matter is also organic. So anything that used in organic gardening needs to be organic and not artificial. Since water is organic, you can use both hydroponics and organic or semi-organic gardening in the same garden.

In addition to nutrients your plants also need oxygen and nitrogen to live and be able. It also has to have a proper pH (potential Hydrogen) balance. When you use hydroponics in addition to organic fertilizer and other organic gardening methods, you can have healthier, better plants.

Mediums and Anchorage

Since the plants are not grown in soil, water and nutrients need to be absorbed somehow. The medium is used for anchorage to let the plant soak up the nutrients. The most common types of mediums are Heydite and Rockwool. They are both made of rock but there are some differences in the two. Which is better really depends on who you ask and what types of plants you are planting.

Your growing media can also be vermiculite, perlite (pearlite), peat, coco-husk (coir), straw as well as other organic materials. You can use organic fertilizer from many different sources including cow, chicken, pig, and sheep manure, seaweed, bat guano, fish emulsion and entrails, urine, bone and blood, as well as many other natural sources. The problem with organic fertilizer is the obvious; that you must consider any possible health concerns.

Transplanting

You will be happy to know that it’s easy to take plants from soil and transplant them to a hydroponic system. You can pull the plants out gently and then rinse the roots in cold water. Next you just spread the roots in the bottom of the hydroponic pot and fill it with your growing product.

It is never too late to begin organic hydroponic gardening. You can transplant your soil based garden to hydroponics today. Or you can begin your own hydroponic garden without much trouble at all. If you are looking for a safer and more environment friendly method of gardening, then you should try hydroponics. It can also be a lot of fun for you to study this ancient method of gardening. It is fairly simple to begin but at the same time you can spend a lot of time learning more about it and perfecting it.

Published: August 24, 2005

Written by: Organic Gardening Staff Writer – Copyright Organic-Gardening.net all rights reserved