Your First Garden: 5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid This Spring
1) You don’t have enough money to buy seeds and soil.
2) You don’t have time to grow everything yourself.
If you answered 1 or 2, then congratulations! You are already ahead of most people. If you answered 3, then I suggest you read on…
3) You don’t have enough money to buy seeds and soil.
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to growing plants is “I want to make sure that I will always have fresh food.” That’s why many people start with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, lettuce and other vegetables from their local grocery store.
But what if you live far away? What if you live in a small apartment? Or even worse, what if you don’t have any money at all?
You might think that you won’t ever need to buy seeds and soil because you’ll grow them yourself. However, there are times when it would be nice to have some extra help. For example, let’s say that one day your neighbor comes over and asks for some of your tomatoes so she can make salsa. You don’t really have any extra at the moment, so you tell her that you can just give her the seeds instead. She “graciously accepts” and heads home.
A couple weeks later she comes back and says that the salsa she made was the best she’d ever had. She then suggests that you should open up a vineyard because your tomatoes would be perfect for making wine. At this point you may begin to wonder where you went wrong with your life choices.
Or better yet, let’s say that you live in an apartment and have no yard at all. There is no way that you could possibly grow any plants there. You would need to find another way…
As it turns out, countless inventors have created devices that can grow plants without sunlight or soil. These are called hydroponic systems and they come in all shapes and sizes. The one that you choose to use will depend upon your own personal preferences and space limitations.
One of the most common types of hydroponic systems is the water-bottle system. This is so simple that even a child can make it. All you have to do is fill up a 2-liter bottle half way with water, add plant nutrients (these can be found at any nursery), place some seeds inside of it, cap it, and lastly place it somewhere with sunlight. Keep in mind that if you want to grow more than just one plant then you may need more than one bottle.
Another very simple hydroponic system is the tray system. This is perfect for the person that lives in an apartment or some place where there isn’t a lot of space. All you need are trays (of course), rockwool starter cubes, nutrient solution, and a few other miscellaneous items.
One last option is also relatively simple and that’s the bucket system. This one works well if you have a little more room for it, but it’s certainly not as big as the trays or water-bottles. All you need is a few buckets, rockwool starter cubes, nutrient solution, and a hydroponic floodlight. This should be more than enough to get you started if you choose this method.
While all of these methods are relatively simple and inexpensive to set up, they can sometimes take up quite a bit of space. If you’re really short on space then the next option may be better for you…
Wicking systems are also relatively simple and use a lot less space. These use a water reservoir that is placed below the plants. Most of the time, this just consists of a bucket with holes in the bottom to allow the water to slowly drain through to the pots that hold the plants. There are also some designs that use a hard water reservoir instead. Either way, once the water has drained through, it is then pumped back to the top where it begins the cycle all over again.
To learn more about these types of systems, you can check out this link: (LINK REMOVED)
A lot of people prefer the simplicity of the ebb and flow hydroponic systems; however, if you’re really short on space, wicking systems may be better suited to your situation.
You may have to do some research on your own to see which one would be best for you, but once you find the right system, growing your own plants indoors will be a breeze!
Remember, there is no wrong way to grow hydroponic lettuce (or whatever else), as long as you’re having fun doing it!
Thanks for reading!
Article written by Steve “Clemance” Clemance.
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