Hydroponic Gardening For Apartments

Hydroponic Gardening For Apartments If you are like most people, you don’t have a lot of space in your apartment for a garden. Hydroponic gardening for apartments is a great way to get around this problem!

Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water instead of soil. This method has many advantages, including:
• You can grow plants anywhere, even if you don’t have any outdoor space
• Hydroponic gardens use less water than traditional gardens
• Hydroponic gardens are more efficient because all the nutrients the plants need are delivered directly to them.

How To Build A Simple Hydroponic System

We are going to build a Kratky system for growing lettuce or greens. This is a simple passive hydroponic system that needs no electricity.

It works great for lettuce or other leafy greens but not for large plants like tomatoes or peppers.

Lettuce and herbs need much less light than tomatoes but you will still need to find a place that gets some sunlight or where you can add a fluorescent or LED light.

If you are interested in starting a hydroponic garden, there are a few things you will need to get started using the Kratky method:

You will need:

• A container to use as a reservoir. Any plastic storage bin with a lid will work just fine. I used a 10-gallon Rubbermaid tote for mine.

• Pots to grow your plants in, plastic net pots work best for this.

• Hydroponic growing media such as perlite, or hydroton.

• Nutrient solution. Follow mixing directions. More is not better!

Once you have all of your supplies, you will need to set up your hydroponic system. There are many different ways to do this, but one of the simplest hydroponic systems is the Kratky method.

There are 2 ways you can set this up. You can use 3-inch net pots and cut holes in the lid of the tote to fit them in. Here is what mine looks like.

Kratky lettuce tote

Or you can use a piece of styrofoam that just fits inside your tote. You will need to cut holes to fit your plants or net pots through.

The advantage of using net pots in a lid instead of a styrofoam raft is that it is easy to move plants around.

This system is very flexible so you can grow only one plant or several at a time. A lot will depend on the size of your tote but your plants should be 8-12 inches apart.

I recommend buying transplants if you are new to growing or if you are more experienced you can grow your own from seed.

If you buy transplants you will want to gently wash off as much soil as you can from the roots.

Then you will place the roots in a net pot filling it in with grow medium.

I started my own lettuce seeds in jiffy pellets and then placed them in the net pots.

Here they are a few weeks later. I have12 plants in my Kratky system. Six are leaf lettuce and 6 are Buttercrunch. 

The leaf lettuce will be done in 45 days but you can start harvesting leaves much sooner.

The Buttercrunch is a semi-heading lettuce that takes about 60 days. Once the leaf lettuce is gone there will be more room for head lettuce to grow.

Here are some roots. I added a wick to each pot but this is not really necessary.

If you want you can add an airstone to your tote but again not required.

However, adding an airstone will result in better growth. Once you add an air stone this is technically DWC (deep water culture).

Add your transplanted plants in net pots to the lid or through holes in the styrofoam raft.

If you are careful you may be able to make small holes in the raft that are large enough to get the roots through but won’t let the whole plant fall through.

Fill your reservoir with hydroponic nutrient solution. It should be close to the tops of the net pots.

As your plants grow the water level will drop. The roots above the waterline supply oxygen to the plant while the roots in nutrient solution feed the plant.

Your plants should be done before the water is all gone. This is why this system works best for fast-growing plants.

With the Kratky method, you don’t replace the water as it goes down because it would cover the plant’s air roots. But if you decide to use an airstone you can safely top up your reservoir.

That’s really all there is to it! Hydroponic gardening is a great way to grow plants in your apartment, even if you don’t have any outdoor space give it a try today!

Hydroponic Gardening For Apartments Final Thoughts

If you’re living in an apartment and don’t have a lot of space, hydroponic gardening at home might be the perfect solution for you.

Hydroponics allows you to grow plants in water without soil, so it’s great for small spaces.

There are many different types of hydroponic systems so read this article and you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Here is another good article on growing Kratky lettuce

To summarize:

• Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water instead of soil.

• Hydroponic gardens use less water than traditional gardens.

• Hydroponic gardens are more efficient because all the nutrients the plants need are delivered directly to them.

• Hydroponic gardening is a great way to grow plants in your apartment, even if you don’t have any outdoor space. 

Give it a try! You may be surprised at how much you enjoy growing your own vegetables and herbs.