A Hydroponic Gardening Primer


What exactly is hydroponic gardening? Though it may sound complicated, it’s really not.  The word "hydroponic" comes from the Greek "hydro," meaning hydroponic gardenwater, and “ponic,” meaning work. The basic concept is this: growing plants in a nutrient rich water solution rather than in soil.

So, if you don’t use soil, what do you put the plant in? Instead of soil, hydroponic growing utilizes an inert growing media. Some examples are coconut fiber, rockwool and different types of "grow rocks."

Coconut fiber is also called "coir" and is similar to peat moss but is a renewable resource.  It’s the fibrous husks of coconuts ground into a peat moss-like consistency.

Rockwool is a moisture-retaining media made from basalt rock. It is super-heated and melted down before being spun out like cotton candy. It’s then shaped into cubes, blocks or slabs.

Sunleaves Rocks are irregular-shaped, porous stones made of shale rock. They’re a byproduct of brick-making.

Hydrocorn is an expanded clay medium.  It is puffed lava rock with a clay coating. 

6/30/2013 4:25:56 PM

Great article! Excellent starting point for my beginner customers! Always love having a written source to recommend to my customers so they can refresh their minds of the info when they get home. The media and method are the two of the first things to decide when putting together a system, and you layed it out right from the get go. Keep it up! www.wegrowhydro.com

6/14/2013 7:00:56 PM

i bought a beginners kit from growershouse.com. it was easy to start out.

Carrie Schuhwerk
3/5/2013 12:41:39 AM

Great job Maryann! Love the Do it yourself Hydro system with a two litre.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters