Sorry for my absence last week, I was planning a proposal! (He said yes!)
I’m really excited to talk about hydroponics this week. It sounds super fancy, but is incredibly easy and is perfect for new gardeners who live in apartments or lack a green thumb. Now, I’m sure you can guess what hydroponics is just based off of the name, but it quite literally means ‘water system’. No soil needed. So, if you live in an apartment and don’t have a place to store soil, this is for you.
I stumbled into it because my mother started with it and I got increasingly jealous of how much faster her herbs were growing than mine. I started an herb garden significantly sooner than she did and yet, her tomato plant was tall and glamorous after a month while my little seeds were still trying to make sense of the world. I was big time jealous, so she ordered a small hydroponics system for me to try out.
At $84.50 on Amazon (which, I know we all aren’t fans of Amazon, but it can be good to use when you’re on a strict budget), you get the 3 pod hydroponics system and a box of “pods” that contain seeds and a tiny bit of soil for you to pop into the system. Seems expensive, I know. But I think I got about 6 “pods” and a bottle of plant food included with the whole system, so it’s not terrible.
It’s basically a “set and forget it” type system. Place the pods in the openings, fill the tank up with water, and put a capful of plant food in there every two weeks (the system will flash a light when its time for more food). The top light is on a timer and as your plants grow, you can move the light up to give them more room.
I tried it out with dill, tomatoes, and jalapeños. After a week, the seeds sprouted and began to make their grand entrance. After a month, they were tall and happy. I’ve now had it for about two months, and I’ve had to prune the tomato plant back a couple of times so the dill and jalapeños could still get some light. It’s incredible and takes almost no effort on my part.
The root system of these guys is…wow. So cool. The clear water roots begin to fill the tank of water below in a wild fashion, so it’s hard to tell where one plant stops and the other begins. When I fill up the tank with fresh water, I’m always greeted by some roots as they take up more and more space. I’m somewhat of a “root geek” myself, so that blows my mind.
This is a great thing to use in the winter if you’d like to continue to grow herbs off season, or if you’d like something easy to brag about to your friends. Honestly, I’d recommend it if you’re lazy like me! I have other plants growing outside of hydroponics, but its nice to have some plants that can just do their own thing without me worrying about it too much.
Give it a shot and tell me what you think! Already have? What plants have you grown? Let me know in the comments!