Hydroponics For Beginners


Hi everyone and welcome to my website,

I started this website to help stimulate interest in Hydroponics. Where I live winter is long.. or it feels that way. Over the winter months I start an indoor hydroponic garden. So I thought why not help others do the same. It’s feels great to go to my garden and break of a few leaves of lettuce or get some fresh herbs and I’m sure you will too.

hydroponics tomato

This hobby is very relaxing and also great for the whole family. There are many ways you can start an indoor garden. You can make one or you can buy a ready made kit, more about this later.

My Hydroponics for Beginners website is intended to help the newbie experience this fun hobby.


For adults…

We know that vegetables are the best for our health but finding them in the winter is expensive or hard to find. You won’t need pesticides for your veggies or have to do any digging or weeding.


For children…

What a perfect way to teach children responsibility. They can help with the setup if old enough and check that things are working properly. It will help with self-esteem and help them feel good about themselves when they see the little sees start to grow. They can feel they are contributing food for the whole family. It will also help broaden their knowledge about how plants grow.


For retired people…

Many newly retired people go through a form of depression when they find they are no longer needed in the work force, I know I did. It’s just like a mother goes through empty nest syndrome when the children leave home.  A part time job or a hobby like hydroponics is a great way to keep occupied, especially when you can’t go out into the garden in those dreary winter months. A good tip is to put your Hydroponic garden at a comfortable height so you will have no bending problems, no weeding and the best of all no digging.


So what is hydroponics any way?

After researching the internet I found the word Hydro-ponics originated from the Greek language.

As you may have guessed the word hydro (Greek hudor) means water and ponics (Greek ponos) means work or labor. Therefore Hydroponics means the water is doing the work. Modern days known as growing plants without soil, the water is doing all the work instead of the soil.

Although it’s an ancient technology dating back to Babylon and China, it’s only in recent years as late as 1950’s that scientists started to experiment with it as an alternate way of growing food. It quick caught on as other countries got involved and has been a major contributor to crop production with astonishing results.

Dr. Bernard Kratky developed a method now known as the ‘Kratky Method’ that uses little water and no electricity, making this method ideal for countries that can’t produce enough food by the traditional soil method.


Different Hydroponic Methods:


  1. The Wick System
  2. Water Culture (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_water_culture)
  3. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrient_film_technique)
  4. The Ebb and Flow System (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebb_and_flow)
  5. Continuous Drip
  6. Kratky Method
  7. Aeroponics (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroponics)
  8. Aquaponics (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics)

Presently there are many different variations that use a combination of the above methods.


What are the benefits of having a hydroponic system?

Hydroponics has several advantages over growing plants in soil. 

  • The growth rate is much faster by 30 to 50 percent under the same conditions in soil. The reason believed is the oxygen and nutrients are readily available and are quickly absorbed by the plants. This creates a larger root system which in turn absorbs more oxygen and nutrients. It is well known that healthy developed roots are the foundation of any plant which in turn increase growth rate.
  • Plants mature more quickly providing more fruit and vegetables in the shortest possible time.
  • Uses less water than growing in soil
  • Very few bugs and the use of pesticides is not required
  • Not prone to fungus or disease
  • Can be grown anywhere providing you have seeds

Which method should I choose to start?

There are a few things to consider when making the right choice as to what hydroponic method to use.  Some of the systems mentioned above in the section ‘Different Hydroponic Methods’ can be quite complex and expensive for the beginner to even consider building.

The Floating raft method (Intermediate to Expert)


Gardening Hydroponics Floating Raft
Gardening Hydroponics Floating Raft Method

There is one method not mentioned called the floating raft method which is quite unique, it is used in large farms using either hydroponics or aquaponics method and ideal for growing lettuce. The rafts are floated from one end of the grow tank to the other as the plants mature. These are then removed at the end of the tank and a fresh raft is started again at the beginning.

If the aquaponics method is used no nutrients are required, instead a fish tanks is used to generate the nutrients for the plants. The continuous supply of fish poop and waste by-products is pumped into the hydroponics floating raft tank to provide the nutrients required to make the plants grow. This in turn cleans the water by using the plants roots as the filtration system by absorbing the nutrients in the water. The clean water is returned back to the fish tank for the fish to enjoy completing the cycle.

Hydroponics Frillice iceberg
Hydroponics Frillice iceberg


Small Water Culture Method (beginner)

I have given you a quick over view about hydroponics in the hope it will give you the confidence to go ahead give it a try. If you are a handy person and this is something you would like to do, I have put together a couple of instruction pages that might help you in building your own small system.

This is a small water culture system that can be adjusted to suit your needs ranging from  2 to 6 plants per container. I built mine for 2 plants and is small enough to move around, also its an ideal size for a child’s project.

It is always best to start small and increase later if you like. Building your own system will cut down on the expense of purchasing a ready built system and you could incorporate this into a whole family fun project.

If you ever need any feedback or support regarding hydroponics I would be more than happy to connect. Just leave your comments below and make sure you visit my site regularly as I am always updating with ideas and information that I come across that you will find interesting.

I hope this hobby is something that will last you for years to come, thanks for dropping by!

Lets get started and build your own hydroponics system.

John C



  1. // Reply

    So, I’m reading about hydroponics and it sounds interesting. But, from the article I still have no idea what it is.

    Could you do an introduction into what it is and so it would help us to understand why we should want to do it? I know under the page title it says growing food without soil…but a little more would be helpful.

    1. // Reply

      Thanks Dave for taking a look at my website.

      I noticed you said ” from the article I still have no idea what it is.” I appreciate your input and will make additions to this page providing more information about hydroponics and it’s history

  2. // Reply

    What a great site! I also live in a place where winters are cold and seem to go on forever. I love having fresh vegetables, but it is so hard to do that here over the few short summer months we do have.

    I took a look at your “build your own hydroponic” system and it seems simple enough. I really want to do this with my kids! The are really into science and seeing how things work so this would be another great activity for us to do!

  3. // Reply

    Thanks Simone, for those kind words.
    With so many GMO products out there a lot of people are starting to grow their own vegetables. It seems like more and more of the original organic vegetables are harder to find.

  4. // Reply

    This sounds like fun! I live in an apartment and do my gardening in pots on my deck. I’ve seen hydroponic gardening on a very large scale and thought it was very interesting. I remember thinking I would totally try that, if I had the space. Thank you for showing me that this can easily be done in a very small space. Your step by step instructions seem easy enough to follow…I’ll let you know. I will bookmark this page and definitely be stopping back once I acquire the needed supplies. Thank you again!

  5. // Reply

    I was fascinated to read your article as I have heard of hydroponics but never really understood it. I think it would be a great hobby for both my wife and I to share, but also with our daughter as well. It could teach her some responsibility of looking after something.

    I was wondering what you suggested for a beginner to grow before I got the hang of it? Or is it simple enough to do and chose tangy thing that we like?

    1. // Reply

      Lettuce would be the easiest because they don’t grow tall. Once they grow you can pick of a leaf or two as required, you will have fresh lettuce every day.

  6. // Reply

    I did not know about hydroponics until now,thank you.I must pop in again to see if there is more that I could learn If I start what is the first plant I showed grow?

  7. // Reply

    wow i have been trying to find ways on how i can develop my kids and be hard working and being caring but unfortunately all my trials have failed, but with this issue of coming up with a garden i think they will enjoy it so longer i will not let them work to the extend that they will lose hope

    thanks for educating us and for the time spend on compiling this important article


  8. // Reply

    I liked your site. I went on and read all your instructions on how to build a hydroponic system and I think I have the knowledge to actually make it work. Thank you for walking me through the process. I have a question though. Is it better to have a bigger pump with more air bubbles coming through for better aeration of the roots or does it matter?

    1. // Reply

      Thanks for your comment Karl,

      Some air pumps have two outlets so more than one air stone can be used. A large air stone would be my choice depending on what is available and how large a system you build. 

  9. // Reply

    Very good article. Very informative. My dad has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and his doctor recommended keeping his mind as busy as possible. I was wondering if hydroponics is a good option. his disease is in its initial state so he is still capable of doing many things. I can definitely set something up for him and my mom in their backyard.

    1. // Reply

      Hi Joey P,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your dad. 

      It’s always nice to learn something new. If your dad has been a gardener in the past he should have no problem adapting to a hydroponics system. I think he will find it to be a lot of fun.

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