For many people, growing plants in soil is a thing of the past. Many organic gardeners are deciding to use hydroponic gardening. Growing plants in a hydroponic method is not new, in fact, hydroponic gardening has been dated back as far as the ancient Egyptians. If you decide to try this method of organic gardening, you should understand what it is.
Hydroponics is basically planting and growing plants without the use of soil. The plants are instead grown in water, with the addition of organic fertilizer to feed the plants the nutrients they need to thrive. One of the major benefits to plants is the improved oxygenation of it's roots, leading to healthier and stronger plants.
It is possible to transplant your existing plants from the soil they inhabit to a hydroponic environment, as long as you do it properly.
Step 1 - Decide How to Anchor Your Plant and Choose a Container
When you grow a plant hydroponically, it must have something to hold on to and this is called the medium. There are various choices of mediums, including rock-wool, heydite, peat, coco husks, vermiculite, and other organic materials. The container you choose should ideally be one that is clear, like a plastic bowl or a jar. This allows light to easily reach the plant.
Step 2 - Remove the Plant from it's Current Home
Whether it is a new plant or an existing plant, carefully remove the plant from the container, being sure not to damage the root ball. Holding the plant over a container, begin to work the dirt away from the roots. This can be done by gently massaging the dirt to break it away. The main concern is to make sure the roots are not damaged.
Step 3 - Wash the Plant
When you've worked away as much dirt as you can by massage, you can then use water to wash away more of the dirt. You can do this by immersing the plant in water or by running a gentle stream of water over the plant. Continue to carefully work the dirt off the plant. You may not be able to get all the dirt off, but get as much as possible.
Step 4 - Add the Plant to Your Chosen Medium
Once the plant is dirt free, you can add the plant to a net pot or other vessel that allows water to flow through. Set the plant so that it's roots spread out in the net or vessel. Fill it with your chosen medium until the roots are covered ant the plant is stable.
Step 5 - Add Water
Place the plant into your hydroponic container with water, but make sure some of the plants roots are still exposed to the air. You may need to add more of your medium to the hydroponic container to stabilize the plant.
Step 6 - Feed the Plant
You will need to feed the plant with an organic fertilizer specifically for hydroponic gardening, or you can make your own.