Hydroponics, a method of growing crops in water contained with nutrients, is an easy and efficient way to grow plants at home. Engaging in this with your children can be a great home project for the family as it entails a few materials and some basic knowledge to start.
If you plan to do this next, here are the things you need to prepare:
Seeds or seedlings. Choose plants that are easy to grow in hydroponics such as greens, herbs, and lettuces. If growing from seeds, buy hydroponic starter plugs, a cube-shaped growing medium.
Container. Create your hydroponic system if you want to have a longer activity time with your kids. For an easier option, you can buy containers necessary for this system instead.
Growing medium. Growing without soil won’t require you any medium, but plants develop better with it. Medium includes rockwool, gravel, and perlite that you can buy in stores. Remember that plant roots should not be immersed in water the whole time.
Water and nutrients. Hydroponics won’t be complete with water alone. Prepare nutrient solutions that can be bought via growers and agriculture stores.
Hydroponic wick. This is usually made of cotton or nylon that delivers water and nutrients up to the plant’s roots. This allows roots to get oxygen from the air.
The Hydroponic setup
If this is your first time trying hydroponics with your kids, start small. Use two liter bottles as containers and get medium, wicks, and nutrient solution from a local store.
To start, cut the top part of your bottles, turn them upside down, and place it on the other half of the bottle with its neck pointed down. Pour the solution (water mixed with nutrients according to package instructions) into the bottom part of your container then add the wick and growing medium on the top bottle.
Have your kids monitor the results of their work, particularly when it’s harvest time. Doing this with them will create a new perspective that can help them gain knowledge and ideas in growing food. With this, they’ll associate the process of growing produce with the food that they eat, making them appreciate what they consume.