The Essentials Of Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening


Are you struggling to grow plants in poor soil? Hydroponic greenhouse gardening could be your solution. This method lets plants thrive without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions instead.

Our guide will show you the advantages, how-to’s, and essentials for starting your own hydroponic garden. Keep reading to transform your gardening game!

Looking for the best polycarbonate greenhouses in 2024?
The Best Polycarbonate Greenhouses To Buy In 2024 For People On A Budget

What is Hydroponic Greenhouse Gardening?

Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. This technique enables the growth of plants in controlled environments, maintaining a precise balance of nutrients, water, and oxygen.

Here’s how hydroponic gardening works in more detail:

If you’re more into video explainers then here is a great video for you to watch to understand how it all works.

If not – there is more information below.

Nutrient Solution:

The foundation of hydroponic gardening is the nutrient solution, which consists of water mixed with all the necessary minerals and nutrients plants normally obtain from the soil. This includes elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and trace elements like iron, manganese, boron, zinc, and copper.

Root Support:

Even though no soil is used, plants still need physical support to hold them in place. Hydroponic systems use various inert media for this purpose, such as rockwool, clay pellets, perlite, vermiculite, or even air (in aeroponic systems). These media provide support to the plant’s roots while allowing the nutrient solution to be delivered efficiently.

Water and Nutrient Delivery:

The method of delivering the nutrient solution to the plants varies across different hydroponic systems. Some common systems include:

  • Wick System: The simplest form of hydroponics where a wick draws the nutrient solution from a reservoir into the growing medium.
  • Deep Water Culture (DWC): Plants are suspended in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water. Air pumps are often used to oxygenate the water to prevent the roots from drowning.
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): A thin film of nutrient solution flows over the roots of plants placed in a sloping channel, allowing the upper part of the roots to remain exposed to air.
  • Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain): The growing area is periodically flooded with nutrient solution, which then drains back into the reservoir. This action ensures that the roots receive nutrients and oxygen.
  • Aeroponics: The roots hang in the air and are misted with nutrient solution at regular intervals. This method maximizes oxygen exposure and nutrient delivery.
See also  Clearance Greenhouse Kits: 10 Genius Ways To Find Discounts

Lighting:

Since many hydroponic systems are used indoors, providing adequate light is essential for photosynthesis. This is often achieved through the use of grow lights, which may be LED, fluorescent, or other types of lighting that provide the correct spectrum of light for plant growth.

Climate Control:

Controlling the environment includes monitoring and adjusting temperature, humidity, and sometimes carbon dioxide levels to optimize plant growth. You can set up hydroponic gardens in greenhouses, indoors with controlled lighting, or even outdoors if the environmental conditions are suitable.

What Are The Advantages Of A Hydroponic Greenhouse?

Using hydroponics in a greenhouse offers several benefits, making it an increasingly popular method for growing plants. These benefits include:

Water Efficiency:Hydroponics systems use significantly less water than traditional soil-based agriculture, as water in these systems is recirculated and reused, minimizing wastage.
Control Over NutrientsIn hydroponics, nutrients are dissolved in water and fed directly to the plants’ roots. This gives growers precise control over the nutrient balance, allowing for the optimization of plant growth and health.
Faster Growth Rates:Plants grown in hydroponic systems often grow faster and produce higher yields than their soil-grown counterparts, due to the direct supply of nutrients and optimal growing conditions.
Space Efficiency:Hydroponics can be more space-efficient than soil-based growing, allowing for higher plant density. This is especially beneficial in greenhouses, where space might be limited.
No Soil Required:This is particularly advantageous in areas where fertile land is scarce or in urban environments where soil-based agriculture is not feasible.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Hydroponic Greenhouse?

While hydroponics in a greenhouse offers numerous advantages, there are also several disadvantages and challenges to consider:

High Initial Investment:Setting up a hydroponic system within a greenhouse can be expensive. The cost includes not only the greenhouse structure but also the hydroponic equipment such as pumps, growing mediums, nutrient solutions, and lighting systems.
Technical Knowledge and Management:Successful hydroponic gardening requires a good understanding of plant nutrition, system design, and environmental control. It can be complex to manage the nutrient solutions, pH levels, and the overall system’s health, requiring constant monitoring and adjustments.
Energy Dependency:Hydroponic systems, especially in greenhouses, often rely heavily on artificial lighting and temperature control systems. This can lead to significant energy consumption, increasing operational costs and environmental impact.
System Failures and Vulnerabilities:Hydroponic systems depend on electricity and mechanical parts to circulate water and nutrients. Failures in these systems, such as pump breakdowns or power outages, can quickly lead to plant stress or death, given the roots’ reliance on the system for water and nutrients.
Limited Crop Variety:Not all plants are suited to hydroponic cultivation. Some crops, particularly those that require large amounts of space or have deep rooting systems, may not be as well-suited to hydroponic methods as they are to traditional soil cultivation.

Best Hydroponic Greenhouse Kits To Get Started

These products are a really good starting point when it comes to creating a hydroponic greenhouse.

See also  Everything You Need To Know About A Walipini Greenhouse

Make Sure That You Have A Good Greenhouse

Here are my favorite polycarbonate greenhouses

Here are the best tent greenhouses if you want something smaller.

Then Look Into These Hydroponic Greenhouse Kits

Here are a few options for you.

CategoryHydroponic Greenhouse Kit
Best For Home UseGardyn 3.0
Best For Smaller GreenhousesVIVOSUN 36
Great For Larger GreenhousesVIVOSUN 108

Gardyn 3.0 (Best For Home Use)

hydroponic greenhouse

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 24 x 12 x 60 inches

– Weight of 38.1 lbs


The Gardyn 3.0 is an advanced indoor hydroponics system that maximizes space, growing 30 large plants in just 2 sq. ft. with 95% less water. It’s designed for easy setup without tools and includes a durable, redesigned watering system. The package comes with 30 non-GMO plants, including herbs, vegetables, and flowers, ready to harvest in under five weeks. It operates simply with power and Wi-Fi, no water line needed, featuring LED lights, precision watering, and all necessary accessories.

This sustainable system, made from quality materials and recyclable packaging, also introduces Gardyn’s AI Assistant Kelby for personalized plant care, offering a blend of convenience, sustainability, and smart technology for indoor gardening.

Check Price ➡️ Amazon

VIVOSUN 36 (Best For Smaller Greenhouses)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 38.6 x 20.5 x 14.6 inches

– Weight of 9.73 lbs

– Made of PVC piping

hydroponic greenhouse

The VIVOSUN 36 site hydroponic grow kit aims to double production with less water and space by increasing crop yield and quality through soilless cultivation. It features a timed circulation system for efficient nutrient delivery, with a default setting that activates the pump for 5 minutes every 30 minutes.

This kit is easy to assemble and suitable for beginners, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It includes 36 plant sites on food-grade PVC-U pipes, a water pump with timer, planting basket, sponge, and all necessary accessories. Perfect for growing leafy vegetables, it comes with comprehensive instructions and a 1-year warranty.

Check Price ➡️ Amazon

VIVOSUN 108 (Best For Larger Greenhouses)

hydroponic greenhouse

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 20.47″D x 38.58″W x 39.37″H

– Weight of 17.76 lbs

– Made of PVC piping


The VIVOSUN 108 hydroponics system is an expanded version of their 36 plant site kit, now offering 108 plant sites across 3 layers of food-grade PVC-U pipes, making it suitable for a higher yield and quality of leafy vegetables with less water and space. It includes a timed circulation system for efficient nutrient delivery, is easy to assemble, and perfect for beginners.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, this system is ideal for growing a variety of vegetables and plants. The kit comes with all necessary components, including a water pump timer, planting basket, sponge, and a 1-year warranty, making it a larger, yet equally user-friendly option for those looking to grow more.

Check Price ➡️ Amazon

Plus – Don’t Forget The Base A & B Nutrients

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– 2 Quarts (32 ounces) of hydroponic plant food

– It will last for months


The VIVOSUN Nutrients Base A & B bundle offers a comprehensive liquid fertilizer solution for all growth stages of outdoor and indoor plants. These concentrated formulas supply essential macro and micronutrients, including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium, supporting rapid growth and preventing nutrient deficiencies. Designed for use in soil, hydroponics, aquaponics, and coco coir, this 100% water-soluble nutrient kit stabilizes pH, enhances nutrient absorption, and increases yield and quality.

See also  Best 6x6 Greenhouse In 2024: 4 Perfect Kits For Any Garden

With great compatibility across growing media, the two-part system simplifies nutrient planning, requiring equal use of Base A and B with each watering, ensuring easy application from vegetative through flowering stages.

Check Price ➡️ Amazon

Setting Up Hydroponics in a Greenhouse

Setting up a hydroponic greenhouse involves several steps, from planning and design to selecting the right hydroponic system and plants. Here’s a comprehensive guide to get you started:

1. Planning and Design

  • Location: Choose a location with sufficient sunlight, protected from extreme weather. East-West orientation is ideal for maximizing light exposure.
  • Size and Layout: Determine the size based on your production goals. Consider space for walking, storage, and possibly expanding in the future.
  • Greenhouse Type: Decide on the type of greenhouse (e.g., hoop house, gothic, or gutter-connected) based on your budget, climate, and space.

2. Selecting a Hydroponic System

There are various hydroponic systems, including NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), DWC (Deep Water Culture), Ebb and Flow, and Aeroponics. Consider factors like plant type, budget, and your experience level. For beginners, DWC or NFT might be easier to manage.

3. Climate Control

  • Ventilation: Install vents or fans to regulate temperature and humidity.
  • Heating and Cooling: Depending on your climate, you may need heaters for winter and shading or evaporative coolers for summer.
  • Lighting: If your location has limited sunlight, especially in winter, consider supplemental LED grow lights.

4. Water and Nutrient Delivery System

  • Water Supply: Ensure you have access to a clean water source. Install a filtration system if necessary.
  • Nutrient Solution: Set up tanks or reservoirs for your nutrient solution. Learn how to mix and maintain the correct nutrient levels and pH for your plants.

5. Plant Selection

Select plants that suit hydroponic systems and your climate well. Leafy greens, herbs, and strawberries are good choices for beginners.

Here are some of the plants that are best suited for hydroponic gardening.

6. Monitoring and Maintenance

  • System Checks: Regularly check your hydroponic system for leaks, clogs, or malfunctions.
  • Water and Nutrient Levels: Monitor and adjust the nutrient solution strength (EC/ppm) and pH levels.
  • Plant Health: Keep an eye on your plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies, pests, or diseases.

7. Automation

Consider automating aspects of your hydroponic greenhouse, such as watering, lighting, and climate control, to save time and improve efficiency.

Here are my favorite misting systems for automated watering in 2024:
How To Choose The Best Greenhouse Misting System For Plant Growth

Implementation Steps

  1. Construction or Installation: Build or install your greenhouse structure following the design specifications.
  2. Install Hydroponic System: Set up your chosen hydroponic system inside the greenhouse.
  3. Set Up Climate Control Systems: Install ventilation, heating, cooling, and lighting systems.
  4. Water and Nutrient Delivery: Install tanks, pumps, and plumbing for your water and nutrient delivery system.
  5. Planting: Start with seeds or seedlings in your hydroponic system, following specific guidelines for spacing and care.
  6. Monitoring and Adjustments: Use meters to monitor the system and adjust as necessary to maintain optimal growing conditions.

Final Tips

  • Research: Spend ample time researching and planning before you start. Each step has its intricacies, and thorough preparation is key to success.
  • Start Small: Begin with a small, manageable system and scale up as you gain experience.
  • Stay Informed: Join hydroponic gardening communities, attend workshops, and continuously educate yourself on best practices and new technologies.

By following these steps and continuously learning and adjusting your practices, you can successfully set up and operate a hydroponic greenhouse.

Conclusion:

Hydroponic greenhouse gardening offers a revolutionary way to grow plants more efficiently, using less space and water while providing control over nutrients and environmental conditions. Whether you’re a beginner eager to start with a small setup or an experienced gardener looking to expand, the right hydroponic system and greenhouse kit can pave the way for a successful indoor garden. From high yields to year-round cultivation, the benefits of hydroponics are undeniable. However, it’s important to be mindful of the initial investment, technical requirements, and ongoing maintenance to ensure the health and productivity of your garden.

hydroponic greenhouse

By choosing the right equipment, like the Gardyn 3.0 for home use, VIVOSUN’s 36 and 108 site kits for varying greenhouse sizes, and essential nutrients, you’re laying the foundation for a thriving hydroponic garden. Remember, success in hydroponic greenhouse gardening comes from careful planning, continuous learning, and a willingness to adapt to your garden’s needs. Embrace the journey towards a more sustainable and rewarding gardening experience.

Here are our favorite accessories to boost any greenhouse:
14 Best Greenhouse Accessories That You Need In 2024

Hydroponic Greenhouse FAQs

What is hydroponic greenhouse gardening?

Hydroponic greenhouse gardening is a method of growing plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water solutions to deliver essential minerals and nutrients directly to the plant roots.

What types of plants can be grown in a hydroponic greenhouse?

You can grow a wide variety of plants in a hydroponic greenhouse, including herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, and even certain flowering plants.

How much space is needed for setting up a hydroponic greenhouse garden?

The scale of cultivation and the types of crops being grown determine the space needed for a hydroponic greenhouse garden. It can range from small indoor setups to larger commercial operations.

Is it difficult to maintain a hydroponic greenhouse garden?

Maintaining a hydroponic greenhouse garden requires regular monitoring of nutrient levels, pH balance, temperature control, and proper maintenance of equipment such as pumps and irrigation systems.

What are the advantages of using a hydroponic system in a greenhouse?

Using a hydroponic system in a greenhouse allows for efficient use of water and nutrients while providing better control over environmental factors like temperature and humidity for optimal plant growth.

hydroponic greenhouse
Avatar photo

Jason Watson

My initial goal was to protect my loved ones from harmful pesticides & help them enjoy nature more. Now, I want to tell as many people as I can about what I've learned... I hope that I can inspire you to help cool our planet with your own little slice of paradise 🌱. Let's do this together!


More to Explore