Setting up a hydroponic system is quite easy. It could be set up both indoors or outside the house. When you set it up in outdoor settings, then building it as a hydroponic greenhouse is the ideal option. The reason for this is that any outdoor hydroponic system had to be sheltered and covered from rain. Otherwise, the rain water could easily dilute the solution providing the nutrients to the plants and the pH of the solution would also change quickly and significantly. Additionally, when you set up a hydroponic greenhouse, humidity and warmth are kept at optimum levels and the greenhouse is also protected from stray animals. The completely controlled environment of hydroponic greenhouse is the most perfect one that you could ever have in your house for growing plants.
The first point to consider while planning a hydroponic greenhouse is the site selection and preparation. The site chosen for the greenhouse should be easy to access, have enough proximity to an electrical outlet, and should receive a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of sunlight everyday. Normally, the ideal greenhouse construction area is about 18′ by 14′ but this could be adjusted to the available area. At the outset, you need to mark the 4 corners to erect the greenhouse structure. Even if the selected area is 18′ by 14′, it is better to build the structure as a square one, instead of a rectangular one. This is due to the reason that the square structure usually withstands a lot more stress than a rectangular structure and the construction process would also be easier.
After completing the layout of the structure, you should assemble the necessary materials and tools to construct the greenhouse structure. You would require PVC sheets, plastic sheets, plastic zip ties, 1″x2″ pine boards, some amount of deer netting, a few screws and hinges to construct the hydroponic greenhouse. You need not possess a huge amount of mechanical engineering knowledge for this. Several websites offer the process of construction of the hydroponic greenhouse. The floor should be prepared properly that it withstands spills. The electricity is needed to add light inside the greenhouse, when the sunlight is absent. You could use special grow-lights of full spectrum type.
When the hydroponic greenhouse chamber is ready, you should purchase a drum with a capacity of 100-150 liters to hold the nutrient solution. You would also require hydroponic growing chambers like tubs and/or pots, growing media such as water gel, pearlite, etc, ventilation fans if the plants grown inside the hydroponic greenhouse structure are larger in number, and hydroponic fertilizers. If you are just starting on hydroponic greenhouse farming, then you would be better off to start with young plants or starts instead of seeds of the plants that you wish to grow.
You should not forget to purchase two items that are a must in the success of hydroponic greenhouse farming. They are the digital pH tester and CF meter. They would be needed to check the pH of the nutrient solution and the nutrient strength respectively. If you try to guess these values, you would only be harming the plants. The hydroponic solution of water and fertilizers or the water gel crystals should have an average nutrient strength of 20 to 24 CF and a pH in the range of 5.5 to 6.5. The plants selected by you should not be the type that get pollinated by wind or insects, since both are absent in a hydroponic greenhouse. The ideal greenhouse plants are cauliflower, broccoli, kale, silver beet, and leeks. Several herbal plants grow very well in hydroponic greenhouse constructions.
For example, lettuce is a cool weather crop. The seeds germinate only when the temperature inside the greenhouse is maintained below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably in the range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Red light with full spectrum fluorescent lamps helps the lettuce germinate more effectively. If you are growing broccoli, barley, beets, rye, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard seed member crops such as mustard, candytuft, wallflower, cress, and sweet alyssum in the greenhouse, they would seriously affect the growth of lettuce. Hence, all these plants should be kept separate from the area where lettuce is grown. When you understand the above basics of hydroponic greenhouse, you would even be able to grow many of these plants in your greenhouse and earn handsome money by selling them in the market.