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Hydroponics: Growing Your Vegetables without Soil

For many of us that have tried growing vegetables in Florida, poor soil and soil-borne diseases can be challenging.  Simple hydroponic systems may be the answer if you don’t have adequate space or poor soil and want to try a new approach that yields great results. There are simple and inexpensive systems available that provide a solution for many gardeners.  Join UF/IFAS Extension on November 2, 2013 for ABC’s of Hydroponics for the Home Garden. Registration link (

hydroponic garden

Growing plants without soil is often called hydroponics. The name implies that the plants are grown in water containing dissolved nutrients. However, pure water culture is only one of the many methods used.  Other methods might simply be grouped as “soilless” culture, which would include sand, gravel, and culture utilizing other soil substitutes such as vermiculite. Systems can be as small as a five gallon bucket on your back porch.

In water culture, plants are grown with roots submerged in a nutrient solution, with the stem and upper parts of the plants held above the solution. With this system, the main considerations are: provision of a suitable container, suspension of the plants above the water, provision of a suitable nutrient solution, and proper aeration of the water solution.

A floating hydroponic garden is easy to build and can provide a tremendous amount of nutritious vegetables for home use, and best of all, hydroponic systems avoid many pest problems commonly associated with the soil. This simple guide will show you how to build your own floating hydroponic garden using material locally available at a cost of about $50.00 ( This publication guides you in the steps to build a 4×8 ft floating garden using wood and a plastic liner. Many simple containers can also be used to make a floating garden. Examples include: children’s or pet pools (kiddie pools), small plastic storage containers, trash cans, and buckets. Many shapes and sizes of containers will work, but they should be able to maintain a 4-6 inch depth of nutrient solution for the best success. Containers with straight up sides are preferred.

Register today and learn everything you need to set up your own hydroponic system.  Grow your own vegetables for fun, freshness and savings. (

Also you may be interested in: Starting a Hydroponic Small Farm (Friday, November 1st, 1 pm to 5 pm). Registration link (


UF/IFAS EDIS: Grow your Own Vegetables without Soil