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Use hydroponics to grow a garden in your apartment

Even if you live in an apartment and have no outdoor planting space, Sears can help you have a garden. You can grow fresh vegetables all year 'round using hydroponics. Using a hydroponic system doesn't vary much from a traditional garden except that the plants grow in water, not soil. To help you get started, keep in mind that hydroponically grown edible plants need oxygen, nutrients, water and light. Just as you grow lettuce outdoors in the summer instead of winter because it's too cold, you need to control the temperature where the hydroponic plants are growing. And, depending on the plant, you may need to create a support system. With systems available at Sears, maintaining a hydroponic garden is easy.

Plants are living things and all living things need oxygen. While plants do get oxygen through water, they still need more. If you purchase a kit from Sears, you'll have the aerating equipment you need to ensure the plants get all the oxygen they need. Minerals are required to grow plants hydroponically. You can purchase hydroponic fertilizer at Sears. Sears offers Flora Nova Grow Fertilizer from General Hydroponics, for example. To ensure the pH level is correct, use a soil control kit. Many of the manufacturers of kits include fertilizer.

Water is an essential ingredient in a hydroponic system, though not just any type of water. Softened water, for example, contains way too much sodium. Likewise, plants don't grow well hydroponically if there's too much alkaline in the water. Test the water to know if your tap water source is okay to use. Some of the fertilizers help offset the lack of nutrients in water. Check the labels on the fertilizers Sears offers to find out more.

Place your hydroponic garden where the plants can receive eight to 10 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you can't, then you'll need to purchase a grow light. Sears has several available. If you space out the plants evenly, that'll help ensure that each one gets the light it needs. If you overcrowd the container, some plants will cover others, hogging all the light. That means some plants will thrive while others struggle to grow or even die. Important note: You can grow plants hydroponically 12 months out of the year, but they won't grow as quickly during the winter, even if they have some artificial light to supplement the lack of sun.

Keep the temperature in the room where the plants are growing between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for cool-season plants and 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for warm-season ones. Tomatoes are one of the most common plants grown hydroponically. Tomatoes and some other plants need a support system. You can create support systems with stakes and strings. (Other vegetables commonly grown hydroponically include lettuce, herbs, celery and onions.)

Sears know that a lot of people love to garden, but simply don't have the outdoor space. That's why we carries all the supplies you need to grow plants indoors through hydroponics and outdoors by providing you with all the equipment, garden tools, plant bulbs and more.

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