Beginners Guide to Hydroponics

Welcome to the ultimate beginners guide to hydroponics. This article (and those it links to) is meant to be the best a-z, everything a beginner needs to know to get started. This is not, however, a comprehensive guide to hydroponics. Entire books have been written on the subject (in fact, we mention several of them in this beginners guide). Rather, this guide is meant to help beginners get their bearings, learn how the systems work, what the terminology is, what variables are important, what pitfalls to avoid.

Doing is the ultimate teacher. So our biggest recommendation from the outset is to get a cheap hydroponics kit and get started. The faster you fail the faster you succeed, and believe me, as a beginner, you will fail. Your plants will start to fall over or yellow or the leaves will curl or your seeds won’t germinate. We’ll cover the basics, point you in the direction of where to get help when you need it, and hopefully get you launched on doing your first hydroponics system. So, without further ado, here it is.

Faster than Fast Hydroponics Startup Guide

For those who just can’t wait to get started:

Even though I said that this wasn’t a comprehensive guide, this beginner’s guide to hydroponics is pretty big. For those who can take the time to go through it, you will save yourselves a lot of headaches. For those who can’t wait to get started, simply check out the section your interested in and read up on that. For those who absolutely cannot wait to get started, here is a super-fast list of our recommendations:

  • Which System: Deep Water Culture
  • What to Grow: Lettuce or peas
  • How to Germinate: Get some rock wool, a dome, and some pH down
  • What Light to Use: T5
  • What Nutrients to Use: Doesn’t matter, pick one
  • Buy or build a system: Avoid getting frustrated and stuck in an attempt to build a system and just buy one, but get a cheap one. You can upgrade once you’re ready.
  • Plants are dying / seeds aren’t germinating: Check your variables- air temperature, amount of light, water pH, water temperature, nutrients
  • I want to learn more: read our awesome articles, buy a book, watch Youtube
  • I have questions: get thee to Reddit
  • What’s next: More plants, bigger systems, build your hydroponics empire

Beginner’s Guide to Hydroponics:

What is Hydroponics?

How hydroponics works

Choosing the right system






Choosing a plant
Variables: PH, light, temperature
Germination guide

Adjusting for Growth
What comes next- more plants, bigger systems, better precision for higher gains
Troubleshooting for Beginners

Beginners Guide: Getting Your Bearings- Reddit, Youtube, Read a book, Get started and Experiment