First of all don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you don’t ask…….you don’t learn.
We all had to start somewhere, and there are a lot of books and information out there available these days. There are even DVD’s that explain about various aspects of growing as well. If you don’t find it in the library, you can well find it on the internet, which is highway of knowledge in this day and age.
Also if you get the opportunity to visit or join a club, this helps to create contacts.
If you hear of farm visits or know of somewhere that is growing hydroponically approach the people and ask……. what is the worse that can be said to you……. a simple 2 letter word ….NO….. it doesn’t matter if they do say ‘no’, as some of the commercial growers are very guarded about letting outsiders into their setups…… don’t take this as a personnal insult as it isn’t…… it is simply that they are protecting their assets and crops from the possibility of any outside disease or pests.
I personally don’t like smokers (yes I’m an ex- smoker myself) touching any of our vegetables that are growing, in particular our tomatoes. If they have seen what damage tobacco mosaic virus can do to a crop they will understand. Besides we grow to be self sufficient and save ourselves from paying exhorbitant prices that these retail outlets charge, so we don’t want to lose any veges for any reason.
So you have asked your questions and hunted out reading literature and you’re still wanting to go ahead.
What you will need to decide is where you are going to put your setup and how much room you have. Sometimes, the amount of area you have can dictate the type of setup that would be best to use. Especially if you only have a confined balcony.
Basically your requirements to starting, beside requiring a bit of innitiative are:
Think about what you want to set up with; a N.F.T. system, or use some type of home innovation set up or flood and drain system.
What type of media do you think meets your requirements? Take into account your physical ability; for example – scoria is very heavy if you need to move your set up at any stage, where as perlite is light.
Do you have somewhere that your plants will get good light. You may have to use a wall to protect from winds. Consider the weather elements in your area, as no 2 geographical areas are the same. This may be a bit of trial and error until you get established, but patience is the key.
Are you going to use Thrive or mix your own. How often you want to be replenishing your set up with nutrient will play a small part in what type of set up you select.
Ensure your seedlings are nice and fresh to give them the best start; or you can also propagate from seeds, just allow a bit extra time for the seeds to germinate.