Most people love farming and gardening and their methods are unchanged. Traditional farming has continued for many centuries. This traditional method is to sow the seeds in soil, provide enough water-sunlight then wait till harvest arrives. That’s how the process has been and also time consuming, straining the yield for commercial purposes! Hydroponic technique is the best solution for commercial growing. Hydroponic systems have revolutionized farming and the food industry. Let’s learn more about hydroponics.
Table of contents
- What does hydroponic grow mean?
- Types of hydroponics
- Wick Hydroponic System
- Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System
- Aeroponic System
- Ebb-Flow Hydroponic System
- Drip Hydroponic System
- Nutrient Film Technique
What does hydroponic grow mean?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil. This technique of growing in nutrient-rich solution, oxygen and water helps rapid growth, strong yield and superior quality.
Hydroponic systems work with complete grasp over environmental conditions like temperature and pH balance and maximized exposure to nutrients and water. They give exact nutrients to your plant, pH levels can be monitored and adjusted. A highly customized and controlled environment accelerates your plant growth.
Recreating the environment to the plant reduces the disease risk factors. When we plant in soil we need to be careful about soil fungus diseases that spread among plants.
Advantage of hydroponics
- The Growth rate is high.
- Need less water than soil.
- Consume less space.
- Any plant can grow easily.
- Most of the elements are environment friendly.
- No seasonality for growing plants.
Disadvantages of hydroponics
- May require more expensive tools.
- If one part fails the entire system does not work properly.
- Algae harms your system. You need to regularly check your system.
Types of hydroponics
A. Wick Hydroponic System
B. Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System
C. Aeroponic System
D. Ebb-Flow Hydroponic System
E. Drip Hydroponic System
F. Nutrient Film Technique
Wick Hydroponic System
The Wick system is the most basic setup of this system, best for those who can grow for the first time because it’s mechanism and installation is easy. This is best for growing lettuce or herbs. Wick is not good for the plant that consumes more water like tomatoes.
Wick is made up of cotton or nylon thread. Get a grow tray and add the nutrient in that. Above that, put a grow medium like soil or plugs, add coco coir to half of the part in the grow medium and half part in nutrient solution. Wick works the same as capillary. Wick is very thick and can take up more water than required. Wick starts to absorb nutrients from the reservoir and it will go to plant roots. This mechanism continues till nutrients are finished from the tray.
- Better conductivity of water and nutrients.
- This is the simplest system among the hydroponic systems.
- The setup with minimum material requirement.
- Maintenance of wick is very low cost.
- It consumes less space so you can grow anywhere.
- This is usually used for small plant decoration.
- You have to wash the wick regularly because they build salt.
- Wick delivery of nutrients to plants is not efficient.
- The plant wants more water wick not helpful for that.
Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System
This method is called deep water because they hold an amount of water and root mass must submerge in the water. It contains the main three parts of solution i.e.Oxygen, water, nutrients. Plant roots are well suspended and well oxygenated in solution of water and nutrients.
Plants are connected with nutrient solution in water tanks. Put plants on a floating surface within a container. Ventilation of air can be delivered within the device air stone. Provide continuity of the oxygen root of the plant. For rapid growth, make sure plant roots touch water and nutrients. When the plant is grown up to a seemingly mild level, you can drop the water level and also you have to care about air ventilation through roots. You can use marijuana grow media.
- Very low cost for maintaining the system.
- Growing speed of the plant is fast compared to soil.
- When a part gets attached it is unmovable.
- Difficulty to maintain water temperature, that can affect roots.
- Small opportunity for small scale.
This hardware and system component was assembled to assist gain nutrients and air culture. Aeroponic greenhouse bring up climate controlled glass or plastic structure with air environment. Roots that can belong to this system are grown in air culture.
plants are usually inserted into the platform top holes on top of a reservoir and placed within a sealed container.Roots are growing to mediums that contain more air. The mediums are coco coir,coir net.this system nutrition leden mst.Aeroponics simply with leaving roots dispenses to dangle in the air where they are puffed by specially-design misting devices.
- Maximum nutrition can be absorbed by plant roots due to no growing medium.
- 24/7 Oxygen can help to plant growth.
- Prompt the health of plants and fast growing.
- Move around easily plants whole nurseries to plant from collar another.
- Dependence on the system. An aeroponic system is made of mist nozzles, high-pressure pumps, and timer. If one of these breaks down, your plants will die easily.
- The cost for initial set up can be high, which can be many hundreds of dollars each.
- Require constant supervision.
Ebb-Flow Hydroponic System
Ebb and Flow, also known as Flood and Drain, is one of the most widely recognized hydroponics systems.This method allows you to easily alter your garden, adding or removing plants as you wish without affecting any of the surrounding crops.It is intermediate level in difficulty, relatively low-cost to set up, and extremely versatile.
Series of containers which plants grow in a water pumping cycle.When timer goes submersible pump start pumping nutrients and water.The plant roots can soak water and nutrients through it.Set the level of circulation of nutrients water system.Point overflow tube ensuring maintenance of water level.Tube spilling during reservoir circulation.
- Low cost. The cost of setting up the structure, buying materials, and maintaining the fabric is very affordable for everyone. Especially if you decide to improvise the parts, you may end up saving a lot of money.
- Nutrient abundance for plants is present. The system ensures that your plants obtain just enough nutrients. The overflow tube ensures that flooding in the containers is not possible. Therefore, your plants get to grow into maturity and are healthy and nutritious.
- instances of unstable ph levels: when the structure fails, the water overflows into the containers and thus flooding the plant. The excess nutrients create an unbearable PH environment that destroys the farm produce. There is the creation of toxicities that are harmful to the crop; this brings losses to the farmer.
- Breakdowns are common. Once you decide to improvise the materials and build your structure, you have to be extra careful. Any small mistake in the formation may cause the whole system to break down and stop functioning. Some of the frequent breakdowns happen in the pumping machines.
Drip Hydroponic System
A drip system is an active hydroponic system.This means feed your plant with nutrients and water regularly.It is also called micro irrigation system.drip nutrient directly on your plant.This system unique hydroponics widely used in outdoor gardens deliver water and nutrients to individual plant.
Applying pressure on water using pump or gravity.drip emitter allows control flow of water.flow water to the plant regulated drip system need to give time to breathe of plant roots.Need more planning and efforts run this mechanism.Such a system requires considerable planning and effort in the initial stage. But once the drip lines are carefully installed, the system can run with minimal assistance.
- Provides more control over water and nutrient supply.
- Flexible system that can be scaled for growth.
- Requires low maintenance compared to other methods.
- Affordable and cheap installation.
- Less chance of system failure.
- Might be too complex for a very small grow operation.
- If using water recycle system, maintenance is high.
- If using non-recovery system, there is chance of waste.
Nutrient Film Technique
N.F.T is popular in hydroponics systems where a similar flow system uses pumps to deliver fertilized.Grow tray and drain pipe recycle the unused nutrient solution.Solution is continuously flowing over roots this is accomplished using gravity.Grow tray set an angle allow water flow towards drainpipe solution pump constant into high end tube.
Water flow pumps deliver the nutrient solution to your plants.It allows constant flow of water in plant roots.NFT systems are considered active systems, meaning they require moving parts to work. Systems like Wick Systems or The Kratky Method are passive, simpler to build, and easier to run, but you may be sacrificing optimal growing conditions for those benefits.
- Roots and setup are easy.
- Help to increase quality and health.
- Recirculating, so minimal groundwater contamination.
- A failing pump can kill an entire crop within a few hours.
- Does not work well with plants that have large tap-root systems.
- Doesn’t do too well with plants that need a lot of support.
For you to decide on what kind of hydroponic system to use. You must really give a thorough analysis of the pros and cons of each and every system and see which suits you the best. For instance, if you are a home grower and wish to use a simplistic system requiring very little setup, then Water Culture and a Wick System is best.
Or if you’re set to grow a larger variety of plants, Drip or N.F.T System is right to choose. If you’re unable to check out the changes within the system, make use of sensors like, temperature-pressure sensors, reservoir water pH sensors, and for surrounding gas check- humid/CO2 sensors will aid in the best possible way.