Bigger Buds

Choosing the Right Hydroponic System — a Hush Secret!

Today with increasing awareness on health and environmental issues, especially limited availability of usable water in urban areas, people are constantly adopting unconventional farming techniques like hydroponics for growing healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables. Necessity has lead to further development of hydroponic growing techniques and even the systems that are being used by the hydroponic growers based on their preference or requirement.

If you are a beginner, and you want to set up your own hydroponic garden, you must do a careful research from credible sources. To begin with, you must decide the type of plants you would like to grow. Choose the right nutrient. You can replenish and recycle the nutrient solution (closed system) or you can discard it (open system). It is entirely your wish; but still in most of the cases, closed and active systems (which use a pump and a timer to move nutrient solution) are found to be more productive and profitable.In addition, you can select from a variety of hydroponic systems available in the market, which best suit your plants’ needs and cost preferences. Let us take a quick look on what is offered in the market and which one is just right for you.

  • Static Solution Culture – The basic principle of this system is that the roots should be suspended above and allowed to drop down into a stationary nutrient solution which maybe aerated or un-aerated. A similar modification is raft cultivation, which makes use of perforated polystyrene sheets that float over a shallow nutrient solution tank. You can change the solution weekly or once nutrient concentration depletes.
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) – This simple technique continuously supplies nutrients to plant roots through a shallow stream of water making a nutrient film. This is an active system where you need to use a small pump to maintain a steady flow of nutrients from reservoir to clarifier, then to channels (where plants are placed), and again back to the reservoir. Here, you have to keep a special check on proper functioning of pumps and aeration of roots, failing which the roots are either dehydrated or infested with diseases.
  • Ebb and Flow System – This employs a simple flood and drain mechanism with the help of a timer and a pump. The nutrient solution is pumped up from the reservoir to the upper grow tray, delivered to the roots of plants and drained back to the reservoir. You might encounter pump failures due to power troubles if you are using gravel, grow rocks, perlite as your growing medium.
  • Drip System – Highlight of using this system is that you can adjust the amount of solution fed to each plant. You just have to put a submersible pump in a reservoir with small drip line going to each plant. You can also discard the nutrients or collect it with the help of drip tray under each row of plants that is connected to the reservoir.
  • Wick System – Your plants’ roots get the nutrients by capillary action with this passive non-recovery type hydroponic system. You will love it for its simplicity and cost effectiveness but it limits oxygen to the root zone and thereby dampening plant growth.

Once you get your hands on hydroponics, you might also like to try aeroponics and bubbleponics, which are ramifications of the principle of hydroponics. So next time, after watching your flourishing, hi-tech garden when your friends ask you how you turned in to a hydroponics expert, you can tell them the secret or just smile away!

Filed Under: Hydroponics

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About the Author

hi i am kelly pinto and i am working on plant nutrients.i like to write on hydroponic gardening and system.

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