What is a hydroponics system?
In order to have a better understanding of what is a hydroponics system and how are they used, it is good to first understand what hydroponically grown means in general. Hydroponically grown growing refers to the growing of plants without the use of any soil to support the plant growth. In recent times, hydroponic farming has become quite popular considering it is used to so many different types of plants indoors, in urban areas without much space for farming and in areas where the climate is not best suited for growing plants.
Why grow plants in a hydroponic system? There are many reasons to grow plants hydroponically versus a soil based farming including:
1. Space Savings
2. Water Savings
3. No Weeding
4. Less Pests & Disease
5. Quicker Growth
What can you grow hydroponically? Flowers, herbs, fruits and almost every type of vegetable can be grown using a hydroponics system.
Unfortunately, environmental degradation has also been blamed for the scarcity of essential resources such as water and minerals critical for the plant growing process in many traditional farming area of the world. As a result, the increasing food demand caused by our population increases particularly regarding food security is a serious threat that has forced some farmers to resort to rethink the use of more industrial sized hydroponics systems to produce mass edible vegetation. Many US universities are beginning to support their campus cafeterias from their own campus hydroponic farms – maintained by their own students.
What are the advantages of growing plants in hydroponics system?
-It is a cost effective method of plant growth compared to traditional methods
-Easily scalable because it is easy to expand
-Flexible and scalable
So what types of hydroponic systems are there?
The most common types of systems fall into four classifications, including:
-Ebb and flow systems
-Continuous-flow solution culture systems
-Deep water culture hydroponic systems (these are the most common and can be made from items found in your local hardware store or as a simple kit – we like these DWC hydroponic systems for sale online to start with)
EBB AND FLOW
This is nutrient rich water that contains clay granules, Hydroton or other minerals that aid in plant growth. Usually, plants are put in a tray filled with granules. Once this is done, a pump that is placed below the tray is connected to it and at regular intervals; a nutrient rich solution is pumped and filled in the tray. Plants then have access to the solution when the tray is submerged. Once the tray is full, the extra nutrient solution is send into a reservoir for storage. Ebb and flow hydroponic systems work in continuous patterns by ensuring nutrients and water are reused.
In this process, an environment saturated with aerosol of nutrient solution or water mist is used to grow plants. The growing process takes place in a chamber where the plant roots are suspended in the air.
Here, plant roots come into contact with a water solution and a shallow flow nutrient. NFT commonly known as nutrient film technique is an excellent way to ensure results through impressive yields as plants are allowed plenty of exposure not only to nutrients but water and oxygen.
DEEP WATER CULTURE
This is one of the popular hydroponic systems where roots are suspended in a water solution that has plenty of nutrients. A netted pot is used to hold the plants in place and allow roots to be exposed to the solution. An air pump and porous stones are responsible for providing the oxygen.
Anyone interested in trying out hydroponic systems needs not worry because success is guaranteed so long as the entire process is strictly followed. The important things a grower must provide include clean water, nutrients as well watch out for plant diseases and pests. The reason many people are opting for hydroponic systems is because they yield better results than traditional gardening methods AND hydroponic systems can be used indoors with grow lights and grow tents.
Should I buy or build a hydroponics system?
Interested in trying to buy or build your own hydroponics system? We recommend starting with a deep water culture bucket hydroponic system, which can be purchased for as little as $30 from parts purchased at your local hardware store (including Lowes, ACE Hardware and Home Depot)- or check out our hydroponic systems for sale online – many are available for FREE shipping.