Cultivation of plants without soil! Yes, you have heard it right. Hydroponics, one sort of Horticulture, made it possible.
Various types of hydroponics systems enabled us to grow plants and vegetables very easily, faster than before, in fact, in half of the time and throughout the year. Though we found its roots in the primitive culture, it has evolved a lot of stages to come this far. It has been in use for a long time now and helping people get their things done very efficiently.
This article is going to give you an insight into hydroponics, the types of hydroponics systems, its working process, benefits, necessaries, and other stuffs. Let’s get going.
Hydroponics-How It Works:
To put simply, in layman’s term, hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without soil, by using a solution of water and nutrients.
The word hydroponics came from the Greek roots “hydro”, which means water, and “ponos”, which means labor. In this process, a nutrient-free-flowing solution provides the plants with everything through plants’ roots. All types of hydroponic systems work the same way.
If you have relatively less space and you want to utilize it properly. Side by side, you need to conserve soil and water, most importantly, you want your plants to yield more, then you can use this subset of hydroculture, Hydroponics system. In short, people, who do not possess outside land to grow plants, can rely on this system.
Working process of hydroponics: Ruling out the influence of nature, in a controlled environment, plants survive using a process named photosynthesis. The same things happen in there that we see in our nature. Plants produce glucose and oxygen from carbon dioxide and water by using the sunlight and chlorophyll. Therefore, the Chemical equation is identical to the normal process.
Actually, hydroponics is system, in which water and the growing media replace the soil. Nutrients, added to the water, are transferred to the plants roots maintaining a time-frame, aided by a water pump. Water and the growing media plays the vital of keeping the roots oxygenated. To be mentioned, this whole process needs to be dealt with a very careful manner and with full control, e.g., controlling air circulation, lighting, water quality, etc.
Benefits of hydroponics:
Ask yourself a question-why is hydroponics so popular these days? There are so many reasons. That’s why a lot of people rely on different types of hydroponic systems out there. Benefits of hydroponics are:
- Takes relatively less space: Comparing to the traditional outdoor cultivation system, hydroponics takes less space. Therefore, even if you do not have enough outside land, you can grow your desired plants using hydroponics.
- Without soil: Sometimes situation is such that you have outdoor land, but cannot be cultivated due to any reasons. No worries, you have hydroponics.
- No weeds problem: As there is no soil, there are no weeds. It saves your time and help you get rid of weeds that could prevent the free growth of plants in outdoor cultivation.
- Saves water: Water crisis is very real. Lots of people do not even get water to drink. While some of them are not being able to cultivate for want of water. If you want to save water, and use efficiently, hydroponics will help you.
- Superb growth rate: The growth rate in hydroponics is unmatchable. Get things done 20% faster using hydroponics; it is hydroponics’ very basic function.
- Yields more: This is another big reason of using hydroponics. People want more of everything without spending more. Hydroponics made it possible. Researchers found that plants grown in hydroponics yield more than the traditional systems.
- Keeps producing throughout the year: Who doesn’t want a system that can grow plants the whole year? It’s possible because of hydroponics’ controlled environment.
Types of hydroponic systems:
Hydroponics is very diverse system. Therefore, it has different types of unique system. If not one, then the other will suit you. There are six very basic types of hydroponics system. They only vary in using necessaries, e.g., nutrients, water.
- Deep Water Culture: This active from of hydroponics is one of the easiest and less costly. The plants are put on a hanging basket and roots go down fully under the nutrient solution.
- Wick System: It is also a simplest form indeed. The name tells for itself, yes, you have got it right. In a wick system, plants hang just above the nutrient solutions from a wicking medium. A wicking rope, being aided by a pump, takes the solution to the medium.
- Nutrient Film Technique: NFT is very popular because it does not take any growing medium and set up is simple. This system doesn’t take a timer, because the flow of nutrient solution is continuous. The solution runs by the roots then gets back to the to the reservoir again. Very simple, isn’t it?
- Ebb & Flow System: Using a timer, after every certain period of time, the solution is sent to the roots. It soaks the roots and takes back the solution to the reservoir again, when the job is done meaning soaking the roots
- Drip system: In this system, the drip lines along with a pump takes the nutrient solution to the roots, and by soaking them for a period gets back to the reservoir.
- Aeroponics: Aeroponics hangs the plants mid-way exposing the roots completely. A timer periodically takes the solution to the roots, but, as there is not growing medium, it just sprays the solution directly to the roots. However, it maintains quick repetitions to keep the roots wet.
How to make hydroponics at home
To make hydroponics at home, you will require the necessaries, e.g., nutrient, growing medium, pump, timer, light source etc. Once you have them, you can move onto making hydroponics.
- At first, you need to assemble the system
- Then make the solution mixing nutrients into the water
- Take the growing medium and add plants on it
- Be careful about trellis and tie the plants to it
- Finally, turn the pump on.
See here the detailed systems to set up hydroponics at home:
Hydroponics for Beginners:
It is very important that among various types of hydroponic systems, you choose the right one to begin with. According to us, the easiest way to begin with the Deep Water Culture system. As explained earlier, you just need a reservoir of nutrient to submerge the roots. Then hang the plants and submerge the roots in the solution. Done!
The Wick system is also a preferable option for beginners, as it is somewhat like the DWC; variation actually.
Besides, the ebb and flow system is not bad an option indeed.
Best hydroponic systems:
When it comes to choosing a hydroponics system, you have a lot of options. All of them do the job no matter what. For your comfort, among various types of hydroponic systems, we just mentioned some of the best hydroponic systems.
- Easy to use
- Power full pumps add to its credibility
- One of the best
- Easy set up
- You can use 7 plants at the same time
- Led lighting system with advanced features
- Has 7-pod stuff and very friendly
- Better growth rate
- Comes complete with space saving capacity and quality air pump and stone
- Easy set up
- Offers everything for plants
- High quality plastic and manufacturer’s warranty adds to it
- Comes complete WaterFarm
- Very efficient
- Larger capacity for all needs
- Advanced features
- Comes complete with space-saving capacity
- You can grow 6 plants at the same time
- Energy saver
- Very efficient
- Perfect for the newbies
Hydroponics vs Aeroponics:
Very frequently, we run into a dilemma trying to differentiate between hydroponics and aeroponics. In fact, aeroponics is one of the types of hydroponic systems.
The thing that marks the complete difference between these two is ‘growing medium’. Hydroponics takes a growing medium as a must. However, in aeroponics the plants hangs above the reservoir with their roots exposed.
In hydroponics, nutrient solution is taken to the roots and in some instance roots are submerged fully. While in aeroponics, the nutrient solution is sprayed to the roots frequently.
In aeroponics, plants get what they need directly and grow faster, produce more. On the other hand, because of a growing medium, plants don’t get the nutrients directly. However, it is not that big a problem.
Besides, these two involves different set up, skills and maintenance.
Best Plants for Hydroponics
Plants for hydroponics are not less important. Considering their gravity, to help you sort things, here are the best plants for hydroponics.
- Ideal size
- Beautiful shape with necessaries
- Easy set up
- No worries about breaking it, guaranteed replacement for free
- Excellent design
- Durability guaranteed
- Easy to set up and use
- Offers every needed along with quality service
- Comes with different dimensions for customers’ comfort
- Never-seen-before look
- Durability ensured
- Affordable size
- Provides with everything one may expect
Best Hydroponic Nutrients
If you want the best, you have to provide the plants with the best. Basically, in a hydroponic system,
So choosing the best nutrient is a very important step. Here are some of the best for you.
- Comes complete with all the essential nutrients
- You can use it on any kind of plants
- Helps plants yield more
- Matches all the hydroponics system
- Highly concentrated with everything needed
- Aids with microbial activity
- Can be used throughout the growing cycle
- Active carbon technology
What do you need for a hydroponic system?
Before taking decision which system you want, think how much money you can spend,which plants you want to grow and the level of your experience.
Building your own hydroponic system, no matter of what system you use, you’ll need to check the following:
Grow Lights (where sunlight is diminished) or Heating systems (if growing in cold winter climes) Trays/Containers with lids/Net Pots etc.
- Air Stones/Hoses
- Growing medium
- Plant stock
Which hydroponic system is best?
You will find the best hydroponic systems currently on the market and only we only included systems from very reputable brands.
Here , if you choose a system on this list, make in mind you are buying a trustable system which won’t leave you hanging mid-grow.
A few things we think once cultivating this list are build quality, brand reputation, testimonials, and our own experience using the system.
Who is deep water culture hydroponics best for?
You’ll required enough space for a big system and plants, with a budget for the higher upfront system cost as DWC can get a bit pricey.
Also need to be ready for bigger plants with rapid growth.
To sum up, all types of hydroponics system ensures efficiency. Besides, helping you grow plants faster and produce more the whole year, it can save your time, resources and most importantly, water. Considering all these things, you can depend on it.
Hope this article has given you an in-depth view of various aspects of hydroponics.
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