Since hydroponics-gardening is a method of growing plants in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution, as said in my previous post
You need to learn about the different hydroponics systems and figure out which one is perfect for you. You chose to start a hydroponics-garden, or you want more knowledge on the overall hydro-systems. Here I educate you about the different types of systems you can buy or make and the nutrients that are needed to make it all work.
There are six types of Hydro- systems :
- Deepwater culture
- Nutrient Film Technique
- Ebb & Flow
- Drip System
Each system is a unique type of hybrid of different techniques that you can get the nutrient solution to your plants. If you don’t understand what I mean by nutrient solution, let me explain! Just like humans and animals, plants need food to grow or provide energy for the plant. In simpler terms, it is a liquid-filled essential solution with all of the necessary nutrients so that plant roots can come into contact for its growth. Compared to the soil, Hydroponic makes it easier to measure and fill the exact amounts of nutrients in water solutions.
The types of nutrients that are essential for the overall growth of your plants consist of :
- Nitrogen (N)
- Potassium (K)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Sulphur (S)
- Iron (Fe)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Copper (Cu)
- Zinc (Zn)
- Molybdate (Mo)
- Boron (B)
- Chlorine (Cl)
You can buy a ‘pre-mixed’ nutrient solution, which simply needs to be diluted (for liquid concentrates) or dissolved in water before use. Often these ‘pre-made’ nutrients come in 2, 3, 4, or even more ‘parts’ so a grower can change the ratio of the mineral elements to allow for either vegetative or fruiting growth or different crops. You can also make a blend of nutrients that have the essential nutrients needed to grow your plants. I use a combination of fish fertilizer (a.k.a fish poop in a bottle) and Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Grow Terpene Enhancing Base Nutrient Vegetative Formula, which I can control how much goes in for plant growth. Either you buy the nutrients or make your own, you definitely need to watch your pH levels.
“pH” stands for “potential hydrogen” because hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxide ions (OH-) are what cause a solution to be basic or acidic. pH tests measure the concentration of these two substances in a solution. Because there are so many, measuring a number of hydroxide or hydrogen ions is not practical, so instead, pH is measured on a logarithmic scale. pH measures the acidity in the liquid, which affects how the nutrient reacts to your plants. The scale for measuring pH level ranges from 0 to 14. So if you keep your solution between 6-8, it will keep your garden flourishing.
The six types of hydro-systems help distribute those essential solutions, so the plant becomes much more bountiful. Let me show you and explain how.
Deep water culture
Known as a reservoir method haves the roots of your plants suspended in a nutrient solution. An aquarium air pump oxygenates the nutrient solution providing air and circulation for the plant’s roots to keep it from drowning.
* Keynote: You want to prevent light from penetrating your system. It will cause algae to grow, which will poison and kill your plants.
Nutrient Film Technique
A method of forcing gravity to help flow the nutrient solution to run over the plant root. This system facilitates a faster rate of growth because the roots absorb more oxygen from the air than from the nutrient solution.
A method that the roots are misted with a nutrient solution while suspended in the air, such as the Aero-garden in commercials
A concept that you have a material such as cotton that is wicked to the roots of the plant at one end and the other end in the nutrient solution.
Ebb & Flow
Known as a flood and drain system, is a system that floods the growing area with the nutrient solution. Then the solution slowly drains back out to the reservoir. Attach, there is a pump that is hooked to a timer, so the process repeats itself at specific intervals, so your plants get the desired amounts of nutrients.
This system is accustom to a period of dryness in which individual plants flourish. This dryness happens because it causes the root system to grow larger and faster in search of moisture.
It was working by providing a slow feed of nutrient solution io the gravity medium. The downside of using this system is its cogs. The reason is the particles from nutrients that build up in the emitter.
Each system is easily made from equipment that you can buy at Home Depot, Walmart, or some parts in a pet store. Check out my next post to how to make some of these systems.
If you like to learn more or get more information. Check out these sites: