Compare the process benefits and disadvantages of the various types of hydroponic systems and select the one that best suits your requirement.
Choosing the right method from the different types of hydroponic systems depends on what kind of plants you want to cultivate and also the quantity of output. Better space saving with faster growth and less pest infection is the hall mark of water culture hydroponic systems. You can prepare the best gourmet looseleaf salad using Thai Basil, curly Parsley, Genovese Basil and other leafy herbs.
The deep water culture hydroponics is suitable for large scale cultivation and the initial costs are too high for starters to venture in it. The main advantage of flow solution culture is because of a controlled environment the nutrient solution can be maintained at a sweet spot which results in the best plants nutrition level and this is not possible in a traditional garden.
Though the nutrient film technique hydroponics is the most advanced and highly productive it is a bit difficult for home growers to implement in the balcony or backyard. Minimal pesticide usage in plant production makes plants from hydroponics free from organic material leading to healthier food. Soil comparison can be made with hydroponics especially on the topic of pest infection.
The ebb and flow hydroponic systems are more economical and suited for small scale production and hobbyist can try it out to start with. Root growth is the most important factor for the best grow cycle whether it is the hydroponic system or traditional farming. However in traditional farming more efficient use of organic material is possible due to soil bacteria.
Among all the hydroponics systems for beginners the Kratky is the simplest but the deep flow technique is more productive. Various species of plants can be grown but best performance will depend on the type of hydroponics chosen for the job. For optimal growing you should use good quality mineral solution.
Find given below detailed report on numerous types of hydroponic systems and choose the one that suits you and your requirement the best. Total control over better space allocation reduces the limitation of hydroponics and with indoor growing using aeroponic techniques further impact is noticeable.
Going directly for the deep water culture hydroponics is a bit risky for starters and a little bit of experimentation with the lesser expensive ones is recommended. Minerals like calcium carbonate and chlorine bleach which is sometimes present in tap water is not good for plant growth as it affects the plants roots.
If you are thinking of commercial food production then the nutrient film technique hydroponics system is the most ideal for your endeavor. You don't need perfect technology and even beginning with a starter pack can give a final yield that is free from plant diseases. You can even experiment using water bottles instead of plastic tubes but chances of stunted growth are high and final yield may not be to desired expectations.
For those working on the idea of a home garden the ebb and flow hydroponic systems would be the preferred choice because it is less complicated. Starting a social enterprise using the simplest method of farming and encouraging people to start a hydroponic kitchen island is a great idea. Nutrients for beginners can also be supplied at discounted rates. Technical knowledge can be shared on hydroponic farming and the initial expenses can be reduced resulting in food production for all.
Starting with a sunny spot in your balcony is good enough for the initial growth stages and plenty of light is not always required. A light panel or a grow lamp can be sufficient for the requirements of plants as long as it gives the correct light spectrum.
Many online shops provide affordable hydroponics systems for beginners and one can start with that instead of building your own systems at home which requires a lot of time and effort. Life cycle varies with different species of plants but maintaining the correct nutrient levels will always give good vegetative growth. Supply of water from the nutrient tank with the correct flow rates and use of oxygenated nutrient solution has its own benefits.
To get the best grow cycle focus has always to be on the plant roots and special attention has to be given to the plants in the seed pantry. Use of organic fertilizers in the seed pantry is very good for the plant roots. Organic fertilizers also give improved grow cycle when used in the seed pantry as the hydroponic plants get off to a good start.
Equipment like air pump, submersible pump, sewn plugs etc. are often required when growing plants without soil. Coconut coir is used in some types of hydroponics as it is inert to the liquid nutrients.
Advanced nutrients may cost a little more but they boost the grow cycle and help to scale production. The use of inert medium to hold the plants in hydroponic garden helps to provide maximum energy on root as it does not interfere with the liquid nutrients.
Hydroponics can be done in various ways using different types of hydroponic systems. A system consists of a structure to hold the plants (container, pipe or channel), a tank to hold the nutrient solution (reservoir) and a pump to circulate the solution. Home growers can also use a simple system without a pump.
The different types of hydroponic systems can be classified into four categories.
In this method the nutrient solution is stored in a container in which the plant is placed using some grow medium. No circulation of nutrient solution is required.
The size of the container is selected as per the type of plant grown and its water requirement. The container used is large enough to contain enough nutrient solution to suffice at least for a month or more.
As the level of the nutrient solution drops down additional amount may be added as per the requirement. In this system it is difficult to monitor the inevitable changes in parameters like PPM and pH and make necessary corrections.
This system is good to start experimenting with hydroponic technique of growing plants.
In deep water culture hydroponics systems the plants are held on a raft floating in a tank containing the nutrient solution that is around one meter deep.
Good aeration arrangement is required for this system as the water can get stagnant.
This system is ideal for commercial growers and is still better when integrated with fish farming.
However in case of integration a good water purification system has to be added to the setup to remove all unwanted contaminations.
In the nutrient film technique hydroponics systems the plants are held in pipes or channels. The nutrient solution is made to flow continuously through the pipes or channels from the reservoir using a pump.
As no water accumulates in the pipes or channels continuous power supply is required to run the pump. This system is good for commercial growers but not ideal for home growers without guaranteed continuous power supply.
Horizontal as well as vertical systems are possible in this hydroponic cultivation technique.
Requirement of electronic timers and power backup system adds to the cost of this system.
In ebb and flow hydroponic systems the nutrient solution is pumped in the channels holding the plants to a specified level and then allowed to drain back to the reservoir tank.
The cycle is kept on repeating using timers to turn the pump on and off. This system is also dependent on consistent power supply and may not be ideal for home growers all over the world.
Investment in good quality electronic timers and power backup is an additional burden which adds to the overall cost of this system.
The deep flow technique hydroponics system is a hybrid system which combines the techniques used in all the other systems. In this system a certain level of nutrient solution is always maintained in the channels holding the plants.
Nutrient solution is circulated in the system once or twice a day using a pump to compensate for the consumption. The nutrient solution maintained in the channels can suffice for few days in case of power supply problems.
Moreover in case of emergencies nutrient solution can also be transferred from reservoir to starting point of channels manually as well.
Among all the types of hydroponic systems the deep flow technique hydroponics systems are among best suited hydroponics systems for beginners and home growers.
One need not worry about continuity of power supply. You can be back after a few days outing and be assured your plants will be in good condition.
There is no need of additional timers and power backup resources making this system the most affordable and economically viable.
Knowing about the different types of hydroponic systems has given you a solid foundation on how hydroponic cultivation is done.
There are detailed posts on the other aspects of hydroponics on this site that we recommend for upgrading knowledge.
You can now surely decide on the best hydroponics systems for beginners from the above information.
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