If you want to learn about the hydroponic gardening systems, you are in the right place. Here you are going to learn about the details of the hydroponic garden. The hydroponic gardening system has become so popular today for its high rate of production and non-involvement of the soil, and less physical labor.
- When did Hydroponic Gardening Originate?
- Types of Hydroponic Gardening Systems
- Things to Know Before You Prepare a Hydroponic System
When did Hydroponic Gardening Originate?
Hydroponic is a type of gardening without soil, where water delivers nutrients to the plants’ roots, typically in a nutrient rich-solution. John Woodard created the world’s first hydroponic nutrient solution in 1699. It was termed hydroponics by Dr. William F. Gericke in 1920. The hydroponic system has been developed tremendously in the last century. Hydroponic growers combine monitoring with full automation, leading to faster growth cycles, increased yields, and reduced resource waste.
Types of Hydroponic Gardening Systems
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponics Systems
In the Nutrient Film Technique, plants are placed in sloping hollow pipes or channels. Nutrified water is continuously pumped through the channels over the root system. There is no need for a growing medium like vermiculite or Rockwool.
The NFT is a system where water recirculation is done throughout the channels by pumping it first to the upper or higher ends of the channels that then flows down the slope.
Wick System Hydroponics
Wick System has the nutrients in a reservoir below the growing area. The plants will be placed in a growth medium like coca cola vermiculite or perlite, where nylon that runs from the plants in the reservoir consists of nutrients.
Since this system does not directly pump to transmit nutrition solution to the plants, the system only works the best for small house plants and herbs such as basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, etc.
Deep Water Culture Hydroponics
In deep water culture, roots are submerged in the nutrient solution where the reservoir will hold the nutrients. You will also need air stones and an air pump where the plants are kept in the net pots with a growth medium to secure them. Water is to be recirculated in this system. The plants’ growth is super-fast and healthier in this system. This is also good for the smaller plants. The best plants to grow in this system are okra, lettuce, basil, bell papers, strawberries, etc. The larger plants will be difficult to grow as they would require more oxygen to grow and plant support. This is considered to be the best hydroponic gardening system for beginners.
Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain) hydroponic systems
If you like home gardening, then this system is for you as it is very popular as a home gardening system. Rooted vegetables like carrots and radish can be grown in this system. US Army used this system in World War II to produce tomatoes and lettuce. The plants are placed in a spacious growth medium like Rockwool or perlite in this system. The growth bed is flooded with the nutrient-rich solution with a timer pump at regular intervals. This water is drained to the nutrient reservoir with the pump at intervals. You can grow bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and various herbs making your home a helpful garden. This system is ideal for hydroponic gardening systems with fish. You can’t grow large plants with a deep root in this system.
Aeroponics Hydroponic Systems
This system is quite similar to the NFT system, but the roots are continuously misted with this system. This isn’t easy to build this system. In this system, the plants are suspended in the air, and the nutrient solution is sprayed directly over the plants’ roots. After misting the roots with a mist spray, the nutrient solution falls back into the reservoir. You can grow any plants in this system, but the tricky part is to ensure the plants’ entire root is misted properly. The best plants for this system are lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, mint, and basil.
Drip Watering hydroponic system
The drip watering system is one the most convenient methods, widely used in commercial applications where you can make regular changes. In this system, the nutrient solution is directly pumped through the drips pipe to the plant’s base. The flow of the solution is adjustable for every individual plant. The system can be both circular and noncircular. The nutrients are drained back into the tank in the circular system. Since we can alter the size and flow of the system, we can grow most of the plants using this system. The best plants to grow in this system are bell peppers, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, mint, and basil.
Things to Know Before You Prepare a Hydroponic System
You will need several items to prepare a home hydroponic gardening system, one of which is hydroton. Hydroton is a growing medium in a hydroponic system composed of expanded clay pebbles. Hydroton is used because it helps to support the plants, is pH neutral, is lightweight, is reusable, and provides much oxygen to the roots of the plants. However, there are several substitutes for hydroton, such as coconut
coir or perlite net cups. You can use 2 or 3 inches net cups where there can be 5 – 8 holes in each cup. The whole of your system will determine the size of your net cups. It would be best if you chose the plants suited to your location.
There are many water-soluble fertilizers blends for a hydroponic system. When mixing your hydroponic fertilizers, you need to add calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt.
You can adjust the pH by using an acid to lower it or a base to raise it. Depending on the acidity or alkalinity of your water, you may need to adjust the pH. You must wear goggles and gloves when mixing your formula or adding pH up or down.
It would help if you had an air stone, air pump, and some quarter-inch tubing. You will require a ppm or TDS meter for measuring the conductivity, a concentration of total dissolved solids in the water, and a pH meter that measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water. After knowing all these, you can prepare your home hydroponic gardening system yourself. You can design hydroponic vertical gardening systems because they take significantly less space but provide a good yield