Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil.
It is a more efficient way to provide water and nutrients to your plants.
Soil provides nutrients, that must be broken down into a useable form and serves to anchor a plant's roots.
Hydroponics uses a wet growing medium and a specially prepared nutrient solution which is readily available to the plant. In soil, plants must grow a large root system to find food and water. In Hydroponics, food and water go directly to the roots. This enables the plant to spend more energy growing above the surface, producing more vegetation, larger fruit, flowers and vegetables.
Plants grown in hydroponics systems grow two to ten times faster and with larger yields than with conventional soil gardening methods due to the high oxygen levels to the root system, optimum pH levels for increased nutrient and water uptake and optimum balanced and high grade nutrient solutions.
Because Hydroponics root systems are compact in size, plants may be grown closer together. Add to this the fact that there is no weeding, fewer pests and lower water requirements. It is easy to see why home hobbyists, schools and research institutes, as well as commercial growers around the world use Hydroponics.
Hydroponic gardens can be used anywhere as long as sufficient light is provided with ample ventilation. Outdoors, much of the work associated with conventional gardening can be eliminated. Add the proper growing lights and you need not be limited to seasons.
It's quite easy to maintain a Hydroponic system:
- Simply add water to the reservoir tank.
- Add the proper ratio of nutrients.
- Use a timer with a pump, and water in cycles depending on the Hydroponics method and crop type.
- Keep the pH between 5.6 - 6.5
- Top up the reservoir with water when it gets too low.
- Change out the solution every 1-3 weeks depending on water consumption.
Our Hydroponics Systems range from shelf size, room size, or big enough to fill an entire greenhouse.
Every system we offer can be purchased as a complete ready to grow kit, or in basic, bare bones kits. With little experience you can enjoy fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers year-round.
THERE ARE 2 BASIC KINDS OF HYDROPONICS SYSTEMS
Ebb & Flow (Flood & Drain) System
The Ebb & Flow System works by temporarily flooding the grow tray with nutrient solution and then draining the solution back into the reservoir. This action is normally done with a submerged pump that is connected to a timer.
When the timer turns the pump on the nutrient solution is pumped into the grow tray. When the timer shuts the pump off the nutrient solution flows back into the reservoir. The timer is set to come on several times a day, depending on the size and type of plants, temperature and humidity and the type of growing medium used.
The Ebb & Flow is a versatile system that can be used with a variety of growing mediums. The entire grow tray can be filled with clay pebbles, gravel or granular rockwool. Many people like to use individual pots filled with growing medium, this makes it easier to move plants around or even move them in or out of the system. Plus the growing medium retains moisture making plant growth more efficient.
Drip systems are probably the most widely used type of hydroponics system in the world. Operation is simple, a timer controls a submersed pump. The timer turns the pump on and nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. In a Recovery Drip System the excess nutrient solution that runs off is collected back in the reservoir for re-use. The Non-Recovery System does not collect the run off.
A recovery system (recirculating) uses nutrient solution a bit more efficiently, as excess solution is reused, this also allows for the use of a more inexpensive timer because a recovery system doesn't require precise control of the watering cycles. The non-recovery system needs to have a more precise timer so that watering cycles can be adjusted to insure that the plants get enough nutrient solution and the runoff is kept to a minimum. A recovery system can have large shifts in the pH and nutrient strength levels that require periodic checking and adjusting.
The non-recovery system (run off) requires less maintenance due to the fact that the excess nutrient solution isn't recycled back into the reservoir, so the nutrient strength and pH of the reservoir will not vary. This means that you can fill the reservoir with pH adjusted nutrient solution and then forget it until you need to mix more.