Hydroponic gardening

Hydroponic, or Hydroculture growing is widely spread in industrial growing. Its advantages are clear: Its easy to manage because you can add all nutrients in one place and, if you’re doing it right, you can top up your harvest. Like i said, if you’re doing it right. Due the fact that in Hydroponic growing no soil is used, there is no buffer. So if the grower does a failure with the nutrients, the plant dies.

So, what is this Hydroponics?

Wikipedia says

Hydroculture is when plants are grown in a soilless medium. Plant nutrients are distributed via water.

Hydro comes from the Greek word “hudor” which means Water.

Basically there are four different Hydroponic gardening systems:

1. Continuous Drip
This System uses a pump which pumps the water/nutrients mixture out of a reservoir direct via pipes to each single plant. A tray under each plant sends the water back to the reservoir.

2. Ebb and Flow System
A submersible pump pumps the nutrient solution from a reservoir which is under the plants into the tray of the plants. Means, when the pump turns on, the nutrient solution is pumped up to the tray of the plants and delivers the nutrients to the root system. The pump will shut off after ca. 20 Minutes. This is the flood Cycle. Once the pump is turned off the water will drain back into the reservoir. The Ebb. The plant tray also contains a overflow pipe which is also piped to the reservoir, so no overrun.

3. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
The plants are in grow-pipes which have a slight downward angle.  A pump pumps the nutrient solution out of a reservoir into the top of the grow-pipe. The water runts downward and the roots get their nutrients. At the end of the pipe the remaining water goes back into the reservoir.

4. Aero-Hydroponics / Deep Water Culture
The setup is, you have a bucket, in the bucket is your nutrient solution. Into the bucket comes a air pump, like one from an aquarium. Onto the bucket comes a cap with a hole in it. In the hole comes a plant net pot with the plant in it. The hole thing gets closed. At the beginning the water level should be 1-2cm over the end of the net pots, when the plants have roots it can be lower. When the plant gets larger roots the roots will get into the water and they will get a perfekt oxygen/water/nutrients mixture.

So, this should give an basic overview about Hydroponic growing. Im currently planing a hydroponic grow at home, so i think some more posts will follow.

Btw, the NASA grows with Hydro.