What are Hydroponic Grow Systems?
What is hydroponics all about? Hydroponic grow systems are a process for cultivating plants in water that will provide nutrients. Soil is not used but, a plant growing medium is used to soak and administer an endless water supply. So, what is the best hydroponic system? There are 6 hydroponic variations listed below to choose from:
- Water Culture
- Ebb and Flow
- Recovery Drip and Non-Recovery Drip
- N.F.T – Nutrient Film Technique
|HYDROPONIC GROW SYSTEMS||RATING||PRODUCT DETAILS|
|Grandma's Secret Garden 3.0 - Hydroponics Grow Box||5.0|
|Cash Crop 4.0 Deluxe - 6 Plant Hydroponics Grow Box||3.5|
|Cash Crop 4.0-6 Plant Hydroponics Grow Box||3.8|
|Magic Herb Druer 2.0 - 10 Plant Drying Box||5|
|Hydroponic Grow System Hydrofarm|
|PC Grow Box|
How does the Wick System work?
One of the easiest hydroponic grow systems to use is the Wick system because all internal parts are stationary and won’t move. The nutrient solution is drawn by a wick from a reservoir to the plant growing medium. There are quite a number of different types of mediums such as: Coconut Fibre, Perlite, Pro-Mix and Vermiculite. Although this method is often used, the only disadvantage I find is that when the plants are larger and in full bloom, the nutrient solution tends to soak up much more water than the wick system can offer.
What is Hydroponic Water Culture?
Out of all the hydroponic equipment, I personally think this is the best hydroponic system. This process is referred to as the Styrofoam system. It has a platform that grips the plant and rests precisely on the nutrient solution. An air pump provides air to an air stone that creates bubbles for the nutrient solution and also gives oxygen to the roots. I find this process excellent for growing lettuce indoors because they do grow especially fast in this particular environment. The only disadvantage I’ve come across is that larger plants do not do as well under these conditions.
How does the Ebb and Flow System work?
With the Ebb and Flow hydroponic grow system, the nutrient solution is pumped temporarily to flood the plant grow tray but, then drains the nutrient solution back into the reservoir. The pump has a timer system that is activated several times per day, (depending on the type of plant, temperature and medium) so that the solution flows back into the reservoir when the time has elapsed. This amazing system uses an assortment of growing mediums in the grow tray, such as:
- Granular Rockwool
- Grow Rocks
The only disadvantage I’ve discovered with this system is that it can be exposed to power outages affecting the time pump with time failures, therefore causing the plant roots to dry out quickly. This issue can be offset by using a growing media that is able to store more water, such as Coconut Fibre, Rockwool or Vermiculite.
What Hydroponic Drip System should I use?
Hydroponic Drip Systems are the most widely used in the world because they’re so easy to manage and the timer controls a submerged pump. Once the timer activates the pump, nutrient solution drips by a small drip line and then onto the base of each individual plant. There are two drips systems available:
- Recovery Drip
- Non-Recovery Drip
The difference between these two hydroponics grow systems is that the Recovery Drip System sends the nutrient solution back into the reservoir and, the timer is cheaper and efficient because it doesn’t require an accurate timing of the watering cycle but, the Non-Recovery Drip System does not take the nutrient solution back into the reservoir and, requires a precise timer, so that the watering cycles can be fine-tuned to accommodate sufficient nutrient solution for different types of plants and therefore, less wastage of the solution.
How to use Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T)
The Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T) is the most commonly used hydroponic equipment and provides a constant supply of nutrient solution with a submersible pump that does not require a timer at all. This system is all too easy. The solution is pumped into the growing trays and flows over the roots and back into the reservoir. This is an ideal grow system because there is absolutely no growing medium required, apart from air. This is a cheaper system due to the fact that it doesn’t require a growing medium. A small plastic bucket is used as a support system whilst the roots are suspended into the nutrient solution. The Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T) system is perfect to manage, although it may be a problem from time to time due to power outages or pump failures that can cause the roots to dry out.
How does an Aeroponic System work?
This high tech aeroponic system is one of the best hydroponic systems for indoor gardens and, the only real technical aspect is that it mainly uses air to function, with the roots suspended in air whilst retaining their moisture from the nutrient solution. The moistening system is constant but, due to the fact that the roots are suspended in air, (a very similar system to the NFT system) the roots are vulnerable to drying out if the moistening cycles are disrupted. This would generally occur with a power outage because the controlling timer runs the pump every few seconds for a few minutes to provide moisture.
Hydroponic Grow System DEMO