What are Hydroponics?
There are many types of hydroponic system designs- the basic idea behind them all is to allow the plants roots to come in direct contact with the nutrient solution, while also having access to oxygen, which is essential for proper growth.
Instead of soil the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, vermiculite, even plastic mesh.
A complete indoor hydroponic grow system can be effective way of farming without huge amounts of space!
Hydroponics today go hand in hand with container farming systems and vertical farms. With the limited water and space requirements, hydroponics are increasingly a big part of the growing trend for shipping container farms. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a small hydroponic grow system for sale, Amazon or a local nursery may have something compact enough for a handbag! In either case, this handy guide gives an overview of hydroponic systems for beginners.
Whether you are using a shipping container or a DIY hydroponic system the biggest advantage of growing is a greatly increased rate of growth in your plants. With the proper setup, your plants will mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil.
Your plants will grow bigger and faster because they will not have to work as hard to obtain nutrients. Even a small root system will provide the plant exactly what it needs, so the plant will focus more on growing above ground instead of expanding the root system below ground. A complete indoor hydroponic grow system could easily meet your food needs.
All of this is possible through careful control of your nutrient solution and pH levels. A hydroponic system will also use less water than soil based plants because the system is enclosed, which results in less evaporation. And finally,, hydroponics is better for the environment because it reduces waste and pollution from soil runoff.
The biggest factor for most people is that a quality hydroponics system of any size will have a bigger upfront cost than its soil counterpart. Dirt isn’t expensive but the space needed may be.
If you are just after a small hydroponics grow box be prepared for a bit of effort! A complete indoor hydroponics system can take a lot of time to setup if you aren’t the most experienced grower. Plus, managing your hydroponics system will take a lot of time as well. You will have to monitor and balance your pH and nutrient levels on a daily basis. Modular farms and vertical farming systems have automated environmental controls which address many of these concerns.
Whether you are using a shipping container or grow pods or an attic grow box, the greatest risk with a hydroponics system is of mechanical failure – a pump or spray breakdown can kill off your plants very quickly. Soil stores water, but the hydroponic growing medium usually needs some flow and is therefore dependent on small pumps.
Types of Hydroponic Systems
there are many different types of hydroponics systems available ranging from small grow box to full blown automated container farm. There are multiple techniques you can use to get the nutrient solution to your plants and some of the best hydroponic systems on the market combine different types of hydroponics into one hybrid hydroponic system.
Deepwater Culture (DWC), also known as the reservoir method, is the easiest method for growing plants with hydroponics. In a Deepwater Culture hydroponic system, the roots are suspended in a nutrient solution. An aquarium air pump oxygenates the nutrient solution, this keeps the roots of the plants from drowning. Light is carefully controlled to prevent algae which can wreak havoc on your system.
The primary benefit to using a Deepwater Culture system is that there are no drip or spray emitters which can clog or break. This makes DWC an excellent choice for organic hydroponics, as hydroponics systems that use organic nutrients or suspended particle matter are more prone to clogs.
2.Nutrient Film Technique
Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT, is a type of hydroponic system where a continuous flow of nutrient solution runs over the plants roots. This type of setup is on a slight angle so that the nutrient solution flows “downhill” with gravity
This type of system works well because the roots of a plant absorb more oxygen from the air than from the nutrient solution itself. Since only the tips of the roots come in contact with the nutrient solution, the plant is able to get more oxygen which facilitates a faster rate of growth.
Aeroponics is a method by which the roots are sprayed with a liquid nutrient solution while suspended in the air. You can either use fine spray nozzle to mist the roots.or use what’s called a pond fogger. This literally creates a fog- a thick cold mist of nutrients for the plants, like a rainforest canopy.
Wicking is one of the easiest and cheapest methods of hydroponics. The idea behind wicking is that you use an absorbent material surrounded by a growing medium with one end of the wick material placed in the nutrient solution. The solution is then wicked to the roots of the plant.
This system can be simplified by removing the wick material all together and just using a medium that has the ability to wick nutrients to the roots. This works by suspending the bottom of your medium directly in the solution. We recommend using a medium such as perlite or vermiculite. Avoid using mediums such as Rockwool, coconut coir, or peat moss because they may absorb too much of your nutrient solution which can suffocate the plant.
5.Ebb & Flow
An ebb & flow hydroponics system, also known as a flood and drain system, is a great system for growing plants with hydroponics. This type of system functions by flooding the growing area with the nutrient solution at specific intervals. The nutrient solution then slowly drains back into the reservoir. The pump is connected to a timer, so the process repeats itself at specific intervals so that your plants get the desired amount of nutrients.
This system is perfect for plants that are accustomed to periods of dryness or which don’t need continual nutrition like cucumbers, beans and tomatoes.
A drip system works by literally providing a slow feed of nutrient solution to the hydroponics medium. This works best with slow draining medium, such as Rockwool, coconut coir, or peat moss.
The downside to a system like this is that the drippers / emitter can easily clog because of particles from nutrients. Systems that use organic nutrients are more likely to have this kind of issue.
Always change the nutrient solution in your reservoir every two to three weeks.
Keep the water temperature in your reservoir tepid, between 65 and 75 degrees.
If your plant doesn’t look healthy, either discolored or distorted, then the first thing you should check is the pH level to ensure the environment isn’t too alkaline or acidic. If you determine that the pH is not the problem then flush your system with a solution like Clearex.
We recommend following the feeding cycle provided by the manufacturer of your nutrients.
Flush, clean, and sterilize your entire system after you finish a growing cycle. Drain your reservoir and remove any solid debris, then run your entire system for around a day with a mix of non-chlorine bleach and water. Use 1/8th of a cup of bleach for every gallon of water. Then drain your system and flush it thoroughly with clean water to remove any excess bleach.
Why Choose Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is an excellent choice for all types of growers because it gives you the ability to finely control the variables that affect how well your plants grow. A good hydroponic system can easily surpass a soil based system in plant quality and amount of produce yielded- wether it’s just a simple hydroponic grow box or a full scale vertical farming system in a shipping container.
Don’t be stress just contact an expert custom hydroponics container manufacturer like Grow Pod Solutions to start setting up your hydroponic growing system. It may seem intimidating at first with all the equipment and set up involved, but keep it simple, and your hydroponic system will never cease to amaze!
Size: 320 sq. ft.
Interior: 288 sq. ft.
Size: 160 sq. ft.
Interior: 144 sq. ft.
VERTICAL SUSTAINABLE FARMING
Hydroponic Based Pod
The Vertical Pod is a great solution for farmers focused on utilizing a vertical hydroponic system. It is affordable, scalable, efficient, automated and sustainable. The output will provide you with fresh and clean produce all year round in any climate.
Insulated Super Food Growing Machine
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