Basics of Hydroponics
Basics of Hydroponics
There are many different methods of growing plants, but there is one that allows gardeners to grow plants without having to use soil. This method is known as hydroponics. Hydroponics systems use substrate mixes that contain no soil in order to grow plants in a healthy, space-saving environment. The necessary nutrients are delivered through the roots, which are given a nutrient solution on a regular basis. Hydroponics systems have many advantages over standard growing techniques. For one, they enable people to grow their own plants indoors throughout the year and are especially ideal for growing edible plants like herbs or vegetables.
The necessary equipment and materials are inexpensive to purchase, which makes it an economical choice even for commercial growers. Plants thrive and reach maturity quickly, because they are not susceptible to pests or weeds. As an added bonus, plants grown in hydroponics systems require little maintenance and work in order to stay healthy. In addition, there are different systems to choose from for hydroponics and as a general rule they are easy to set up. People with the right skills can even build their own systems from easily obtainable materials that are inexpensive to purchase.
Nutrient Solutions -- Regardless of what kind of hydroponics system is in place, one factor that can’t be neglected is the nutrient solution. This is probably the most important factor when it comes to growing plants using hydroponic systems, because the plants will not have access to important micronutrients that are normally obtained through the soil. The nutrient solution is mixed in with the water used to spray the roots with. A common mistake many people make is mixing in standard fertilizer with the water, because it is assumed that any fertilizer will contain the right nutrients. However, this is not the case in hydroponics and it is essential to use only fertilizers with formulas developed specifically for hydroponically grown plants.
Once the fertilizer is purchased, it is necessary to dilute it with water. The directions should be followed, but before actually applying it to the charger it should be tested to make sure it has a pH value between 5 and 6. The resulting mixture is good for around two weeks, and after that a new solution has to be mixed. It is possible that water in the solution will evaporate during the two weeks and if that happens then more water should be added. However, no fertilizer should be added in that time since it could make the solution too rich in nutrients and that can damage the exposed roots.
Nutrient solutions can be applied using different techniques. There are three methods for getting the solution to the plants. The easiest method, which is known as the nutrient film method, is done by having a plastic container with holes in it to hold the plants and the solution will flow down into a reservoir where the roots can feed. The aeroponics method sprays a mist of the solution onto the roots. Finally, there are aggregate systems which used non-soil materials to provide support to the plants and then the nutrient solution is added. The excess solution is then drained into a container and the process can be repeated as often as possible.
- Tags: Indoor Gardening
- Rogue Staff