Homemade Hydroponic Systems

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Whether you garden for fun, food or profit, hydroponics systems will provide everything you will need to build, grow and reap the rewards of hydroponic gardening without breaking the bank.
Hydroponic gardening is the wave of the future. It has gained much attention as it’s being studied in classrooms, local horticultural societies, government-funded research at major universities and even NASA. More and more people are also making it a hobby. Hydroponics is fun, exciting and easy to get involved in.
The word hydroponics originates from two Greek words, “hydro” meaning water and “ponics” meaning labor. Unbeknownst to many, this concept of growing plants has been around for so long a time already. Among the first examples of this practice are The Floating Gardens of China as well as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
It was also in the 1950′s when scientists got intrigued with soil-less gardening. Since then, other countries, such as Holland, Germany, and Australia have used hydroponics for crop production with outstanding results.

Hydroponics utilizes either a bath or flow of highly oxygenated, nutrient-enriched water in growing plants. In soil, biological decomposition breaks down organic matter into the basic nutrient salts that plants use for growth. Water dissolves these salts and allows uptake by the roots. Everything in the soil should be in perfect balance so plants will obtain a balanced diet. Rarely, if ever, can you find such ideal conditions in soil due to the lack of organic matter left behind on the surface, contamination as well as biological imbalances.
With hydroponics systems, water is characterized by these very same nutrient salts, generating a hydroponic nutrient solution that is perfectly balanced. Because there is so much control imposed on these solutions, then they can’t harm the environment, unlike the use of fertilizers. Additionally, very little water is lost to evaporation in a hydroponic system, owing to its application in drought stricken areas.Moreover, little water is needed and wasted.
Hydroponic systems are ideal for large plants, it can effortlessly handle a single tomato or pepper plant or a couple of smaller plants such as lettuce or herbs.
NOTE: With large plants, you may have to supply external support to help hold the plant upright. The use of a separate reservoir, submersible nutrient pump, a short cycle timer, an air pump and airstone as well as a little bit of drip irrigation tubing can be used in order to automate hydroponic systems. As a result, focus is redirected to growing more plants in hydroponics systems, instead of developing long roots.

Homemade Hydroponic Systems

Hydroponics (growing plants and food without soil) is gaining a lot of traction among consumers, as more people take an interest in it. There are a number of hydroponic systems out there, designed to help grow different plants in various quantities. Sometimes, these methods are pre-designed and sold as a unit or kit (a great option for beginners); more experienced growers usually buy components and design their own systems. This article shall discuss few of the more common hydroponic applications and their respective functions.

Homemade Hydroponic Systems
1. Ebb and Flow (also called Flood and Drain)
In this most common method of hydroponics, plants are placed in a growth tray over a nutrient container, and a pump is utilized to “flood” the tray(s) with the nutrient solution. Excess solution unabsorbed by the roots “drains” back into the reservoir and is recycled. A variation of this is the Drip System, which utilizes a pump to create a continual drip of nutrient solution into the growth tray.

2. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
Here, the roots of the plants are suspended in a constant “film” of nutrient solution; a pump sends this flow into one end of the tray, and empties it out to the other end into the reservoir. This method is great at nourishing roots but this is also seen as super technical and high-maintenance since the roots are not anchored in a medium.

3. The Water Culture System
The oldest hydroponic systems, and one of the simplest, a platform of planters simply floats in the nutrient reservoir while the plant roots dangle in the solution. Often, an air pump is introduced into the system to oxygenate the solution. The Water Culture System is certainly an easy as well as inexpensive way to start a hobby in hydroponics.

4. The Wick System
This is one of the few methods that doesn’t use a pump. A wick (such as an oil lamp wick or candle wick) simply draws the nutrient solution from the reservoir to the growth tray, where the plant roots absorb it. This more passive system is low-maintenance, but it can often over-soak the roots, resulting to a smaller yield.

5. Aeroponics
This is probably the most effective, and the most technical of the hydroponic systems. The plant roots have no anchor or medium; exposed to the air, they are continually sprayed with a vapor-mist of solution, allowing for quick absorption and lots of oxygenation. When done correctly, this method can generate large, quick-growing plants and lots of fruit.

These hydroponic systems are proven methods of growing plants without soil. As you can see, some are more complicated than others, and some more efficient. Choosing the system for you largely depends on your time, budget as well as overall needs.

Related Article : Homemade Hydroponic Systems

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  1. The third most important of gardening tips is the amount of sun your plants will be getting. urban gardening

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