Products – Getting Started & Next Steps

Various Types of Hydroponic Systems

When you imagine hydroponics, you think grown plants with roots that are suspended directly into water and have no growing medium. However, this is but a single approach to hydroponic gardening. What most people don’t know is that hydroponic gardening is possible through numerous methods and variations.

Wicks

This is viewed as the most elementary hydroponic system. The wick system is more of a passive system where there are zero moving parts. From the reservoir below, your specific growth technology nutrient solution is going to be drawn up into the growing medium with the use of some wicks.

Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)

In these hydroponic systems, the grow tray is temporarily flooded. The nutrient solution from a reservoir will first surround the roots before it drains back. This is usually automated with the use of a water pump that comes with a timer.

Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)

Dip systems are some of the most widely used hydroponic methods today. A timer controls a water pump, which pushes water and the growth technology nutrient solutions into a system of elevated water jets. A recovery system then gathers excess nutrient solution and directs it right back into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system though doesn’t do this, which means it can prevent variations in the reservoir’s pH level.

NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)

Each time hydroponic systems is mentioned, people usually think about the NFT system. The Nutrient Film Technique relies on a consistent flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, which means a timer is unnecessary. The solution in a reservoir is pumped into the growing tray. In the growing tray, no growing medium is necessary. The roots absorb the nutrients from the flowing solution. The downward flow leads back into the reservoir where it will be recycled.

Aeroponics

Aeroponic hydroponic systems are a high-tech form of hydroponics. Similar to the NFT system, the growing medium is mainly air. The roots are suspended in the air and nutrient solution is used to mist them from time to time. The roots will dry out fast if the misting cycles are disrupted. Like all other types of hydroponic systems, the nutrient pump is controlled by a timer, but the aeroponic system relies on a short cycle timer activating the pump for a few seconds every few minutes.

For those of us who like growing plants, this is an exciting time indeed. We are no longer dependent on the climate or season in pursuing our pleasures. Now, we can actually grow whatever plant we want, anytime we want. We can only be limited by our creativity. The basic but very effective hydroponic systems, along with modern horticultural lighting, have given our hobby a whole new meaning and opened up our options further than we ever imagined possible.

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