Home Hydroponics has many advantages over traditional soil based gardening! Three of these being increased crop yields, shorter growing periods and the ability to grow plants anywhere! Another advantage is the lack of maintenance and cost once the system is set up! So if you decide to make a DIY hydroponics system, here is what you need to know!
There are three types of solution culture typically used in hydroponics; static solution culture, continuous solution culture and aeroponics.
1. Static Solution Culture
The plants are placed in a tray within a larger container filled with the nutrient solution. The solution is usually oxygenated using an aquarium aerator. This cuts down the root rot!
2. Continuous Flow Solution Culture
This involves the nutrient solution continuously flowing past the roots as a very shallow stream. This means that the roots are constantly getting the nutrients they need while the solution remains oxygenated. The roots also have better access to CO2 this way!
The plants are suspended and a fine mist of nutrient solution is either continuously or intermittently sprayed directly to the plant roots. The main advantages are its simplicity and the amount of aeration received.
The nutrient solution is the life blood of plants being grown hydroponically. It is important that you maintain the correct pH level specific to the plant you’re growing (usually between pH 5.5 and 6.5)! You can mix your own nutrient solution however it is recommended that beginner hydroponic gardeners use a commercially prepared solution to minimize the risk of getting the wrong balance.
When you do decide to create your own solution, the basic elements are potassium phosphate, potassium nitrate, calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate. Mixing your own will severely cut down on cost and this is something you’ll be very happy to do anyway.
For small plants the nutrient solution can be used for up to 14 days. For larger plants, you’ll want to drain and replace every 7 days.
Find out what else you need for your Hydroponic Indoor Garden!