Sep 22, 14
A look back has seen us cover hydroponics systems that are either simple or advanced. Let’s add a nice middle ground to the mix. Ebb and Flow systems are simple, reliable, and low cost but require a little more work and maintenance than a drip system does.
Ebb and flow systems (or flood drain systems) are simple setups that use a flood and drain system to keep the growing medium moist. Since the water pump does not run constantly, these systems are quieter and consume less power than nutrient film or direct water systems. The trade-off is that water use is less efficient than in other systems. Since the roots are not in constant contact with the solution, there is more water waste here than in other systems – which can, of course, be mitigated by recycling your water. A growing medium is also required, which means regular cleaning and inspection for fungus or disease is necessary – this becomes an intensive task since the roots of every plant in the system tend to interweave. Even so, the system is cost effective and perfect for short plants or leafy vegetables. Ebb and flow systems are also really easy to build.
Sep 08, 14
Drip and DWC systems are good options for beginners, but advanced growers may want a more formalized system for growing crops regularly. For larger scale projects, let’s take a look at the Nutrient Film Technique. NFT systems use a very shallow stream of water and dissolved nutrients flowing over the roots of your plants to feed and water them. The partially exposed roots and constant moving water keeps them oxygenated as well . This shallow stream is little more than a film of water flowing via gravity down to the bottom of the channel, which gives the technique its name.
Aug 25, 14
So you’ve taken a look at how to set up a drip irrigation system and decided that it’s not for you. Well the good news is that there are plenty more hydroponics systems for you to experiment with. So let’s talk about direct water culture (DWC) today. DWC systems – also known as deep water culture systems – submerge the roots of your plants in a nutrient solution. This sounds, at first, like a bad idea since you can overwater plants, but that’s where the all-important aeration component comes into play. Aeration is simply the act of adding oxygen to the water to sustain the roots. The way you aerate your system defines the type of DWC it is, whether you use a bucket reservoir, prefer bubbleponics, or enjoy a re-circulation system.
Aug 11, 14
Let’s talk about drip systems. With so many hydro systems available, why should you pick a drip system over a nutrient film or ebb and flow system? Simplicity is one reason. A drip system is really simple to set up and has been used in outdoor gardens and larger irrigation systems for a long time while film and ebb and flow systems require more careful monitoring and can be tricky to set up properly. The second reason is water conservation. When you’re building a hydro system outside, the run-off water can be returned to the soil cycle instead of down the drain like with indoor setups. A drip system also carefully releases just enough nutrient solution to keep your plants healthy, so there isn’t any wasted water. Other hydro systems use a lot of constantly flowing water to prevent stagnation. With a drip system, you can even give specific amounts of nutrients to different types of plants on the same line. Let me show you how easy it really is to set up a drip system.
Jul 28, 14
The last time I covered hydroponics, I talked about general air circulation and how important it is to keep a breeze cycling through your grow room. With the sizzling hot month of August looming ahead and the summer heat adding up, the dangers of excess heat from lighting and improper ventilation in your grow room can become extremely dangerous to your plants. But can you actually do anything about the annual heat wave? Take a look below for some helpful tips on how to stay frosty and keep your plants cool.