Why hydroponics? 1. Saves space. 2. Saves water. 3. Eliminates many problems with soil: insects, diseases, poor quality or nutrient content. 4. Fewer chemical. World War II-hydroponics in western Pacific reusable. Photo: grodancom Photos: folatpanelche.cf How 2 Hydroponics. Hydroponics How to Series: Hydroponics .. we can take your manuscript and photos and create a custom PDF ebook for you.
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The roots will, of course, grow longer if they need more than 20 minutes to get water. They can actually grow pretty long in search for the nutrients. The plant roots can grow so long that they can prevent the water and solution from going al the way up to the grow cups.
Also, long and thick roots can clog the system. This is why you need to trim the roots every once in a while. In nature, organic matter decomposes in soil and breaks down to basic nutrients such as Potassium, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen salts. These salts are then dissolved in water and the roots of the plant absorb them. So, if you want your plant to have a perfectly balanced intake of nutrients, everything must be perfectly balanced in the soil. This is impossible to achieve when using soil because of the contamination, biological imbalances, and insufficient amount of organic matter on the surface.
Soil can never produce so perfectly balanced and high amount of nutrients as the hydroponic system can. The soil loses a lot of nutrients and it is extremely difficult to measure the pH and PPM in soil. With the hydroponic system, these parameters are easily measured and adjusted so your plant can always have enough of required nutrients. The nutrients in soil can only be dissolved when you water your plant, while in hydroponic systems, everything is dissolved in water and there is always enough moisture.
Additionally, the soil can be the host for many different pests or diseases. Growing mediums for hydroponic systems are sterile and inert providing a very hygienic environment for your plant and you.
The hydroponic system set ups There are a few different hydroponic systems and the most popular one is the Ebb and Flow system. The plants are supported by the soil-free medium that can be used as an anchor for the roots. The mediums are usually made of stone or fiber and are made porous so they can retain water and air.
The plants are in a tray that contains the growing medium lava rocks or Rockwool. The system requires a growing bed which is filed with a solution of nutrients by a pump connected to a timer. The pump is then shut down by the timer and the solution is slowly drained back to a reservoir.
This system is ideal for beginners. There are some things you need to pay attention no matter which hydroponic system you use. First of all — the reservoir.
The reservoir holds the nutrients and the water that you need for the growth of your plants. Make sure that you pick large enough reservoir so it can hold enough water and nutrients for one or two weeks. Make sure that you buy a sturdy reservoir and always buy 3 of them. The second one is for holding the tap water in for days so the chlorine can evaporate and neutralize the pH.
Phospho- rous deficiency leads to stunted growth whereas excess phosphorous reduces the avail- ability of copper and zinc. Nitrogen also helps the formation of chlorophyll. Phosphorous is a nec- essary element in the cells. Plant names pH range Tomatoes 5. By providing the correct nutrients at various stages. In a two-part or three-part solution. So it is a safer to use material that does not alter the pH of nutrient solutions.
The need to balance the concentration of nutrients in your solution cannot be stressed enough. Any changes in the nutrient concentration level can lead to disastrous results. Each species of plant has its pH value. Single-part solution is more generic and can be used on a variety of Hydroponically grown plants. An ideal pH value lies in the range of 6. Hydroponically grown plants depend only on the nutrient solutions to grow.
Soil — apart from supplying nutrients also provides support as plants grow. Nutrients needed at various growth stages are different. Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic glass that can expand immensely when heated to its softening point. Provides good drainage and aeration to plants. Perlite is lightweight and can be used on its own or as part of soil-less mixture.
Rockwool is a good material to plant seeds because it is immune to microbes. The dust from Perlite is known to cause irritation.
It is not environmental friendly. It is usually mixed with ver- miculite in equal quantities. Rockwool derives from melting basalt rock at high temperatures. Coconut fiber is a completely organic material that has excellent water and air retention properties. It is rarely used on its own. One of the most efficient materials to use in your Hydroponic system. It alters the pH of nutrient solution — extra care must be taken to maintain correct pH.
Starts to break down after several uses. Retains water. Vermiculite is a mineral that expands when heated because of inter-laminar heat. This is all depending on the room. One thing to look for is a window for ventilation purposes. And also a room with some kind of water source access would be a plus. Now you have a basic room ready for an indoor grow. The traditional way is to run 6 inch to 12 inch ventilation ducting near your light source and another near the floor for incoming fresh air.
Or you have a window you can do this simply by leaving it open when temps are nice outside. You can start off by giving the room a good cleaning from top to bot- tom. Next you want to try to find a room on a ground floor. The next thing you want to do is get your ventilation set up. I recommend install- ing some ducting fans also. The first obvious decision is picking a room with more than enough space to accommodate your type of growing operation. And always you want to have at least one fan oscu- lating throughout the room for adequate air exchange.
You can either opt to grow your plant in a small bucket before moving to a bigger growth box. You can build two types of system based on the deliv- ery method of nutrient solutions: Commonly used growth material are ver- miculite. Perlite or LECA. A pot is supported above the nutrient tray solution and a wick soaked in nutri- ent solution is passed through the drainage hole into the nutrient tray.
A growth system can either use a material such as Perlite or Rockwool.
The principal disadvantage of this system is that it is difficult to support your plants as they grow. You must. This system is portable and inexpensive. An example of a Passive System is: Wick System A wick system uses a lamp wick or wick made of nylon. The following are the various types of active system: Various types of materials can be used to act as a quick drain system.
The principal difference between an active and passive system is that an active system uses pumps to supply nutrient solution whereas a passive system uses a wicking action to draw nutrient solution. If you are using coconut coir. Both long-term and short-term produce grow well in this type of system. Ebb and Flow system can be automated using a computer.
If you are a herb lover. It is possible to grow more produce using this system. Maintenance and set-up is not expensive and hence is a popular system. This system is pri- marily used by lettuce growers. Perlite or Rockwool. There is a uniform distribution of nutrient solution to all the plants in this type of system.
Popular growth material is expanded clay pebbles. Rockwool is used as the material here. Supply of nutrient solution is timed. Nutrient solution is dripped onto the plants and the remaining solution is drained back to the reservoir. It is expensive and difficult to set up a drip system.
One of the main advantages of making your own system is that you can customize. Here you have three alternatives to consider. The principal drawback to this system is the functioning of pump and reservoir in the event of power failure.
Dutch Bucket Method This system was first used in the Netherlands to grow tomatoes. Nutrients are sprayed to the roots. Raft Method In this method. In this system.
This uses a bucket 2. Styrofoam sheets are used to float plants fixed in baskets on top of nu- trient solution. It is ex- pensive to set up this system and is more often used in laboratory studies. The problem of stagnation is solved by circulating air from bottom. A pump is used to recycle the nutrient solution. This system is used for lettuce production and to cultivate other greens.
It is also easy to build. Now you can fill with water. After this is done start cutting the holes out with a box cutter. Use a marker to make some 3 inch circles where the net pots are going to go. Now measure some tubing from where the air pump will be outside the system all the way through the hole you drilled and to the bottom of the tote.
Next add desired nutrients to water. Now cut the piece of tubing and connect one end to the air pump and run through hole and connect air stone to other end and place air stone on bottom of tote.
This hole is where the tubing from the air pump will go. Now that this is done set the lid aside and start washing out the tote. First thing you need to do is figure out where the net pots are going to be positioned. This type of system is very easy to construct even for a beginner.
Try to fill well below where you drilled hole. Drip feed system This how to guide will show you how to construct a simple 4 plant drip feed hydroponic system. Run the tubing on the side of the inside of the bucket and through the middle hole. Next place the water pump at the bottom of bucket. Connect one of the T connectors to this. Next using a box cutter carefully cut out the holes.
Now cut 2 small pieces of tubing for each side of the connectors. But your starter medium of choice should be fine. Now measure and cut 2 pieces of tubing that will run from both ends of the T connector to the middle of where the 2 net pots on each side will go.
After this is done put the lid on the tote and make sure the bottoms of the net pots are submerged in the nutrient solution. Place the remaining 2 T connectors on each end. And now drill a 1 inch hole near the edge of the lid.
Fill the net pots with clay pellets. I recommend first starting plants in rockwool cubes then transplant into the net pots filled with clay pellets.
Now on this end connect to the air stone and place on bottom. Insert net pots into cut holes and add growing medium. I suggest starting seedlings in rockwool cubes or oasis cubes and then transplant- ing to the net pots with clay pellets. Ebb and flow An ebb and flow system is an easy system to construct and any type of water pump is optional and not needed. Fill up until the bottom part of the net pots are fully submerged in the water.
Let this sit until silicone is completely dry. These holes should be around cm above the bottom on each bucket. Usually lighting is provided for 16 to 18 hours every day to optimize growth. To drain place same bucket under the table. You should flood your system approximate 5 times a day for minutes at a time. To overcome this drawback. Now you are done. At this point you can add your seedling in the growing medium. Now use the gravel rocks and fill one of the buckets just enough to cover the bottom hole.
Now connect the 2 joints to each end of the irrigation tubing and then insert each end into the grommets on each bucket. After this is done fill the other bucket with water and hydroponic nutrients to about 6cm or lower from the top. In Hydroponic gardening. Care must be taken to provide com- plete darkness for the remaining duration of 6 to 8 hours. Now that this is done add your growing medium of choice to the same bucket and fill until it is about 6cm from the top.
Now the 2 buckets should be connecting together by the tubing. Your bucket that you will be growing in should always remain on the table and to flood system place other bucket on table and water will be transferred to growing bucket.
Sunlight provides the energy for growth. You may consider converting incandes- cent bulbs into growth light bulbs by coating the inside — but it seldom works! Incandescent light bulbs emit light and an equal amount of heat. Best Suited for: You can provide this lighting through High-Pressure Sodium lamps. These are suitable for growth areas that are wide and long or square.
You can find HID lighting in parking lots. When it comes to properly cleaning out a hydroponic system it is simpler than it sounds. By using movers.
This lighting is usually used with Metal Halide lighting. Walls are usually painted with light reflective coatings to increase the diffusion of light. These are around 6 feet long and carry a single lamp — most ben- eficial for narrow and long grow areas. When using HID lamps. If you are planning to have only one lighting system for your Hydroponic garden. Just soak you reservoir in hot water and rinse. Herbs like dill and coriander grow well under this light.
There are two types of movers — linear and circular. This lighting helps the formation of strong leaves. Do it about once a month. Some common wall treatments include: Perennial plants live for more than two years. Plants can be Perennial. Specific vegetables can be consumed raw — as salads whereas others need to be cooked. Annual or Biennial. Biennial plants take two years to complete their life cycle. Whatever way we consume vegetables. If you are health conscious.
Annual plants germinate. It is much more fulfilling to grow your vegetables and use them in your daily cooking! Home-grown vegetables not only taste delicious but are also more healthful than the commercially grown crops. Lettuce — takes 4 to 8 days to germinate.
It is important that you choose the best seeds for your Hydroponic garden. Here are a few points that may help you select good-quality seeds: Over seeding helps you pick the strongest plants to transfer to your growth area.
You can also transplant soil-grown plants to your Hydroponic system but starting from the seed is the best way to go — you do not have to worry about transplant shock and pests in your plants. Now drop one seed into the hole of each cube. Not all of them are genu- ine. To successfully begin and continue the germination process. Tomatoes grow in any kind of Hydroponic system but a Drip system is the best. Most commercially grown tomatoes belong to the indeterminate variety. You can use incubators.
Lettuce seeds germinate in 4 to 8 days and can be harvested in 35 to 45 days. Similar crops: Leaf lettuce is a better choice than head lettuce. Nutrient Film Technique is the best system to grow Lettuce. Peppers and Cucumbers Lettuce An all-time favorite among Hydroponic growers. Seed germination time is 3 to 6 days and it will take days before you can see your tomato plants bear fruits. If you want to grow smaller toma- toes to suit your space requirements.
It takes 6 to 10 days for the seeds to germinate and 2. Here is a list of crops that have similar needs: Tomatoes Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown Hydroponically. Basil and leaf crops Carrots Carrot is a root crop that grows well in Perlite.
Specific plants have similar needs — nutrient require- ments. Roots crops require a large growth bed to grow and develop fully. Growing such crops together can help you produce crops of better quality and quantity.
It takes 3 to 5 days for germination and 6 weeks to begin harvest. Buds and flowers must be pruned regularly to encourage continual growth. Beets and Carrots Broccoli Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family and likes to grow in cooler temperatures. Seed germination takes 3 to 8 days and you can start harvesting in 6 to 8 weeks.
Peppers and Tomatoes Basil Basil is a herb that grows between 12 to 18 inches tall. Peas Radish Radish is also a root crop similar to carrots. Radish grows well in a system with a deep bed. You can start your first harvest in 30 to 40 days. Drip system with Rockwool or Perlite as the growth material is your best choice. After 3 to 4 months. To promote continual growth of cucumbers. You can continue harvesting for 3 to 4 months.
Spinach and Lettuce Beans You can harvest high yields from bean plants. It takes 6 to 10 days for the Basil seeds to germinate and will produce fresh leaves for 3 to 4 months. An Ebb and Flow system works well with Perlite or expanded clay pellets.
European seedless varieties are easier to grow Hydroponically. Seed germination is quick — it takes 2 to 5 days. You can begin harvesting Broccoli in about 4 months. The usual space allowed between two plants is 20 sq inches. Pepper plants grow tall — using a growth material that provides the required support is important. Seed germination requires 6 to 12 days and the first harvest begins only by the end of 2nd month approx 50 to 60 days. You can use Rock- wool for seed germination. Cabbage Peppers Peppers come in variety of colors and flavors.
You can grow both hot and sweet pep- pers. It takes 10 to 14 days for seed germination and you can harvest in the 4th month. Use a drip system or an Ebb and Flow system to grow these vegetables. Ohio 5—6 Providence. California 10 Houston. Texas San Francisco. Georgia 8 Owensboro. Nevada 8 San Jose. Florida 9 Miami. Texas Honolulu. Tennessee 7 Tampa.
Vermont 4 Pittsburgh. New Jersey 7 Orlando. Utah Fairbanks. Louisiana 9 Wichita. Alaska 1 San Antonio. Roots crops require a large growth bed to grow and develop fully. It takes 6 to 10 days for the seeds to germinate and 2. European seedless varieties are easier to grow Hydroponically.
Drip system with Rockwool or Perlite as the growth material is your best choice.
It takes 3 to 5 days for germination and 6 weeks to begin harvest; thereafter you can continue to harvest for six months. To promote continual growth of cucumbers, harvest them regularly. Similar crops: Peppers and Tomatoes Basil Basil is a herb that grows between 12 to 18 inches tall. Buds and flowers must be pruned regularly to encourage continual growth. It takes 6 to 10 days for the Basil seeds to germinate and will produce fresh leaves for 3 to 4 months.
After 3 to 4 months, the old basil plant must be replaced with a new one. Similar crops: Spinach and Lettuce Beans You can harvest high yields from bean plants. An Ebb and Flow system works well with Perlite or expanded clay pellets. Seed germination takes 3 to 8 days and you can start harvesting in 6 to 8 weeks. You can continue harvesting for 3 to 4 months. Similar crops: Peas Radish Radish is also a root crop similar to carrots.
Radish grows well in a system with a deep bed. Seed germination is quick it takes 2 to 5 days. You can start your first harvest in 30 to 40 days.