Various Types of Hydroponic Systems
When thinking of hydroponics, you immediately imagine plants growing with their roots hung straight into water without any growing medium. This is only one kind of hydroponic gardening however. What people usually don’t know is that there are different methods and variations of hydroponic gardening.
This is viewed as the most elementary hydroponic system. The wick system is more of a passive system where there are zero moving parts. Your particular growth technology nutrient solution is pulled up from the bottom reservoir into the growing medium using a number of wicks.
Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)
Such hydroponic systems require temporary flooding of the grow tray. 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 today’s most widely used hydroponic techniques. A water pump is controlled by a timer, as it pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions with the use of a mesh of raised water jets. A recovery system then gathers excess nutrient solution and directs it right back into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system, on the other hand, avoids this, preventing variations in the reservoir’s pH balance.
NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)
The NFT System is what people usually think about when “hydroponic systems” is mentioned. The Nutrient Film Technique relies on a consistent flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, which means a timer is unnecessary. From a reservoir, the solution is pumped into the growing tray. No growing medium is needed by the growing tray. The roots absorb the nutrients from the flowing solution. The downward flow goes back into the reservoir for recycling.
Aeroponic hydroponic systems are known as a high-tech type of hydroponic gardening. Just like the NFT system, air is the key growing medium. While hung in the air, the roots are misted with nutrient solution every few minutes. Interruption of the misting cycles causes roots to dry out fast. As with other hydroponic systems, a timer automates the nutrient pump, except that the aeroponic system needs a quick cycle timer that sets off 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 controlled by the season or climate as we pursue our harmless joys. We can now grow practically any plant at practically any time of the year. We can only be limited by our creativity. The simple yet effective hydroponic systems, along with modern horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and liberated us to grow our favorite plants wherever we choose.
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