The amazing fact that vegetables and fruits can be grown without the use of soil has already generated excitement among gardening enthusiasts and encouraged them to try out professional hydroponic gardening systems. Users understand they will meet with more success with tried and tested systems.
Whether you employ the deep water culture system or choose to go in for a top-drip feed system, you’re likely to witness rapid and lush plant growth with the right system. The most basic hydroponic system will produce super results if implemented the right way. Spend more time over the basics.
Follow free or cheap plans to get you started. Then use cheap equipment and materials until you are ready to upgrade to the best hydroponic gardening system for your full-sized garden.
Here are some of the best hydroponic systems for your garden.
Consider a series of small containers floating over a reservoir containing the nutrient solution. What you have is an active and flexible hydroponic system in which the size of the container changes as per your needs. Roots get their nourishment from the nutrient solution. The reservoir usually contains waste produce obtained from farmed fish culture centers.
The water solution can also contain live fish with plant roots purifying the water. A normal air pump is needed to oxygenate the water solution. One of the simplest hydroponic gardening systems, the water culture system is ideally employed to grow leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach.
If you need a passive system, then the Wicks system is just what you need. You do not have to deal with moving parts. A reservoir is located under the growing medium containing the nutrient solution. Wicks extend from the solution through the growing medium to nourish the plant roots.
Materials used as growing mediums include soil, coco, and perlite. This system comes equipped with solar-powered planters in decorative colors to match your home décor. The wicks and contents in the reservoir are replaced when needed.
Ebb and flow system
Otherwise known as the flood and drain system, the ebb and flow system has a reservoir of nutrient solution over which is placed a tray containing plants held in place by growing mediums like grow rocks and Rockwool. This is an active recovery type automated system. Nutrients flood into the tray with the help of a submersible pump.
Generally, the roots are flooded with nutrient solution for about 20 to 30 minutes. An overflow pipe takes the surplus nutrient solution back to the reservoir. The flooding sequence is maintained by the pump throughout the flooding cycle. Air devoid of oxygen is removed when the roots are flooded, leaving behind oxygen-rich air during the draining cycle.
Nutrient film system
Counted among active hydroponic gardening systems, the nutrient film system pumps the nutrient solution from a reservoir to a grow tube. This tube can be an extended pipe with several openings. It allows the roots to grow directly into the nutrient solution. This system differs slightly from the flood and drain system, as the grow tube does not contain any growing medium.
It slopes slightly for excess nutrients to flow back into the reservoir. Monitor the process to ensure the pump operates at all times. Also, the nutrient solution must be replaced at regular intervals. Because it is effective and does not employ costly equipment, hobbyists favor this system and install them in limited space.
In this system, the nutrient is pumped from a tank through the growing medium through one or more water jets hovering over the plants. Nutrients are evenly distributed throughout, allowing the excess solution to be drained through the growing medium back to the recovery track.
Users monitor the pH level within the recovery chamber to ensure roots get enough nutrients and the solution does not turn acidic with waste. Processes that do not employ a recovery process can be fully automated.
This system consists of a pump that takes the nutrient solution to the top, then sprays it like a jet over the plant roots every few minutes or as indicated by guidelines. Unless the proper pumping cycle sequence is followed, the roots may dry out. Growing mediums are not employed in this system.
The roots are directly exposed to air, so the timer must be set accordingly to facilitate plant growth. Generally, a high-tech, automated process is initiated. This system is available in the market as a hydroponic kit. Gain more experience with these hydroponic gardening systems to enjoy more success.