Plants need to feed on nutrients to grow healthily, most of which can be found everywhere – from the soil, air, sun, and all the beneficial microorganisms living in between. While plants have access to this outside, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are feeding them with the optimal amount and ratio of nutrients necessary for a flourishing plant.
That’s where the hydroponic system comes into play, which is a growing method that uses water to have precise control over the nutrient delivery, distribution, and light intake compared to relying on volatile elements like the soil and weather.
What is Hydroponics?
By definition, it is a method of cultivating plants using controlled mineral nutrient solutions. Plants can intake the given nutrients through water, replacing soil with either the mineral solution or perlite as one of the most popular inert mediums for hydroponics.
This means that growers can fully customize the growing set-up indoors or outdoors. The flexibility leaves plenty of potential in the crop’s health, quality, and ability to grow seasonal plants any time of the year. There are different systems for hydroponic cultivation, such as the following:
1. Simple Passive Hydroponic Systems
This system doesn’t require electricity or other technical devices to function properly, making it the best option for experienced gardeners who are on a budget. It involves the following:
- Wick watering
- Hydroculture pots
- Simple water glass with cuttings
2. Active Hydroponic Systems
The more advanced option includes a more complex set-up, though it promotes more flexibility, control, and increases its effectiveness more than passive systems. Some types of active hydroponic systems include the following:
- Ebb and Flood Systems – you will need to invest in a grow tray, overflow tube, submersible air pump, timer, and air hose.
- Nutrient Film Technique – this needs a grow tray, overflow tube, submersible pump, non-submersible air pump, air stone, and an air hose.
- Deep Water Culture – uses a floating platform, non-submersible air pump, air stone, and an air hose.
- Deep Flow Technique – involves a grow tray, overflow tube, submersible air pump, and air hose.
- Drip Irrigation – this uses a grow tray, drip manifold, drip lines, overflow tube, submersible pump, timer, non-submersible air pump, stone, and hair hose.
- Aeroponics – uses the mist from the nutrient solution with a submersible pump, short-cycle timer, air hose, and mist nozzles.
- Aquaponics – this combines plant cultivation with fish farming
There are also simpler, ready-made units or hydroponic kits for beginners who want to get started on hydroponic growing.
The Bottom Line
Using a hydroponic system can be highly beneficial for your plants as it promotes a healthier growth pattern – from boosting the yield, strengthening its system, and enhancing overall plant quality.
This makes choosing the right materials and set-up critical, especially since hydroponic growing heavily relies on your own set-up for it to be effective.
If you want to have better control over your crop’s growing conditions, our extensive selection of hydroponic systems, supplies, and equipment is the best option in the UK. Get in touch with us at 0114 244 3447 to see how we can help you with your hydroponic needs.