Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants indoor using water and nutrients. The needed nutrients for plant growth are dissolved in water and supplied to plant roots directly. Hydroponics system does not uses soil rather the plant rooting system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, vermiculite and many more.
The basic idea behind which hydroponics works is that it allows the plants roots to come in direct contact with the nutrient solution. Hence, hydroponics supports healthy, easier, faster and larger plant growth.
Types of Hydroponics System
Hydroponics is unique in the sense that there are multiple techniques you can use to get the nutrient solution supplied to your plants. There are many different types of hydroponics system. Today, you will also find that some of these hydroponic systems are combined to form one hybrid high performing technique that is called superponics. However, six Types of Hydroponics System are popularly used. All these hydroponics system works toward direct supply of nutrient solution to plant roots. The brief details on them are as under:
1. Wick System
Wicking is the simplest and inexpensive hydroponics system. It is also described as a passive system which has no moving parts. The nutrient solution lies in a reservoir placed under the plants. Plants are supported by growing medium such as perlite, soil or coco. The nutrient solution from the reservoir is drawn up through a number of wicks into the growing medium.
2. Deep Water Culture (DWC) System
DWC is one of the easiest of all active hydroponics systems. In this method, the plants are placed on a grow tray which is directly floating on the nutrient solution. An air pump oxygenates the nutrient solution and supplies it to plant roots for absorption. The primary benefit of using DWC system is that it does not uses a drip or spray emitters to clog. This system is preferred more for fast growing water loving plants such as lettuce.
3. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System
When thinking of hydroponics system, NFT will come first to your mind. It is a type of hydroponic system in which continuous flow of nutrient solution is supplied to the plants roots. Hence, no timer is required for submersible water pump. The plants are located in a tube type grow tray which is placed slightly tilted so that the nutrient solution can flow with the force and drain back to the reservoir. Usually no growing medium is used in NFT except air. This allows plant roots to absorb more oxygen from air rather than nutrient solution. This is because only the end of plant roots is in direct contact with nutrient solution. Thus, plant is able to get more oxygen which helps in speedy growth.
4. Ebb And Flow Hydroponics System
Ebb And Flow is also known as flow and drain hydroponics system. In this system the grow tray is temporarily flooded with nutrient solution at regular intervals. The bottom reservoir floods the tray with nutrient solution for certain time period and then slowly drains back into the reservoir. The water pump is connected to a timer, so that this process is repeated at specific intervals. This allows your plant roots to get the desired amount of nutrients. Ebb And Flow is appropriate for variety of grow mediums. You can fill entire grow tray with growing medium such as gravel, Rockwool or any other or use individual Pots Filled With Growing Medium And Then Place Them In Grow Tray.
5. Drip Systems
Drip is the most preferred hydroponics system all over the world. It is simple and easy to use system in which a timer controls a submersible water pump. When timer turns the pump on, the nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. Each plant base has its own dedicated drip that provides nutrient solution. Drip systems are of two kinds, one is a Recovery Drip System in which excess nutrient solution is collected back in the reservoir for recycle. Two is the Non-Recovery drip System that does not collect the nutrient solution.
Aeroponics is the most modern type of hydroponics system. In this method no growing medium is used other than air. The plant roots hang in the air and are misted with nutrient solution. The mistings are done every few minutes. A timer controls the pump to mist nutrient solution at very short intervals i.e. for few seconds in every few minutes.