Root crops will have their fruit at the root system. In an hydroponics system that is in constant touch with the water might rot. In that case, the deep culture is out of the league. The root crops will need a hydroponics system that can allow intermittent dry sessions for better aeration of their roots. They would also need a deeper support system that allows the crops to have enough space to grow downwards.
Ebb and flow system is the best
The most preferred hydroponic technique for root crops are the ebb and flow. Ebb and flow can be timed to allow enough time between the watering and air time. It is not hard to set up ebb and flow system. There really is no need to invest money to buy a whole new unit. All you need to check is if you can get a deeper container and net cups that are deep. Using water retaining or moisture retaining substrates in the net cups could reduce the watering periods.
One must also know that the different crops may need different systems to grow them. While and beets and potatoes would be fine in the normal ebb and flow hydroponics unit, carrots would need deeper containers as well as suitable substrate. While most root crops are fine with the clay pebbles and other common substrates, carrots are better grown in perlite.
Perlite for carrots and potatoes
Carrots need space to grow deeper. The wrong substrate could make it fork and grow wider and weird. Perlite allows the right environment for these crops and at the same time can retain enough water to prevent the drying out of the roots.
What suits better for these root crops are the deeper flower pots. Fill the flower pots with perlite and water them manually from the top as you do with the soil growing. These flower pots must also have a tray placed under that can hold the water, perlite draws water from below as well.
Things to note while growing root crops hydroponically
- Space: The main thing to avoid is overcrowding. Most root crops would need space underneath to have flourishing growth. This means that not many plants could be grown together. Only 2-3 plants per container may grow well. Carrots would need deeper containers than even spacing. Plants like ginger must have ample space between two growing plants to allow the rhizomes to grow bigger.
- Light: The root crops may need 10-12 hours of light to grow healthy.
- Most root crops cannot be transplanted. It has to grow where it was placed right from the beginning.
- Never let the root crops to have water supplied for long time or go without supplying water. Maintain a steady period between watering.
- Growing the root crops hydroponically needs lesser media and nutrients than for other crops.
- Know your crop and check what is the optimal temperature and pH level of each plant before you start growing them. Both these are important factors for the healthy growth of these plants.