Hydroponics farming is considered a modern technologically-infused method of farming. It is believed to be environmental-friendly with the rising cases of global climate change. There are many types of hydroponics farming that you may be overwhelmed trying to pick the one that suits you best.
Hydroponics systems can be used by both large and small-scale farmers. Choosing the perfect system to meet your needs is the first step to a successful gardening experience. There are at least six types of hydroponics systems and below are some of them:
The wick system can be referred to as the most basic or rather simple hydroponics system. It has been around for thousands of water. That is before the word ‘hydroponics’ was coined. It is so simple that kids may play around with the concept in school for learning purposes. Additionally, the wick system is called the ‘training wheels of the hydroponics systems ’.
This type of hydroponics system uses a wick to deliver nutrients and water to the plants. A wick is a kind of a small rope or a thin piece of felt. It is a perfect method for a beginner in hydroponics farming to learn.
The plants are usually suspended in a growing medium and the wick delivers the water and nutrients. There is a water reservoir where the wick gets nutrient-rich water. The wick system is both a low-cost and easy maintenance system.
The deep water culture method is the most popular type of hydroponics farming. Most growers prefer the DWC method as it’s one of the easiest to manage. All you need is a reservoir of water rich in plant nutrients and minerals.
Since there is no soil used, the plants are suspended over the reservoir using net pots. There is a chance of using a growing medium such as rock wool or peat moss. The plants’ roots are always submerged in water.
With the roots remaining in the water, you need to constantly pump air bubbles into the water to avoid drowning. Pumping air bubbles through the water oxygenates the water to allow enough oxygen to reach the plant. The air pump may malfunction causing damage to the crops.
In the nutrient film technique, the farmer delivers nutrients in a thin film of nutrients. The system is fitted with sloping channels to ensure all the plants in the ecosystem get nutrient-rich water. The sloping channels are small and make sure excess nutrients flow back into the reservoir. It prevents the wastage of useful nutrients.
Most NFTs systems don’t use any growing media. You can use net pot for support just like in the DWC method. It is very well-liked by commercial and residential farmers. It is crucial to mention that, the nutrient film technique works best with crops with small roots, tap-rooted plants may not thrive.
The ebb and flow method is perfect for home gardening. You need to have spacious grow beds on your farm. You can fill the grow bed with a growing medium of your choice. Once the plants are planted in the grow bed, you can flood it. The water is rich in mineral nutrients both macro and micronutrients that plants need to grow healthy and strong.
The water is fed into the grow bed just enough to avoid flooding. That means filling the grow bed until just over an inch of the surface of the growing medium. It is important to prevent the overflowing of much-needed water.
A water pump is very essential to the ebb and flow system. It pumps the water directly into the grow bed for a certain amount of time this is where a blumats come in handy. You should fit a timer on the water pump to shut off the water at precisely the right time. This type of hydroponics farming applies even to root vegetables.
The aeroponic system is among the most effective types of hydroponics farming. It is easy to use and understand but difficult and costly to build. The plants are all suspended in the air. There are no growing media in aeroponic systems.
The plants are suspended in the air with moist nozzles directly facing the plant’s roots. The nozzles between these plants spray nutrients onto the roots. This has been labeled a very effective way of nutrient delivery. It saves a lot of water too.
The excess nutrient residue is collected in a reservoir below the plants. This system ensures that the plants get enough oxygen from their roots since they are suspended. This type of hydroponics farming accommodates all types of plants, making it suitable for a home gardener and a commercial farmer.
There are many advantages and disadvantages attached to the many different types of hydroponics farming. It is advisable to research widely on the different types before settling for one that meets your needs. Knowing all the pros and cons of hydroponics systems can be very beneficial.