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New technology in hydroponics is helping farmers to get a better harvest

New technology in hydroponics is helping farmers to get a better harvest

Hydroponics is a method of growing crops in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution. It does not use water, and instead, the root system is supported using a still medium like clay pellets, vermiculite, rock wool, or perlite inside a grow tent. The basic logic behind hydroponic is to help the plant’s roots to have direct contact with the nutrient solution while getting access to oxygen, which is essential for proper growth.

Advantages of hydroponics

Farming with hydroponics comes with several advantages, the major of which is significantly improved rate of growth in your plants. With the right system, your crops will mature up to 25 per cent faster and give up to 30 per cent more than the similar plants grown in soil. Your crops will grow bigger and faster since they will not have to strive to absorb nutrients. Even a small root system will give the plant precisely what it requires. Therefore, the plant will focus more on growing upward rather than expanding the root system downwards. All of this is possible through proper control of your pH levels and nutrient solution. A hydroponic setup will also use less water compared to soil-based crops since the system is sealed, which results in less evaporation. Furthermore, hydroponic is excellent for the environment since it minimizes waste and pollution from soil runoff.

Types of hydroponic systems

The best thing about hydroponics is that there are several various types of hydroponics setups available. Most of the best hydroponic setups on the market integrate multiple types of hydroponics into one hybrid hydroponic structure. Hydroponics is special in that there are many techniques you can apply to get the nutrient solution to your crops.

Deepwater culture

Deepwater water culture also referred to as reservoir method is the easiest method for growing crops with hydroponics. In a Deepwater culture hydroponic setup, the roots are slung in a nutrient solution.  An aquarium air pump supplies the oxygen to the nutrient solution to help keep the plant’s roots from drowning. Do not forget to prevent the light from penetrating your grow tent since it can lead to the growth of algae. This can wreak havoc on your setup. The major benefit of using Deepwater culture setup is that there are no spray emitters or drip to clog. This makes the system a perfect choice for organic hydroponics since hydroponics systems that use organic nutrients are more vulnerable to clogs.

Nutrient film technique

This is a kind of hydroponic setup where a constant flow of nutrients solution runs over the crop’s roots. This kind of solution is on a slight tilt to make sure the nutrient solution flow with the force of gravity. This kind of setup works very well since the roots of the plant obtain more oxygen from the air compared to the nutrient solution itself. Because only the tips of the root get to contact with the nutrient solution, the plant can absorb more oxygen to facilitates a faster growth rate.

Other types of hydroponic systems include:

  • Aeroponics
  • Wicking
  • Ebb and flow
  • Drip system

The use of grow lights and grow tents also goes a long way in enhancing the production of plants in a hydroponic system.

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