If you’re considering growing vegetables or plants at home and want to ensure a good yield and perhaps ongoing harvests then you’ve probably already figured out that the British weather and the abundance of pests it brings aren’t conducive to that. While many start out with a greenhouse, temperature is still hard to maintain for half of the year. That’s why just as many commercial growers are doing, domestic growers are adopting Hydroponic systems to grow in the UK. Thanks to Progrow Hydroponics systems are now readily available for domestic growers at affordable prices.
Here’s what you need to know about Hydroponics.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponic gardening is the method of growing plants by suspending them and applying nutrient rich water, without using soil. This method allows the gardener the ability to control all aspects of the growth and development of the plant, allowing them to grow faster and healthier than they would in soil outside.
Staggering growth rates are often the result because open access to the root system allows oxygen to reach the roots, and a constant water supply rich in added nutrients to be applied to them. The plants are kept in a controlled environment not allowing pests to enter and reducing likelihood of disease. Temperature and humidity are also highly controllable.
The technology is now available for small domestic scale hydroponics systems providing lighting, fans, Co2 generation, and atmospheric controllers, allowing you to change the whole environment in which your plants grow, and altering it for the specific species you are growing.
Types of Hydroponics Systems
There are a few different methods to choose from when selecting your hydroponics system, so its worth understanding these and deciding which kit you want to buy.
Nutrient Film Technique – is a method which grows plants in a continuously circulating nutrient solution without any solid growing medium. This is popular because it is one of the most inexpensive methods and results in good production levels.
Ebb & Flood Systems – use inert mediums such as Rockwool, Perlite or clay pebbles to anchor the plants. The growing area around the root is then flooded with nutrient rich water, which then slowly drains away drawing oxygen to the roots. This copies the natural cycle outdoors of rain. The process is controlled electronically with periods set. This system has the advantage of being able to sustain a plant for a much longer period of time, because as it grows larger it is still supported by the inert medium at root level.
Dripper Method – is used by most commercial growers as it allows for a larger scale of growing. The system drips a nutrient solution continuously onto the inert growing medium in which the plants are suspended. The solution works its way down to the roots and is absorbed. The excess drains back into the closed loop solution system to be recycled. This system can be a bit complicated for domestic growers, but does allow for each plant to have its own dripper system, reducing the chance of disease transfer.