Posts Tagged ‘nutrients’
These basic requirements, knowing what plants need to grow are the same for conventional gardening and hydroponics, the difference with hydroponics is how these are supplied.
1. The use of a Medium:
In hydroponics soil is replaced with a medium such as gravel, rockwool, perlite, coconut fibre, vermiculite, or sand, this is needed in some cases to support the roots. The difference soil stores the nutrients the plants require, the growing medium doesn’t, with hydroponics the plants get all the nutrients they require from the nutrient solution, this gives the grower a greater control over how, when and how much nutrient the plants receive, also with hydroponics controlling the PH Level is easier.
All plants need nutrients for health growth these form two groups Macro (used by plants in large quantities) these are the primary elements nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K) secondary elements in this group include magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) and sulphur (S) and micro are the trace elements only used in small amounts. The amount of each of these nutrients can alter for different plants you grow and at what stage of the growth cycle the plant is in. Hydroponic nutrients can be purchased in a concentrated form to be mixed with water to make the nutrient solution, these come in different formulas already balanced, this is ideal for the hobby gardener.
Plants need between 12 and 18 hours of light per day this is essential for photosynthesis for strong healthy growth and a basic requirement for healthy growth. An outdoor hydroponic system needs to be placed in a good sunny position for the plants to receive enough light from the sun for an optimal growth. When growning in an indoors hydroponic system you will need artificial lights to replace the loss of natural light. The amount of lumens required indoors differs from one grower to another some say 1000 lumens per sq.ft.is as low as you want to go, others say 2000 lumens per sq. Ft. Another factor to take into consideration the distance the lights are placed from the plants the lower the lumen psf the more critical this will be and it may be necessary to adjust the growing lights daily. Generally, a 1% decrease in light reduces yield 1%.
4. The PH balance:
For optimum growth plants require the right pH balance, to the control the of pH is extremely important, and with soil it’s quite but with hydroponics as the nutrient solution is used to feed the plants controlling the PH is more straight forward as it’s easy to test and control. The correct PH balance will vary from crop to crop depending on what you are growing.
Indoor Hydroponic gardening, where you don’t have to worry about the soil, whether it is overwatered or under-watered, a garden which is clean and extremely effortless to manage is highly productive. Then Hydroponics is the solution for all these problems.
Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants using liquid nutrient solutions, which is feed directly to the plants; usually for any terrestrial plant the soil acts as a mineral reservoir, but in this method growing with Hydroponics the soil is not required for the growth of a plant as the nutrients are delivered directly to the plant,in door hydroponics is gaining popularity in the global market and is being used more by commercial growers. The most important advantage of indoor hydroponics is, it requires no soil other advantages are: the cost is less as less water is used in the system and is recycled ; the nutrition solution level can be controlled, so lower nutrition cost; and with the systems mobility there are fewer chances of pests and related diseases, but Even hydroponics has some disadvantages like: it creates an environment that stimulates salmonella growth, which can cause abdominal pains and diarrhoea; the plants require different fertilizers and containment systems; high moisture levels are associated with pathogens attacks. The two main types of hydroponics are medium culture which can be further classified in two main types: sub irrigation and top irrigation, and solution culture which is further classified into three main categories: static nutrient solution culture, continuous flow nutrient solution culture and aeroponics. If you are fond of vegetable gardening one of the most beneficial and preferred methods by people is Hydroponics. this method has been successful in providing tasty, nutritious, and good quality vegetables and fruits, Being almost pest free and very consistent method, were you don’t need to worry about the excess water or little water.
With a passive hydroponics system you have to decide what quantity of nutrient solution and in what ratio you need to feed the plants, this is one thing even experienced growers can get wrong. An active hydroponic system is more effective, the nutrient solution is automatically delivered to the plants, they take what they need and the rest drains back to the reservoir to be reused, preventing over feeding or under-watering.
The Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain method) system is one of the oldest systems now modernized and brought up-to-date, with a water pump connected to a timer, the nutrient solution which floods the medium for a set period of time displaces the air which has been De-oxygenated by the roots.The flood cycle should only last a few minutes, when the timer turns the pump off the excess solution drains back to the reservoir, allowing the voids in the medium and the space around the roots to re-fill with air.
This process can be repeated many times a day depending on the water holding capacity of the medium the roots sit in. This system uses a recycling reservoir and over a period of time the pH of the nutrient solution will fluctuate, if this is not corrected it will cause problems with nutrient absorption, and can cause salts to build up. Where roots sit in water that has not drained and been trapped by the body of the roots themselves, in some cases can lead to root rot, tilting the tray is one way to achieve better drainage this can help avoid standing water.