Posts Tagged ‘solution’
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.