Hydroponics is a growing industry that is considered to be environmentally friendly and suitable for large scale commercial growing.
Hydroponics involves growing plants without the use of, or with minimal use of, compost, soil, peat or any solid medium, as the plants are grown in water or nutrient rich solutions. In a way, hydroponics has always been around, as watercress and other plants have always been grown naturally in water, but hydroponics has been developed in order to grown many plants and for indoor growing all year round.
Commercial tomato growing units use hydroponics for mass growing tomatoes in greenhouses, while the method is also used for specialist plants that are hard to grow, and it can even be a domestic gardener’s hobby. The technique may seem complicated and hard work in some ways, but the yield from plants when good practice is followed, is worth the effort. It is vital to get the nutrient balance right to avoid destruction of the plants.
Types of Hydroponics.
- Nutrient Film Technique
- Flood and Drain
- Deep Water Culture
- Drip Irrigation
- Recirculating Deep Water Culture
What is needed for hydroponics, what can be purchased to help with growing plants hydroponically?
Nutrient solutions are the first and most obvious of the hydroponics supplies. It is vital that the grower discusses their plants and needs with the supplier in order to get the right nutrients for their crop, as many nutrient solutions of different kinds are available, and are specific to crops, plants, and growing environments. Canna nutrients is an international specialist and supplier, and can provide any advice needed on hydroponics nutrients. Canna nutrients can answer questions and arrange supplies for the range of hydroponics.
An important growing aid are growing tents, used to propagate plants. The tents are insulated to allow the maximum warmth and moisture for the young plants, as well as having lighting to encourage growth. Growing tents are the fast way to propagate plants under hydroponics.
Other essentials for hydroponics supplies include lighting, heating, irrigation and pest control systems, and non-absorbing media such as rockwool, pebbles and clay. Fans are needed to reduce moisture in the atmosphere and keep the growing areas at the right temperature.
Containers and systems for hydroponics of different kinds are readily available, along with all the necessary equipment that goes with each system.
Example of a hydroponic system.
Plants usually start off in grow tents where they are propagated with the aid of heat, light and a medium, in trays, and then moved on to the system that they will grow in, for example, in tomato cropping, the tomatoes may be grown in terraces that contain nutrient solution and are hoisted off the ground at different levels to maximize sunlight and space for crops. Each hydroponic system is different and requires different supplies.
Hydroponics is a somewhat complex and specialist method of growing, but one that produces high yields if managed well, it isn’t a new method, and has been around for decades, but has become increasingly popular and well known as efforts are made to reduce peat based growing in order to preserve the environment, as well as to meet increased demand for salad crops. There are many hydroponics suppliers and materials to set up and run a hydroponics operation are readily available.