Before we can discuss Techniques of Hydroponics, we must first understand hydroponics in general, as well as its characteristics and rising processes. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants that are used mostly for food, fabrics, warmth, and attractiveness. Hydroponics is a way of growing plants, usually vegetables, in the absence of soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent.
What are the techniques of hydroponics?
There are several methods for growing plants hydroponically, each of which needs a different set of nutrients. Techniques of hydroponics include:
- Static solution culture technique
- Continuous-flow solution culture technique
- Aeroponics technique
- Fogponics technique
- Passive sub-irrigation technique
- Ebb and flow (flood and drain) sub-irrigation technique
- Run-to-waste technique
- Deepwater culture technique
- Rotary technique
Static Solution Culture Technique
Static solution culture, the most basic method in hydroponics, involves a plant with roots developing into a nutrient solution with an air gap for oxygen. If there is no oxygen gap, so you must ariate the nutrient solution in order to keep the plant alive.
Plants are grown in nutrient solution vessels, such as plastic buckets, tubs, or tanks, in static solution culture. The solution is normally softly aerated, but it can also be left unaerated. If the solvent is not aerated, the solution volume is held low enough so that enough roots are above the solution to receive adequate oxygen.
For each vine, a hole is drilled in the reservoir’s lid. Plants can range from one to many in number per reservoir. The reservoir capacity will be expanded as the plant size grows. Plastic food containers may be used to create a homemade device. Or glass canning jars aerated with an aquarium pump, aquarium airplane tubing, and aquarium valves.
Clear containers are coated with aluminum foil, butcher paper, black plastic, or other material to prevent algae growth. The nutrient solution is updated on a regular basis, such as once a week, or when the concentration falls below a certain threshold as measured by an electrical conductivity meter.
When the solution reaches a certain degree of depletion, then water or a fresh nutrient solution is added. To automatically maintain the solution level, a Mariotte’s bottle or a float valve may be used. Plants are grown in raft solution culture by placing them in a layer of buoyant plastic that floats on the surface of the nutrient solution.
Continuous-Flow Solution Culture Technique
Continuous flow hydroponics encompasses a wide variety of hydroponic techniques. This approach generally refers to a procedure in which nutrient solution is continually pumped over the root systems of the plants. This approach is exemplified by the Nutrient Film Technique.
The fertilizer liquid supplied to the plants continuously flows around the roots in this technique. As compared to static culture, continuous flow solutions are much easier to mechanize. Why that?
Since changes and sampling to different temperature and concentration levels are simple in a large reservoir that feeds potentially multiple plants. The nutrient film method is a well-known alternative to this approach.
In a waterproof solid root pad, a very low flow of water containing all of the required nutrients for plant growth is re-circulated around the exposed roots of the plant. This root mat grows at the canal’s base, with the upper surface nearly wet and suspended in the air. As a result, the plant roots receive an abundant supply of oxygen.
A proper nutrient film technique can be identified by the right canal slope, stream speed, and canal length. The most significant benefit of the nutrient film approach is that the plant’s development is exposed to an abundant supply of water, nutrients, and oxygen.
Another type of development introduces a shortage and a divergence within the different nutrient supplements and essential element requirements, resulting in a disproportion of the overall composition. This architecture arrangement is ideal for good plant growth and an efficient cultivation method.
As a result of this technique, high yielding and extremely nutritious crops are produced. However, it is important to note that when using the nutrient film method, a little neglect or carelessness in the power outage or some other incident will lead to nutrient film failure.
Fogponics and ponics (labor), which can be described as working fog, are two other techniques of hydroponics. Growers use fog to grow plants in a fogponic method, in its most basic form. The fogponics machine employs electric foggers that pump and vibrate under pressure to convert nutrient and water mixtures into humidity, similar to that found in the rainforest.
This produces a continuous humid and nutrient-rich fog for plant roots. The root system will provide complete coverage of fogponics because the tiny droplet scale of the gravity-defying fog will fly and reach the space surrounding it. To supply nutrients and oxygen to plant roots, fogponics employs a suspension of nutrient-enriched water.
In comparison, geoponics and organogenic use soil and organic materials as the main source of nutrients. The distinction between fogponics and other types of aeroponics is that, while aeroponics usually delivers nutrient-rich water to the roots through a spray of comparatively large particles in air, fogponics does not.
Fogponics employs a variety of mechanisms, such as ultrasonic, compressed air, or heating elements, to create a suspension of much smaller water particles (5–30 m) or even a vapor.
What are Fogponics technique benefits?
The average water droplet size is most important for optimal root growth in an aeroponic unit:
If the average water droplet is too big, plant roots may not receive enough oxygen. If the average water droplet is too thin, plant roots may not obtain the nutrients they need to grow.
Water droplets dispensed from aeroponic misters or sprayers have a sweet spot of 30–100 microns. Water droplets smaller than 30 microns, say 5–25 microns, must be dispensed at a very high density.
So, this is where a fogponic device can thrive: using a sprayer to reliably have solution droplets of 5–25 microns is inefficient, but an ultrasonic nebulizer (fogger) is ideal. This one hydroponics technique is a fine place to begin for the advantages of Fogponics Technique.
A nutrient and water solution is added to the medium surface on a regular basis in a run-to-waste scheme. Since the approach was formulated in Bengal in 1946, it is often referred to as “The Bengal System.”
This hydroponics technique can be set up in a variety of setups. In its most basic form, a nutrient-and-water solution is manually added to a tub of inert rising media, such as rock wool, perlite, vermiculite, coco fiber, or sand, one or more times per day. It is automated in a somewhat more complicated configuration with a delivery pump, a timer, and a controller.
And irrigation tubing to produce a nutrient solution at a frequency determined by the main parameters of plant scale, plant growing level, climate, substrate and substrate conductivity, pH, and water content.
So, why Run Drain to Waste?
“Drain to Waste” gives you greater control of your plants and aids in disease prevention. A general problem is that the machine would lose too much nutrients leading to an abundance of “waste run-off.” This is clearly not true.
A well-configured “Drain to Waste” scheme can only waste 10-15% of the fed nutrient solution as “run-off.” As an example, consider the following:
If a greenhouse needs 5 gallons of water to water both of the plants, the “waste run-off” would be just 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon of solution.
Deep Water Culture Technique
Deep Water Culture is so named for two reasons. For starters, you usually expand with a reservoir that can accommodate a reasonable amount of water. More water in your nutrient solution means more consistency, which means less testing and cleaning for you! The second explanation is how much of the root mass you immerse in water.
Other techniques, such as ebb and flow schemes, open the plant’s root zone to air and drench it in water just a few times per day. Deep water culture involves submerging the majority of the plant’s root system 24 hours a day, seven days a week – thus the term! A plant’s roots are suspended in a well-oxygenated solution of water and nutrients in the Deep Water Culture scheme.
This method is made up of three parts:
- Since the roots are immersed in water rather than soil (which has cracks and holes where the air will enter), the water must be well oxygenated so that the plant does not drown.
- Water: Imagine this machine as if you were growing in soil and constantly watering your plants – this is one of the reasons growing hydroponically is so beneficial – you will never need to ‘water’ your plants again.
- Nutrients: A high-quality soil provides all of the micro and macronutrients needed by plants to flourish and prosper.
Another one from the list: “Techniques of Hydroponics” is the rotary technique. A rotary hydroponic garden is a form of commercial hydroponic garden developed within a circular frame that rotates continuously during the entire growth period of whatever plant is being cultivated.
Though system details vary, systems usually rotate once every hour, giving a plant 24 full turns inside the circle every 24 hours.
A high intensity grow light, intended to mimic sunshine, may be placed in the middle of each rotary hydroponic greenhouse, often with the help of a mechanized timer.
Every day, as the plants rotate, they are watered with a hydroponic growth solution to provide all nutrients needed for healthy growth.
Plants normally mature much faster than when grown in soil or other conventional hydroponic growing systems due to the plant’s constant battle against gravity.
Since rotary hydroponic systems are limited in scale, they can produce more plant material per square foot of floor space than most conventional hydroponic systems.
What Are The Benefits Of Rotary Technique?
A constantly revolving circular frame is used in a rotary hydroponic device. The frame actively rotates the plant around a glowing light that stimulates sunshine while still supplying it with a nutrient solution on a daily basis. Depending on the configuration, the rotation can occur once every hour or more often.
- It saves space because of its small footprint.
- Promotes the plant’s rapid growth.
- Typically, simulated light is integrated into the device.
- More costly than simplified structures
- Constant monitoring is needed.
- Power outages are a possibility.
The Bottom Line
As we can see, each form of device has advantages and drawbacks, so when deciding between them, bear in mind the room you can need and the budget you have.
Which of the techniques of hydroponics and features would you use to begin hydroponic gardening after learning about them?