Many would-be hydroponic growers wonder about the basic components of a hydroponic system. They have heard a lot of hype about the cultivation system producing larger yields faster. However, the big question is, what will you need to launch your small-scale hydroponic garden?
The simplest hydroponic system for at home use is typically considered the Deep-Water Culture.
With the hydroponic system, the plants are suspended above a tank of water so that the roots hang down into the container where they can effortlessly absorb the nutrients and water.
Setting Up a Deep-Water Culture Hydroponic System
Deep water culture is affordable and can even be built as an easy and rewarding DIY project. You simply need a container that holds water such as a plastic storage bin or five-gallon bucket.
Think about what you plan on growing when picking the container size. A tomato plant grown hydroponically can be grown in a large five-gallon bucket but if you want to grow several heads of lettuce then you’ll need a wider container to accommodate the plant.
Fill the container with water and nutrients.
Supporting the Plants
Use the lid of the bucket or container to support the plant by drilling a hole in the lid.
If you do not have a lid, then you can use polystyrene sheets stretched across the top of the paper to hold the plants supported. You can also float the polystyrene sheets on the surface of the water, but the plants can quickly become heavy which will pull the material down into the water, so you’ll need to use something else.
Some growers use large PVC pipes that they rest across the surface of the water to cradle the plants.
Shelving System for Hydroponics
Use wire shelving to hold multiple containers if you want to expand your growing space. You can then place either plastic totes or buckets on the shelves in orderly rows. Just ensure that all plants receive an adequate amount of light to grow.
Suspending the Root System
A support structure is required for the plants as you suspend them over the water reservoir using a lid, plastic sheeting, or PVC piping. You can use net pots or a substrate to effortlessly support the plants.
A net pot is a pot with holes or slits in the side that allow the plants roots to dangle through into the underlying nutrient solution. Place the net pot into the hole you drilled in the lid, plastic sheeting, or PVC pipe.
Only partially submerge the net pot in the water so that the plant’s roots can not only absorb the water and nutrients but also oxygen from above. Net pots are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to support whatever type plant you are cultivating.
You do not fill the net pots with soil. Instead, you can use pumice, gravel, Rockwool, coconut courier or perlite.
Lighting for the Hydroponic System
You can grow outdoors, in a greenhouse, in a sunny south facing window, or opt to use grow lights to provide sufficiently light for the plants. Depending on what you are growing, different plant types require more or less light.
A deep-water hydroponic system is easy and affordable. You’ll want to invest in a nutrient solution to mix in the water to ensure that your plants have all of the vitamins and minerals they need to flourish.
Contact Humboldts Secret Supplies to learn about our distinct types of nutrient solutions to meet your needs.