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Hydroponics is becoming a frequently used term bantered about by gardeners. You’re probably familiar with the idea of hydroponics. It is a process of growing plants without soil. Instead, you use water, gravel, sand, or other mediums. The name is a window into the secrets of the cultivation methods. In Latin, ‘hydro’ stands for water and ‘ponos’ translates into labor. The liquid helps to increase oxygen to the plant’s root zone and directly feed nutrients which accelerates growth. 

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Hydroponics 

Let’s explore the most frequently asked questions about hydroponics:

Why is hydroponic gardening better than soil gardening?

Nutrients and water a delivered directly to the roots so the plant doesn’t have to waste unnecessary energy working its root system through the soil in search of the necessities. The root zone of the plant also achieves greater levels of oxygen with hydroponics which accelerates the plant’s growth rate, so you enjoy greater and faster yields. 

How does a hydroponic system work?

Hydroponic systems are completely self-contained and remarkably simple. You can enjoy a tabletop hydroponic garden in your kitchen or opt to undertake a huge commercial hydroponic greenhouse project. Either way, all hydroponic systems share the same basics:

  • Reservoir that holds water and nutrients
  • Pump that oxygenates the water as it passes across the plant’s roots and helps circulate nutrients. 
  • Support system that holds the plants, so their roots are suspended in the water and nutrient solution. 

What are the advantages of hydroponics? 

  • Water conservation
  • Rapid production
  • Requires less space
  • More abundant crops
  • Nutrient control
  • Fewer chemicals
  • Reduced pest and disease problems
  • No weeds
  • No mess 

What are the disadvantages of hydroponics? 

  • The systems are often somewhat expensive to start.
  • Most hydroponic systems depend on electricity to function.
  • Must constantly monitor the system to be sure that plants have adequate water and nutrients. 
  • Regular pH water testing is required

What are the best plants for hydroponics?

You can grow virtually any plant hydroponically. A few of the favorites for novice hydroponic gardeners include:

  • Strawberries
  • Herbs such as mint, thyme, or basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries 
  • Peppers
  • Petunias 
  • Cucumbers

What are the types of hydroponic systems?

You can choose from several types of hydroponic systems: 

  • Wick System:  With the wick system, water and nutrients travel through a wick that connects the roots to the nutrient solution. This is a great system for vegetable and herbs, but it does require more water than other systems. 
  • Deep Water Culture (DWC): With DWC, the roots are submerged in a constant flow of water. Oxygen is delivered to the roots using air pumps and air stones. 
  • Ebb and Flow: Plants receive nutrients at intervals when the roots are flooded with water and the solution drains away.
  • Nutrient Film Techniques (NFT): This system is similar to ebb and flow, but it provides continuously circulating water and nutrients The nutrients and water are just recirculated across the plant’s roots. 
  • Aeroponics: Plants are suspended, and the roots continuously sprayed with water and nutrients. 
  • Drip System:  The drip system is like drip irrigation where the roots of the plants are exposed to a slow drip of water and nutrients. This is a great option for large vegetables like pumpkins and cucumbers. 

If you decide to try hydroponics, contact Humboldts Secret Supplies to stock up on hydroponic nutrient solutions. 

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