Basic Indoor hydroponics Gardening Guide – Benefits and Types of Indoor Hydroponic Systems
Efficiency in comparison to traditional soil growing systems would be one of the major advantages. Commercial production and just plain hobbyists would find that moving from regular soil growing methods to the modern Indoor Hydroponic systems to be more beneficial. Freedom from uncontrollable variables such as the weather, climate and time of day would be the most important factor over traditional growing methods. Farmers in Middle East countries would be able to grow plants such as vegetables only previously grown in tropical countries. Light and amount of growth nutrients to be absorbed by the plants could be optimized for best results without wasting any resources. Plant care could be individualized as to the amount of nutrients and light they receive at any time of the day. Plants grown in pots or plots tend to reach a growth plateau, wherein they become root bound and transplanting them is the best solution. This may present the individual with a sense of frustration and could be messy. Expert advice and appropriate planning beforehand could eliminate such unwarranted difficulties experienced with soil based planting.
Expenses made at the start of the project can be offset by the advantages in the long run. Fertilizers with their ever rocketing cost are major source of expenses in plant cultivation. Plants only take the nutrients they can absorb so maximum nutrient absorption without the risk of putting too much fertilizers is eliminated. But the risk of putting too much nutrients which leads to root damage remains, so proper nutrient feeding is advised.
All in all, the hydroponic system of growing plants increases plant production and quality of the crops. Nutrients essential for plant growth are readily available, proper ratio and distribution is assured resulting to better efficiency. Pesticides and plant diseases can be avoided as no soil is needed. Soil is an ideal medium for infection and disease, so harm to both plant and the individuals are reduced. Expenses are also reduced as pesticides are eliminated so overall; cost effectiveness is enhanced and make hydroponics a more economical way of growing plants.
For the environmentalist, the hydroponic system of growing plants also presents a more desirable and alternative way of plant production. The effects of growing plants through this new system has proven to be less polluting as it totally removes the need for pesticides and leaves the soil free from contaminants. Scientifically tests also show that plants grown through the hydroponic system contain more vitamins and minerals compared to those grown through fields.
Productivity is also increased with the use of Indoor hydroponic systems. Limited spaces for plant cultivation are maximized because smaller pots are used. Indoor hydroponic systems utilize different types of automated watering systems like drip, pumps and other means, allowing for a low maintenance operation. Spaces not available for plant growing can be utilized and together with regular soil gardens or fields, maximize each growing season.
Types of Indoor Hydroponic Systems
Wick or NFT
The system most often used, operated and maintained with the outmost ease. It requires very little setup and maintenance. This is done by simply cutting a hole in the bottom of the pot and a wick is inserted. The wick’s other end connects to the water reservoir below the pot.
Reservoir or Ebb and Flow System
A growing medium is directly placed into a pan filled with water and nutrients. It is easy to maintain, the pans contents needs only to be replaced every few days in order to maintain an effective system. Root adsorption is maximized with root surface in contact with the water, oxygen and nutrients are readily absorbed.
The most common of all systems, drip systems are the most likely choice of hobbyists and professionals alike. The nutrient solution is kept in a container below the plants and is distributed by a pump to each plant thru a drip irrigation system. One type would be the Recovery type system; excess nutrients are recycled and channeled back into the reservoir. Another would be the Non-recovery type where excess system is not funneled back into the system, one advantage of this is that is a low maintenance system. Ph and nutrient concentration remains stable but is not as economical as the recovery type system.
Technically, the aeroponic system is the most advance of the three. Plants are suspended either without a growth rock or growing mediums. This permits the plant to breathe more air through the roots. Nutrients and water are introduced by timed misting. Root health is maintained by a timer and is set at intervals of a few minutes.
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