Traditionally, we’ve planted almost all of our crops in the ground, usually in loamy soil, and for the most part, it works well. Unfortunately, many years of mono-culture systems has left much of our arable land quickly eroding, losing the nutrients in the top soils that are necessary for the growth of planet life.
Getting around this potentially catastrophic problem is by adopting hydroponic technologies. This often involves having the crop suspended in a liquid solution of water and nutrients that are fed directly to the planet. It’s a great system in that it can reduce the amount of water necessary bu up to 90%, while also reducing how much land the grower needs while retaining the same harvest.
The most basic and common type of hydro system, this consists of plants being embedded into a wick, which can either be a rope or felt, and the water and nutrients are passively moved through the medium, giving the plants all they need. It’s a system that we’ve been using for thousands of years, and offers one of the simplest ways of increasing both growth size and yields. Despite this, the wick system has its limits, and is best for smaller plants that don’t require too much water to survive, such as herbs.
Nutrient Film Technique
Similar in some ways to deep water culture, a Nutrient Film Technique – more commonly known as NFT – involves suspending the plants in a nutrient and water solution that is constantly pumped over their routes from a reservoir, and when the solution has reached the end of the row, it simply drops back down into the reservoir. It can be expensive system to set up, and the user might need to while they play now at some AFL premiership betting sites to fund it. This creates a very water efficient circulation system, although it differs from deep water culture in that the plants’ roots are suspended in a film instead of being completely submerged in liquid all the time.
Deep Water Culture
Perhaps the most popular kind of hydroponic in the world, DWC provides some of the best yields of them all, and is used for creating dense crops that can provide plenty of food. Building a DWC system involves having a large reservoir that holds a solution of nutrients and water, and then having an electric pump push the solution over the roots of the plants. This system can be quite complicated, as not only is an electric pump needed for water circulation, but a separate pump is required to generate air within the system. Oxygen is vital for the growth of the plants, and it needs to be circulated constantly, which is usually done through the usage of an air stone and a small pump.
DWC system typically involve having the correct balance of nutrients, as it’s extremely easy to harm a plant through nutrient burn, meaning that the maintainer needs to ensure that their nutrient levels are perfectly measured. On top this, leaks are fairly common, and having to replace the reservoir is necessary every few weeks, but getting it right means a huge increase in overall yields.