A basic hydroponics setup can be an "active" system, which relies on
some type of energy to provide the roots with aeration and nutrients
or it can be a "passive" system, which often uses a "wicking" material
to draw up liquid nutrients.
While it is possible to create a basic hydroponics setup using
available materials there are a number of complete hydroponics
systems readily available that can put you on the fast track
towards growing plants without soil.
A hydroponics setup can be found in a variety of configurations
and the following have been used quite successfully for hydroponics
Relies on material like gravel,
aggregate, vermiculite, or rock wool to support plants and
wick based (passive)
This can be either a media-based or pure water-culture system using a "wicking" material to draw up liquid nutrients.
ebb and flow(active)
Plants and medium are flooded and drained of nutrient
top-feed or drip(active)
A timer-controlled pump
delivers nutrient mix on a regular schedule through "emitters"
(pipes with holes) to the top of the plant medium and allows the
mix to drip down into a catch basin below.
Using only water, regular contact between plant roots and nutrient solution is possible by using a support material such as wire mesh to keep the plants from drowning.
raft (active or passive)
Plants float on rafts above a reservoir of nutrient solution.
NFT (Nutrient Flow Technique) (active)
Plants are suspended in the nutrient mix, which is pump-circulated past the roots, aerating the solution.
Plants suspended in the air are sprayed or misted with the nutrient solution.
For advice on the right hydroponics setup for
you, please contact
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