As a professional gardener, I experience Hydroponics as a very effective gardening method because it gives plants exactly what I need in return to eat fresh food and vegetables at home. Hydroponics, the growing of plants without soil, has a long history, ranging from cultivation in very ancient civilizations to modern food products suitable for harsh environments or the production of high-value products in controlled situations.
Today, we will discuss the best types of hydroponics kits available for purchase. There is a clear demand for locally grown fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) in every community. The ability to use advanced common technology that can be useful to improve our diet, including those living in remote areas, and reduce the dependency on expensive imports to supply fresh produce (tomatoes, salads, peppers, melons, broccoli, etc.) to the local population (Kenner, 2020). If you like to know, Hydroponics is a suitable method for you based on your location, goal, and experience. Then, this article is meant for you.
How Your Location Impacts Life in the Garden
You live in Northern California and want to let your food grow naturally. The climate up North offers suitbale cooler climates as plants love the rain; however, flooding can cause loss of crops, destroy soil structure, cause root suffocation, and other mutual impacts. However, it can be collected for beneficial uses like Hydroponics. It requires large sums of water to begin and can be recycled. Therefore, it may be useful for areas with poor soil, droughts, and other areas with limited access to freshwater. For example, Southern California has deserts, dry seasons, and other environmental and human challenges. Counties encourage residents to collect rainwater to support their homes and follow suitable sustainable methods to save us money and sustain the environment. Meaning using rainwater could be used to start a hydroponic garden, rather than letting it attract mosquitoes in our containers. Yuck! Plus, if you have an outdoor hydroponic garden, a water issue is it can evaporate. You would have to refill the tank with filtered water (less chlorine, the better). If you consider using collect water for other uses, give it a try.
Why was Hydroponics invented?
This reading will share a similar experience of how scientists first experimented with creating man-made hydroponics nutrient solutions in 1699. Because the challenge over time has been perfecting the solution to grow plants in an inert medium moistener environment with a water solution containing minerals since between 1859-1865. These two German scientists, Julius von Sachs (1860), professor of Botany at the University of Wurzburg (1832-1897), and W. Knop (1861), an agricultural chemist (RAIN.ORG, 2021). Then in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Dr. William F. Gericke of the University of California sought to allow us to grow more plants in a limited amount of space. As a result, food crops will mature more rapidly and produce greater yields(RAIN.ORG, 2021). This is pretty fascinating, so we can select the proper hydroponics methods to keep a sufficient supply of oxygen in the nutrient solution by comparing our selected brands to reflect their engineer methods to help you reach your goal.
Each Hydropinc System will require a water-based and nutrient-rich solution using these recommended materials.
- Clay pellets
- Rockwool Perlite
- Coconut Fiber
- Grow Stones
- Lava Rocks
Why Does Hydroponics Work So Well Instead of Soil?
Hydroponics is a very effective gardening method because it gives plants exactly what a person needs when they need it. Growers provide the right balance of everything, including light, water, and nutrients. And that can create the most genetically healthy plants possible.
Six Hydroponic System Types
We selected six randomly selected basic types of hydroponic systems found online:
Simple System: WIC Systems
Most Commonly Used: Drip systems, Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain Systems) & Deep Water Culture Systems (DWC)
Other Systems: Nutrient Film Technique Systems (NFTs) & Aeroponic Systems
These six basic systems have many variations, but these are the most commonly used hydroponic systems.
The simplest and most basic hydroponic system is the WIC system. However, the most common systems used by home growers are Drip Systems, Ebb and Flow, or Deep Water Culture Systems. Then there are Nutrient Film Technology and Aeroponics Systems. Home growers seem to be less commonly used but are still a popular alternative to Hydroponics.
Which one seems to make sense?
Let’s start with the most basic type of system used in Hydroponics.
It’s a simple system because there are no moving parts, making them passive. Instead, use the Capillary Actions, a rope, or fabric material to draw the nutrient solution from the reservoir into the growing medium. It helps the roots of the plant to be constantly hydrated and nourished.
Since there are no pumps or timers, WIC systems are inexpensive to build. The downside, however, is that wicks don’t work well with large plants. They require more nutrient solutions than a simple rope material. Nevertheless, I have tried growing basil and parsley in masonry jars using the WIC method, and it worked. As such, the WIC method provides an excellent opportunity for beginners to experiment with a simple hydroponic way, especially if you are using small plants like herbs.
The Drip System
A most used and simple system. A slow feed of nutrient solution is applied to the roots or growing plants slowly and continuously to provide the necessary health and moisture to the plant.
Recirculating recovery, reusable drip system, and nutrient solution recirculation to the storage tank. This ensures that the roots remain moist and healthy but do not flood the potting medium like other hydroponic systems. As the nutrient solution is continuously recycled through the drip recovery systems, the pH level can change with this recirculation.
It is important to monitor these levels to maintain a stable and healthy pH. To prevent roots from drying out or becoming oversaturated, slower drip systems should use a slow-draining medium, such as Rockwell or Coconut Core. While faster drip systems may benefit from hydroponic medium, chrome dries quickly, such as clay pebbles, gravel, or grow stones.
There are also non-recovery drip systems. So the nutrient strength and pH of the reservoir will never vary. However, non-recovery drip systems can be more costly because the nutrients are not recycled.
The Ebb and Flow System
Another popular hydroponic technique. The nutrient solution is then returned to the reservoir. And when it turns off, the nutrient solution will flow out of the planting bed and back into the tank. Although bell-shaped siphons or pipes in the planting bed allow for drainage as most plants benefit from repeated cycles of moisture to drought, run-off management is a very effective hydroponic method effective and popular.
Depp Water Culture
While the WIC system is the simplest passive system, growing in deep water is the simplest active hydroponic system. It’s popular because it’s efficient and doesn’t require many components to build. In addition, there is no need for a timer as the roots are continuously submerged in the nutrient solution. Deepwater culture systems typically include a bucket to hold the nutrient solution.
NFT is popular with commercial growers but less for your average hydroponic hobbyist. This hydroponic system uses runoff watertight channels or channels to run nutrient solutions over the bare roots of plants. This hydroponic method allows the plant to receive high amounts of oxygen.
Aeroponic systems are perhaps the most high-tech and challenging approach to hydroponic systems. And many aeroponic growers don’t use media or net cups because the roots are exposed to the air, which needs to be done every few minutes. Therefore, the roots must be continuously moist using aeroponics to be successful.
Two Types of Hydroponic Growers
The first type is very interested in the creative and technical aspects. They go to Home Depot or a local hardware store. It is possible to purchase some PVC pipes for making their bell siphons by buying a few items online, then assembling their DIY hydroponic system to their specifications. It’s a challenge, but it can be a lot of fun for adventurous people. However, projects like these can be time-consuming and more expensive than buying a kit when all is said and done. Therefore, this route is not for everyone.
The second type of hydroponic grower tends to care more about the result, the crop, than all the technical aspects of Hydroponics. The great thing about most hydroponic system kits on the market these days is that they include most, if not all, of the items you need to start developing your hydroponic plan from day one. Firstly. So, if you’re like me and want to reuse the parts available in your backyard, it can be a fun hobby. As a recommendation, set a budget to avoid wasting money or consider buying a complete system kit that works without too much effort within the hydroponic system itself. It makes life so much easier.
So what are the best kits on the market?
The Hydroponics Section and Titled under Garden Category of the website recommended the best and most popular kits for each category to grow food, like Hydroponics shown below:
For my complete analysis of these hydroponic systems, please click the Visible Links to learn more or my blog category “Grow” to view other alternatives to grow your fruits and vegetable
I like to hear from you. I appreciate reading about your experience with hydroponic systems and kits in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your Hydroponics growing.
Kenner, B. (2020, September 1). U.S. Fruit Imports Grew By $8.9 Billion Over the Last Decade to Meet Rising Demand. Retrieved from USDA Economic Research Service.
RAIN.ORG. (2021, 1 11). The History of Hydroponics. Retrieved from The Natural Farmer: https://thenaturalfarmer.org/article/the-history-of-hydroponics/