Types of Hydroponic Systems
When thinking of hydroponics, you immediately imagine plants growing with their roots hung straight into water without any growing medium. But this is only one type of hydroponic gardening. What people often don’t realize is that there are many methods and variations of hydroponic gardening.
This is considered to be the most simplistic of all hydroponic systems. The wick system is a passive system, which means none of its parts are moving. Your particular growth technology nutrient solution is pulled up from the bottom reservoir into the growing medium using a number of wicks.
Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)
These hydroponic systems call for the grow tray to be temporarily flooded. Before draining back, the nutrient solution from a reservoir surrounds the roots. Generally, this is automated using a timed water pump.
Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)
Dip systems are some of today’s most widely used hydroponic techniques. A timer controls a water pump, which then pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions using networked elevated water jets. A recovery system then will collects excess nutrient solution and returns it into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system, however, does not have this feature, allowing it to avoid pH variations in the reservoir.
NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)
Each time hydroponic systems is mentioned, people usually think about the NFT system. The Nutrient Film Technique makes use of a constant flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, meaning a timer is not required. From a reservoir, the solution is pumped into the growing tray. In the growing tray, no growing medium is necessary. Absorbed by the roots are the nutrients found in the flowing solution. The downward flow leads back into the reservoir where it will be recycled.
Aeroponic hydroponic systems are known as a high-tech type of hydroponic gardening. As with the NFT system, air is the main growing medium. The roots are hung in the air and misted using nutrient solution every now and then. The roots can dry out very quickly whenever the misting cycles are interrupted. Like other types of hydroponic systems, a timer controls the nutrient pump, but the aeroponic system requires a short cycle timer that activates the pump for a number of seconds every few minutes.
For those of us who like growing plants, this is an exciting time indeed. We are no longer dependent on the climate or season in pursuing our pleasures. We can now grow practically any plant at practically any time of the year. We can only be limited by our creativity. The basic yet highly effective hydroponic systems, together with contemporary horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and opened our options to extents we never thought possible.