If you’ve dabbled in growing tomatoes, chillies, peppers, cucumbers and lettuces at home and enjoyed the rewards as you’ve consumed the freshest salad you’ve ever eaten with the satisfaction that you’ve grown it all yourself and know exactly how and where eat ingredient was grown, then you probably want to scale up your growing. Of course, the issue we have in Britain is that you only really get one growing season, and your harvest can be blighted by garden pests and disease. While greenhouses allow some control over the atmosphere around your plants, and keep temperature levels higher, they don’t give you complete control over temperature, oxygen and Co2 levels, and humidity. You can keep pests out usually, but your growing season is still limited.
This is why with the availability of domestic Hydroponics systems from companies such as Progrow many gardeners are trying out Hydroponics systems and getting amazing results, with their plants flourishing year round and receiving high yields of vegetables, fruits, legumes, herbs and other plants.
What is a Hydroponics System?
A hydroponics system is an indoor growing room, which can vary in size from a tabletop box to a full room, which is temperature, humidity and atmosphere controlled to provide optimum growing environments for plants and keep out pests and diseases.
You might have in your mind a small glasshouse with trays of plants in soil. But Hydroponics removes soil from the growing process because soil often harbours and promotes disease, and prevents high growth rates because oxygen doesn’t have free access to the root system. The traditional soil growing medium is replaced with either a water based solution or an inert growing medium such as clay pebbles, foam, or rockwool with hold nutrients for a short time while still allowing oxygen to get to the root system of the plant.
Are there different types of Hydroponics Systems?
There are three main types of Hydroponics growing systems readily available and all will produce much better growing results than traditional outdoor growing methods. Your choice will likely come down to the size of Hydroponics system you want, and your budget.
The cheapest systems are NFT systems, Nutrient Film Systems, which grow plants directly in a continuously circulating nutrient solution which constantly provides the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the root system. With no soil or other growing medium, pests, disease and weeds are eliminated, and the constant oxygen and nutrient water supply accelerate growth. Housed in a heated, lighted and ventilated growing lab, this is the ideal environment to get maximum yield. The big disadvantage to this system is that it doesn’t support larger plants, so as they grow they have to be trimmed back or removed.
Other solutions use inert growing mediums which physically anchor larger plants and therefore are plants can be keep longer and are able to mature and yield more fruitage. The ebb & flood system, and the Drip Irrigation System are the two most common and can be set up on a scale for domestic usage.