Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hydroponics Kits Simplify the Process of Hydroponic Gardening


There are many advantages to hydroponics, the popular soilless gardening system. It is a way to practice indoor gardening when gardening outdoors is not an options, such as in remote locales like Antarctica, outer space, or even in an apartment building high above your city. Because hydroponics uses no soil, plants are not bothered by diseases that incubate in the soil, and neither are they crowded out by weeds. Because the environment is strictly controlled in order to produce the best results with the plants being grown, hydroponics gardening usually uses less water, energy and fewer pesticides while requiring less space than conventional outdoor gardening. Hydroponic kits take all the guesswork out of growing indoors, because all of the major components are included.
What are some of the different hydroponic kits available?
1. Deep water culture kits
One method of hydroponics is deep water culture. The crown of the plant is suspended over the nutrient solution by a net. The net is placed in a hole in the center of a plastic lid, which fits on top of a plastic bucket. The roots remain in the solution to soak up nutrients, which is the plant's food. In order for plants to thrive with this gardening method, the solution must be aerated in some manner, because the movement of the liquid helps to bring the nutrient to the plant roots, allowing them to feed and oxygenates the liquid as well.
You can have one bucket or several buckets linked together in deep water culture gardening. When several buckets are used, the water is typically recirculated through all of them using spray nozzles, which helps to aerate the liquid.
2. Aeroponic gardening kits
Aeroponics is a subset of hydroponics where plants' roots, rather than being suspended in the liquid nutrient, are instead suspended in air. The roots are regularly misted with nutrient, as an alternative to floating in solution typically found in hydroponics systems. Plants grow very quickly using this type of growing system.
3. Ebb and Flow kits
This method of hydroponics was inspired by large farms that use irrigation as a means for watering outdoor crops. With ebb and flow kits, there is a pan of nutrient solution and above this pan is a tray that holds plants that are planted into some type of growing medium, such as rockwool or coir. A pump is called into play to fill the tray holding the plants with nutrient solution, and after it fills the solution drains back down into the pan. Because of the movement of the solution into and out of the tray, ebb and flow provides its own means of aeration of the nutrient solution.By Susan Slobac

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