Hydroponics is a method of planting crops without the use of the medium from the soil as a place to grow. Hydroponics literally means planting in water that contain a mixture of nutrient elements. In practice today, hydroponics is inseparable from the other non soil growing medium used as a Sustainer for the plant growth. When plants are grown in these 6 homemade hydroponic systems, you can expect better and healthier plants, because these plants will receive a more balanced nutrition. The healthier plants are the result of the less energy that the plants spent in the search of water and nutrients. The hydroponic plants are generally more productive, and more nutritious rather than the ones which are planted in soil. In order to substitute physical land or soil, the hydroponic plants generally use sterile mediums such as sand, gravel, pumice, coco fiber (coir), or rockwool (or any combination of these mediums). In general, there 6 Homemade Hydroponic Systems we can use to start our hydroponic garden, they are:
- Wick Hydroponic System
- Water Culture Hydroponic System
- Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System or Flood and Drain Hydroponic System
- Fertigation Hydroponic System
- NFT Hydroponic System
- Aeroponic System.
In the sections below we will discuss 6 Homemade Hydroponic Systems in more detail:
Wick Hydroponic System
The Wick System is the simplest type of hydroponics. This system is a passive system, meaning there are no moving parts in this system. Mix of nutritional solution is absorbed by the planting medium from tandon through the wicks (benefitting the capillary action).
This system can be applied in a variety of mediums including: Perlite, Vermiculite, ProMix, and Coir. Please see picture for more details.
Water Culture Hydroponic System
Water Culture System or Floating System is one of the simplest systems from the whole active hydroponic systems. The plant support is generally made from Styrofoam and floated directly over the surface of mixture of nutrient solutions. A pump is working to provide the air through a hose to air stone, this pump will produce air bubbles in the nutrient mixture and providing oxygen for hydroponic plant roots. Please see picture for more details.
Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System or Flood and Drain Hydroponic System
Flood and Drain or Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System works by pumping the water, oxygen and nutrients from the reservoir pass through the planting medium and then moisten plant roots (called “tide”), then after a few moments the nutrients and the water will go down (called the “receding”) back past the medium heading back into the reservoir tub. The time of tide and ebb can be set by using the timer according to the needs of these plants, so the plants will not be inundated or lack of enough water. For more details, please see picture below.
Fertigation Hydroponic System
Fertigation systems (Fertilizers and Drip Irrigation), in principle works by providing water and nutrients in the form of drops that dripped continuously. Droplets are directed right in the area of plant roots so the plant’s roots can absorb water and nutrients directly. Droplets of nutrients can be arranged to prevent the water inundate the plants. This droplet tool in principle is the same as watering the plants, but it is carried out automatically, continuously and by appropriate measure. Please see picture for more details.
NFT Hydroponic System
NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) System, is a technique where the flow of nutrient solutions is provided by some very shallow pipelines. The nutrients dissolved containing water are provided continuously for 24 hours. In this system ideally the circulation flow depth is very shallow, or thin, in other words a thin layer of water. So this ensures that the roots will often get the water and nutrients, this system also provides a lot of oxygen to the root of the plants. NFT system is designed based on the appropriate slope of the channel, the appropriate flow rate, and the appropriate length of the channel. The main advantage of the NFT system compared to other systems is that the exposed plant roots will have sufficient water supplies, oxygen and nutrients. For more details, please see picture.
The aeroponic hydroponic system is a system that uses high technology. Like the NFT system above, the planting media is the air. Hanging aerial roots and are flowed by the nutrient solutions. Fogging is generally done once every few minutes. Because the roots are exposed in the air just like the NFT systems, roots can quickly dry out when the fogging setting is disturbed. Please see the picture for more details.
You may also want to read this previous article: How To Build A Hydroponic Garden and Hydroponics Systems For Beginners