Modern technologies of growing vegetables and fruits not only made it possible to significantly improve yield indicators, but also make it possible to farm almost all year round. Hydroponic technology is very popular, which implies a method of growing plants using artificial environment. With hydroponics, the root system of the cultivated plants is in a humid air nutrient medium, which makes it possible to saturate the plants with the microelements they need. Let us tell you more about what hydroponics is, let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this technology.
Description and features of technology
This technology appeared in the 60s of the last century in Western Europe and quickly spread throughout the world. From the advantages of growing vegetables in hydroponics, it is possible to note a significant increase in yield, compared to traditional farming, while grown vegetables and fruits have excellent taste characteristics and are classified as organic food.
Hydroponic technology can be used by large agricultural and farmer organizations as well as ordinary gardeners. There are even compact versions of such a system, which makes it possible to equip such improvised beds on the balcony and on the windowsill, growing various vegetables and fruits at home.
When growing vegetables and fruits using this technology, various substrates can be applied, but various plants are grown without a substrate, when the root system is directly in the nutrient solution, obtaining the necessary moisture and trace elements from it. The currently existing technology of growing crops by the hydroponic method allows to improve the yield indicators, ensuring the highest possible yield from small plots of land.
Suitable for growing crops
This agricultural technology is suitable for growing various types of crops. The only exceptions are tuberous plants, for example, potatoes, radishes, beets, carrots and others. This is explained by the factthat with this method, the roots of plants are in conditions of high humidity, and in tuber cultures rotting of fruits may be observed.
This technology allows not only to increase yield indicators, but also accelerates the ripening of the crop. There is a possibility of transplanting already adult plants that were previously grown in the soil into hydroponics. At the same time, high-quality engraftment of plants, their rapid and active growth in hydroponics is ensured.
However, if the crop has delicate and subtle roots, then it is still not necessary to transfer adult plants from earth to hydroponics.
Advantages and disadvantages
Many gardeners today claim that vegetables and fruits grown by hydroponic technology are not eco-friendly and unhealthy. It should be said that this is important only for those cases when the recommended rates of fertilizer application are not maintained or low-quality fertilizing is used.. But with full observance of technology the gardener will be able to get tasty, healthy and organic vegetables and fruits.
If we talk about the benefits of this technology of growing crops, then we note the simplicity of this method, excellent yield, the ability to quickly get a good crop, stable fruiting all year round. Today, in specialized stores you can purchase various accessories and entire hydroponic systems, which allows you to equip such improvised garden beds at home on a windowsill or heated balcony.
Making a system with your own hands
Currently, the most popular are the following types of hydroponic systems:
- Drip irrigation.
- Capillary irrigation.
Homemade systems will be an excellent option for growing vegetables in a greenhouse or in a small area at home. Such systems include a minimum of automation, which allows to reduce their cost, simplifies the creation and in the future eliminates the failure of certain components of the installation.
We recommend to pay attention to the capillary method, in which the roots of plants are in the substrate soaked in a nutrient solution. As such a substrate can be used:
- Coconut stuff.
- Granite rubble.
- Expanded clay.
Run at home such household systems is not difficult. You can make them from glass containers, PVC sewer pipes and other improvised materials. You can also easily buy ready-made hydroponic systems that are designed for growing different crops.
We offer you the easiest way to build a homemade system. To make it you need the following:
- Plastic sewer pipe with a diameter of 10 centimeters and a length of 140 centimeters.
- Connector for pipe and two plugs.
- Linear sprayer, which can be purchased at the pet store.
- Connecting pipes with check valves.
- Pots of 10 centimeters in diameter and aquarium compressor.
You will need to make holes in the plastic pot, insert them into the PVC tubes, then close the tube itself with plugs, bring the tube from the compressor to it and install a linear sprayer inside the plastic tube. All that remains to be done, it is to pour nutrient composition from fertilizers into such an improvised hydroponic system inside the pipe and plant grown crops in pots. The compressor must operate continuously, which will ensure that the nutrient solution is saturated with oxygen, which is necessary for the plants grown for rapid growth.
Maintenance of such a system is not difficult. It will be necessary to monitor the level of the nutrient solution, and depending on the fertilizer used, it will be necessary to change the nutrient solution once a month, more often or less frequently. Remember that it is necessary to prepare such a solution according to the available recipes, and for beginner gardeners we recommend to purchase ready-made formulations that will only need to be diluted with water before use and poured into a hydroponic installation.
One of the conditions for the rapid cultivation of various crops in hydroponics will be high-quality plant lighting. If the cultivation of planting in the open air does not cause any difficulties with their lighting, then by growing various greens in hydroponics at home, plants need to provide additional lighting without fail. Today in specialized gardening shops You can find a variety of lamps, which differ in their spectrum and color temperature. Let's talk in more detail about what lamps can be used in hydroponics:
- Fluorescent lamps. You can pick up such lamps, which have in their spectrum red, violet and blue rays. Such a spectrum is perfectly perceived by plants, and the lamps themselves are characterized by durability and minimal electricity consumption.
- Incandescent bulbs are not recommended for hydroponics due to their high consumption of electricity and the yellow spectrum for hydroponics.
- LED lamps will be an excellent option for growing plants, as they combine minimal power consumption and have a suitable lighting spectrum for plants.
Substrate preparation for plants
Currently, in specialized stores there are various types of substrate for growing different crops using this technology. Each of these substrates is suitable for planting certain plants and has its own characteristics:
- The coconut substrate, which has a long service life and has a minimum water retention rate, has become very popular.
- It can also be used mineral wool, which is able for a long time to maintain its performance, even being constantly in conditions of high humidity.
- Experts recommend using a mixture of vermiculite and perlite as a substrate in hydroponics. These are natural minerals that perfectly retain moisture and supply plants with the minerals they need.
Creating a nutrient solution
There is a possibility of self-preparation of such nutrient solutions, for which you will need to mix nitrogenous, potassium-containing trace elements, phosphorus, magnesium and other components. Without proper work experience, it is difficult to create such a solution for hydroponics yourself. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account the parameters of acidity of water, keeping them at a constant level.
We can recommend you to buy ready-made solutions for hydroponics, which are offered in gardening stores at an affordable cost, while they are easy to use. All you need is to dilute such a ready solution of fertilizer in distilled or purified water purified through an osmotic filter, after which such nutritional composition will be completely ready for use.
Remember that you need to keep the temperature of the nutrient solution at a constant level.. Its temperature should be in the range of 18−24 degrees.
The method of growing vegetables and fruits in hydroponics is a modern technology that is used with equal success by both large agricultural enterprises and ordinary gardeners. This method involves the cultivation of plants without their presence in the ground using a special substrate and the constant irrigation of the root system with a nutrient solution, which contains all the necessary trace elements for the growth of crops grown. You can make such a system yourself, or purchase ready-made devices in the respective stores.
Items that will be needed
A typical hydroponic system consists of several elements. They must be prepared before performing the work. The basic set of designs is not only the pump and the pots, but also the soil, the nutrient solution and other elements.
Fluid storage tank
To store a mixture of water with nutrients, it is necessary to prepare a quality container. The walls of the tank must be opaque, otherwise the liquid will begin to bloom very quickly. Transparent walls need necessarily painted or pasted with foil on the outside. The tank should be equipped with a tight lid without bulges.
To make a tank, you can use a large plastic container or other similar container. The volume of the tank is selected depending on the number of plants.
For the full development and growth of 1 planting will need about 3 liters of properly circulating fluid. The optimum is considered to be the volume of the tank about 50 liters. If necessary, you can use several tanks of small sizes.
As such a tank, you can use a food container or a large plastic container.
Pots and pumping equipment
A good option is mesh designs, which in most cases are used to grow various seedlings. You can also use a small flower pot, but you will need to pre-prepare a large number of holes in the bottom of the product.
Pots for hydroponics in a greenhouse should be below water tanks with nutrients.
To fill the fluid with oxygen, you will need to install a two-channel pumping structure. You can use the models that are most often used in the process of equipping home aquariums. Instead of standard pipes of pumping construction, it is recommended to install silicone hoses.
Also a substrate will be needed. In this case, you can apply expanded clay, mineral wool, coconut fiber and other finished fillers.
The following elements will be required:
- fertilizers for high quality hydroponics,
- sandpaper for processing edges,
- construction knife
- ruler or tape measure for marking.
On sale you can find a ready-made set of the necessary components for the construction of the structure.
Where to place a similar design
It is best to place the hydroponics system in an enclosed space. Acceptable option is a basement or greenhouse. Hydroponic installation can be placed in a small room without windows or in the courtyard of a private house.
Care should be taken to prepare the foundation. The basis for mounting such a system should be even and stable so that the liquid and nutrients can be distributed as evenly as possible.
If hydroponic equipment will be placed outdoors, attention should be paid to controlling the evaporation of water and to ensure that the structure is protected from the wind.
Installation of hydroponic installation on the street is allowed only in exceptional cases. It will be necessary to regularly monitor that the aeroponic installation does not overcool. If there are even insignificant changes in air temperature, then the design will need to be brought home.
If you plan to make a hydroponic installation and place it in the house, you will need to take care of installing the equipment for additional lighting. In the process of choosing the right place you should take into account personal preferences - it is important to have constant access to the structure.
The simplest hydroponic installation is made in a few hours. If everything is done correctly, then it will be possible to grow various plants in your apartment or private house.
- First of all, it will be necessary to cut openings in the cover of a large tank for the location of the pots with plants. The diameter of the holes must be such that the pot can sink to the top edge in the cavity of the tank, while it should not fall. The step between the grooves should be selected taking into account the characteristics of the plants that are planned to grow. For example, lettuce and various types of greenery need a distance of 10 cm, and for berries and cucumbers, this value should be about 15 cm.
- In the next stage, in the side of the roof, it will be necessary to prepare the holes in order to be able to connect the pump and hoses. Next to the bottom of the tank you need to lay clean stones.
- It will be necessary to fill the reservoir with liquid at about 2/3 of the height, then run the hoses into the tank and connect the pump. This must be done in order to verify the installation and the quality of the equipment used.
- The next step is to fill the pots with the substrate. In this case, mineral wool soaked with water is most often used. In some cases, use of expanded clay. The prepared material should be placed in the holes made. If necessary, you can add water to the tank so that the bottoms of the pots sink into the liquid. Next you need to close the tank. After that, you will need to lay seeds in pots or transplant seedlings.
- When the seeds sprout, you will need to add nutrients to the liquid. This should be done in accordance with the instructions. When the seedlings are planted, you will need to add fertilizer for hydroponics. The substrate is added after the seedling device.
Regularly need to monitor the amount of fluid in the tank. The liquid will gradually evaporate, so it will need to be topped up.
The compressor is recommended to use at least 4 hours a day, the best option - throughout the daylight hours. For convenience, you can connect an electric timer to the compressor. This product allows you to turn on the device at a specified time.
It is important to learn not only how to properly assemble a hydroponic system in a greenhouse, but also to know how to properly and effectively use it at home.
What is the best way to add plantings
Speaking about how to grow hydroponics, it is worth knowing that the simplest option for arranging such a garden is planting sprouted seedlings. They can be bought in a specialized gardening shop. Care must be taken to ensure that the shoots are healthy and of high quality.
It will be necessary to carefully release the seedling root from the existing soil, then place the sprout in the pot. It is necessary to try to stretch through the previously prepared indentations in the bottom of the pot as much as possible of the roots of the seedling.
To sprout took a stable position in the pot, the container can be filled with expanded clay. This material is lightweight and will not cause significant damage to the roots of the plant.
Garter plantings and control
Чтобы насаждения хорошо себя чувствовали, следует заранее предусмотреть возможность их подвязки. After some time, the plants will grow so much that without garters installed systems can roll over. Without a garter, plantings may become confused, which negatively affects their growth.
The garter should be made using ordinary twine and planting clips. All the necessary items can be found in any gardening shop.
Check the water level in the tank daily. It will be necessary to monitor the acid-base balance and the level of fertilizer for hydroponics in solutions. From time to time it is necessary to check whether the pump is working correctly.
Regularly need to monitor the condition of the plants. Their development should be monitored, trimmed and tied up if the need arises. If pests and signs of various diseases are detected, it is necessary to remove the affected plants so that they do not infect the neighbors.
The hydroponic method involves planting to combat disease. However, they are dangerous pests. If they are found, it will be necessary to take immediate steps to eliminate them.
Nuances to Consider
In a home hydroponic plant, plants will grow much faster than in soil. They will not need to spend their life energy in order to extract nutrients. In such conditions, the plants will be healthy and strong.
In an isolated room or hydroponics in a greenhouse, the likelihood of developing mold and a variety of fungi is much lower than in the case of arranging hydroponics in an outdoor installation. Therefore, if it is possible to equip a small greenhouse hydroponically with your own hands, then it is recommended to do so.
For ease of use, you can equip a homemade design with various additional elements. For example, it may be a device that will automatically add nutrients.
It should be remembered that without the necessary amount of light plantings will die very quickly.
Therefore, you need to properly plan the lighting and equip it with the use of modern and high-quality lighting.
Recommendations for the operation of the structure
It will be necessary to consider the following recommendations:
- Before switching on the entire set of elements must be sterilized.
- If there is no experience in growing hydroponics, then it is recommended to pick up fast-growing plants that do not need special care. For this purpose, suitable seeds of lettuce, spicy greens, cucumbers or strawberries. It is not recommended to plant tomato seeds and zucchini at the initial stage, as they need large-volume reservoirs and props. Not suitable, and some types of pepper.
- To prevent the development of bacteria that can lead to flowering of the solution for hydroponics, the liquid is recommended to use bottled or filtered. The tank is recommended to pretreat with a mixture of chloramine. To prepare it, dilute 1 tbsp. chloramine in 10 liters of water, then insist half an hour in a closed tank.
- The system should not be located nearby with sources of heat and light from the sun.
- The optimum temperature of the mixture is 26-30 °. If necessary, the use of aquarium heaters is allowed.
- The crop of plants when using such a system will be higher if you equip artificial lighting with fluorescent lamps.
- As a nutrient solution for hydroponics, you can apply complex fertilizer, which must be diluted at the rate of 2 tbsp. fertilizer for 10 liters of water. First of all, it will be necessary to pour in phosphate and potash fertilizers, after which nitrogen and potash fertilizers. At the end you need to add a small amount of phosphoric fertilizer for hydroponics.
Speaking about what types of such structures exist, it is worth knowing that you can also make a PVC installation with your own hands. To do this, you need to prepare the following elements: PVC pipes, fittings, supports for pipes, a reservoir with a nutrient solution for hydroponics and a pump. The tank with the pumping structure must be installed below the stand with the pipes so that the nutrient solution circulates through the plants. Fluid will flow into large pipes under pressure. To realize this, you need to mount a small feeding tube.
Independently to make hydroponic installation is very simple. It will be necessary to prepare a set of elements in accordance with the instructions, monitor the vital activity of plants and care for them. Growing seeds of almost any variety is easy if the system is installed correctly. If no mistakes are made, then very soon it will be possible to be content with the grown fruits without any impurities and with a large number of useful elements.
What is hydroponics?
Growing plants without a soil substrate, in water, seems surprising and wrong. In practice, it turns out that this technology gives excellent results; however, it will take a lot of effort. The secret of this method of cultivation is groundless cultivation, which stimulates the development of plants by regulating the composition of water, the percentage of oxygen and mineral salts in it.
In order for hydroponics to produce the expected fruits with their own hands, many factors will have to be taken into account: humidity, temperature of water and air, features of lighting and ventilation, and genetic characteristics of crops.
Examples of plants suitable for hydroponics
What cultures develop well in hydroponic conditions?
- able to survive at temperatures around -15 °, otherwise the roots rot,
- having a root system with a low rate of growth, otherwise you often have to change pots,
- plants without tubers and rhizomes, because there is a high risk of rotting,
Grow well such plants and flowers in hydroponicsas: philodendron, ficus, cactus, ivy, dracaena, lavender, violet, hibiscus, all kinds of begonias, as well as monstera. Roses in hydroponics are becoming more and more popular lately.
From vegetable crops: cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, broccoli, tomatoes, eggplants, spinach, green beans.
Recently, this method has proven itself in the cultivation of bananas.
DIY hydroponic system - options
Before you start collecting hydroponic installation at home, it is necessary to determine its principle of operation. At the moment its three agroponics proved their effectiveness:
- Drip irrigation ranks first in simplicity and low cost. The principle is to feed the nutrient solution through the tube directly to the roots of the plant. As the substrate is most often used mineral wool, which has significant drawbacks. It accumulates moisture well, especially in a cool climate, and it does not allow oxygen to pass through. In turn, this leads to the decay of the root system and to the disease of the plant,
- Periodic flooding is a type of hydroponics, the essence of which is to enrich the root system with oxygen using a compressor. The solution fills the entire substrate, excess liquid flows into another container,
- Aeroponika is the newest and improved method. Using sprayers, the solution gets to the root system, thereby enriching the plant with nutrients. Most often, this method is used in hot countries, as it can withstand temperature rises up to 30–35 degrees.
Basic elements of home installation
In order to accommodate a mixture of water with nutrients, you can not do without a special bulk tank. The container is better to acquire a dark color, dull, so that the light does not penetrate the solution, thereby saving it from algae development. If such a tank could not be obtained, then you can use food foil or paint the walls with black paint.
A hydroponic tank must be equipped with a tight lid. The volume of the tank must be calculated at the rate of 3 liters of water per plant. The optimal size of the tank is 50 liters, for the home it is better to equip several small tanks than to operate one large one.
Hydroponic pots it is better to acquire specialized - mesh. They will help the substrate to always remain wet, as they have holes all over the surface. The height of the pots purchased should not be higher than an equipped tank with a nutrient solution. We must not forget about the preparation of the sheet foam. It is necessary in order to secure the pots with plants. Holes are drilled in the foam, the diameter of which is equal to the diameter of the pot (so that it is fixed and does not fall through).
Growing hydroponics can not do without the constant saturation of water with oxygen. Recommended for this purpose use a two-channel pump. For a home, a simple solution would be to buy an aquarium compressor with silicone hoses.
In order for the system to work efficiently, it is worth putting a few cleaned stones on the bottom - they will break air bubbles.
When the hydroponic installation itself is assembled, you can begin planting.
Substrate and nutrient solution
You will have to grow plants in the substrate. His choice is one of the key points of the assembly system. The main substrates for hydroponics are expanded clay, mineral wool, coconut substrate, vermiculite and perlite. Consider more disadvantages and advantages of each.
- Expanded clay does not contain minerals that are available to plants, does not violate the composition of the solution, but affects its pH. Before using the clay, rinse well. Can be used several times after processing.
- Mineral wool is very irritating to the skin, so when working with it, you need to remember the safety rules. Use gloves, avoid contact with eyes and respiratory organs. Quite strongly accumulates moisture and badly passes oxygen. The most budget substrate. Improper disposal will pollute the environment.
- The coconut substrate is produced by grinding a coconut shell. It has only natural composition. The best substrate of the proposed options. May store minerals that plants use when needed. Well retains water and oxygen. Decomposes quickly, safe for the environment. After use in hydroponic installation, apply as organic fertilizer. This is a great option for flowers, such as roses.
- Vermiculite is a loose substrate. Good accumulates moisture, but bad oxygen passes. Hydroponics experts advise using it in a mixture with another substrate.
- Perlite has a neutral pH. It does not react with mineral substances and accumulates moisture well.
As for the concentration of the solution, it is done in accordance with the instructions.
For planting pots filled with substrate and immerse them in solution for 1/3 part. The volume of the solution must be maintained at the same level by adding water once every 2 weeks. Every month the solution changes completely. For the preparation of the solution using 2 components: complex fertilizer and 25% calcium nitrate solution.
To transplant the plant in a hydroponic installation, it is removed from the pot with a clod of earth and soaked in water. Next, the roots thoroughly washed and straighten. In a pot with a substrate immerse the plant so that its roots do not touch the solution. Nutrients must come from the substrate. The first week after transplantation, the pot is immersed to 1/3 in water to the plant has adapted and now it can be fully grown. Only after this water is changed to a nutrient solution.
Where to place the system?
In addition to addressing the issue of how to grow hydroponics, you need to think about where to place this system.
The best option is a greenhouse or basement, since a warm, dry room without windows is necessary. The patio of the house is also suitable. If you put agroponics outside the home, you will have to constantly monitor the surrounding temperature, the rate of evaporation of the liquid in the system and the surrounding gusts of wind.
Putting the container with the substrate and plants is necessary on a perfectly flat surfaceso that nutrients are distributed evenly.
Hydroponics is an interesting modern method of growing plants, which helps save time, money, and also significantly increases the yield and endurance of the plant. Doing your own home hydroponic installation will not only help you enjoy beautiful plants and flowers, but also allow you to enjoy fresh vegetables at home without chemicals.
Advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics
When choosing a method of growing certain plants, it is necessary to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of technology. Advantages of the hydroponic method The cultivation are as follows:
- Accelerated plant growth. Due to the fact that the roots of cultivated plants feed on the optimal amount of useful substances, growth rates increase by several percent,
- All-season cultivation. By this method, plants can be grown at any time of the year and in any climatic conditions,
- Space saving. Plant roots do not need to spread over a large area in search of nutrients, as happens in normal soil. Therefore, they can be planted closer to each other.
about hydroponic techniques
Well, a few words about hydroponic deficiencies:
- The complexity of the technology. Everything must be calculated and verified to the smallest detail. Any error can lead to the death of plants. Hydroponic success is influenced by the quality of the substrate, nutrient solution, light, temperature, and other factors
- Dependence on electrical energy. In hydroponics, pumps are used to force-feed a nutrient solution, aerators for oxygen enrichment, and in some cases, piece lighting,
- Some types of plants require special conditions, and they cannot always be grown in this way.
Substrates and nutrient solutions for hydroponics
When hydroponic growing a great advantage is the use of substrates. That is, there is no need for fertile soil, which requires constant updating. As the substrates can be used small pebbles, expanded clay, granulated glass and so on.
The main condition for the substrate is its ability to pass nutrient solution and oxygen. Also important is the ability of substrates to hold the plant in an upright position. In addition, the roots should be able to freely penetrate between the elements of the substrate for growth and development.
for hydroponic installation
The most important thing in hydroponics is a nutrient solution. Thanks to the solution, the plants get all the necessary macro-and micronutrients for efficient growth. To supply the solution to the roots most often used special pumps. For the preparation of solutions used distilled water, which dissolves all the necessary elements.
Thus, the key factors in hydroponic cultivation of plants are the correct substrate and precisely prepared nutrient solution. Plants eat this solution several times a day. The frequency of power is provided either manually or using automation systems.
Hydroponics and plant species
The most simple hydroponic way to grow plants that do not have a fruit in the form of a root. For the cultivation of root crops using a special technique for the supply of nutrient solution. Otherwise, the possibilities of hydroponics with respect to plant species are practically unlimited.
In this way, greens, vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants, saplings of trees and so on are successfully grown. It should be noted that when growing seedlings there is a more rapid development of the plant, which was later transplanted into ordinary soil. Such plants are less exposed to disease, take root faster and give growth. In addition, in hydroponic cultivation there are no weeds, which under normal conditions provide a lot of trouble.
Simple hydroponic self-made installation
For growing by the hydroponic method at home, you can assemble a simple device with your own hands that will give excellent results.
To make it you will need the following accessories:
1. Planting and feeding containers. You can buy them in finished form or make yourself. The container consists of two vessels. The inner vessel has openings for free access of the nutrient solution to the roots. The outer vessel is sealed.
2. Tubes and fittings for assembling the system for supplying nutrient solution to containers,
3. Pump to supply oxygen-rich nutrient solution. To feed the solution with oxygen, you can use a conventional aerator for the aquarium,
4. General reservoir for nutrient solution.
The whole system is assembled as follows. Containers for plants are collected in a single system to which the supply of nutrient solution is connected. The use of fittings will ensure tightness and normal flow of fluid.
В контейнер для питательного раствора помещается насос и аэратор. После наполнения накопительного резервуара готовым раствором его герметизируют, для исключения испарения. Для этого можно использовать обычную полиэтиленовую пленку.
Далее контейнеры заполняются субстратом и в них сажаются растения. The pump is connected to the mains through a timer, or directly. If you use automation tools, you must configure them to the appropriate mode. For example, it is necessary to feed the nutrient solution four times a day for fifteen minutes. When the pump is turned on, the liquid flows from the storage tank to the containers. The level of the nutrient solution in the storage tank (with the pump off) must be strictly adjusted to exclude overflow from the containers during pump operation. When you turn on the pump, all the solution goes into the containers and the pump starts to idle, not allowing the liquid to flow back. After the required time has elapsed, the pump shuts off and the entire solution flows back to the storage tank by gravity. The aerator can work around the clock.
A more sophisticated hydroponic installation
For growing by the hydroponic method on a larger scale, it is advisable to independently design and manufacture the following device.
It is very easy to make from ordinary plastic pipes that are used for sewer systems. In the pipes at a certain distance cut holes for planting. This can be done with a hot knife or with the nozzle on the drill.
Then the system is assembled from prepared pipes. For this purpose, standard connecting corners for PVC pipes are used.
To divert the nutrient solution to one end of the pipe is installed plug with a hole. A water pipe is connected to this hole, which is lowered into the solution tank. To supply the solution to the system at the second end of the pipe is installed knee. In it the water pipe is fixed, through which the nutrient solution will be injected to the plants.
Types of equipment for growing vegetables
Passive, in which nutrients get to the roots with the help of capillary forces, and active, in need of circulation of batteries, pumps and pumps.
All types of advanced equipment are divided into 6 types: floating platform, wick hydroponic plant for growing greens, periodic flooding, nutrient layer, drip irrigation, aeroponics.
1. Wick installation is carried out using capillary forces, the solution flows through the wiring. Often used in floriculture, one end is placed in a pot, the other - in a nutrient fluid. But not suitable for the root system of large ornamental plants, because they will need more moisture.
2. The floating platform moves through the vitamin solution. On it are fixed plants, the roots of which are constantly immersed in the liquid. Feeding requires constant recycling.
3. In periodic flooding, a short-term flooding of the root system is applied, then it is drained. This effect is achieved by using pumps that are controlled by timers.
4. The nutrient layer is pumped into a pot with greens using a pump. There is no longer need a timer. In this system, there is a constant supply of nutrients to the bottom of the container, where the roots are located. Then the process is carried out in a circle.
5. Drip irrigation delivers fluid directly to the substrate.
6. In aeroponics, nutrient vitamin complexes are sprayed onto the bases of the roots that are in the air cushion.
The simplest hydroponic installation for an apartment
If you need to grow one onion or a little parsley, dill, you can build the most simple hydroponic installation.
We will need a large two-liter bottle of plastic. The best option is a beer bottle. Tara should be brown. If an annual plant is grown in it, then a transparent container will do. Perennial bushes have difficulty in a colorless vessel. Algae will begin to form on the roots, sucking the nutrients from the plants.
The bottle is cut in the middle with ordinary scissors.
Two circles of two to four millimeters in diameter are made in the upper part and the cork.
Holes are pierced with a hot needle or awl.
The topmost line provides root ventilation. Through the bottom row and cork, the plant receives a nutrient solution.
If the incision is made incorrectly, the cork will hang over the bottom and a certain amount of liquid will not flow to the plant.
Mineral solution is poured into the bottom layer. The first row of holes should be in the water. As the absorption liquid must be poured. Vermiculite is poured into the upper space of the equipment. Only 1 cm of surface remains unloaded. When the plant is fully rooted, you can add a mineral.
Sprout is planted carefully so as not to damage the roots. After a certain period of time, vermiculite is completely saturated with the solution and the bush will receive minerals for growth.
For plants with a weak root system, such a plant is considered an ideal growing medium.
How to make a classic hydroponic installation with your own hands?
The device can be made independently without any special investments. The equipment is useful for creating a miniature botanical garden at home.
You will need a tank with a lid for water, a plastic container up to 15 liters. It cuts 3 holes for cups to be used.
Passages are made of a certain size so that the tanks do not fall into the bucket.
Vertical incisions are made in glasses for the solution. The filler is mineral wool "Agros". Fits in cups.
The design requires an air two-channel compressor, this is often used for aquariums, both channels are combined into one.
At the end of the stones are set for the aquarium. The nutrient solution is significantly improved when it is saturated with oxygen.
A small hole is made in the cap for the hose that comes from the compressor.
Stones are laid on the bottom.
The bucket is filled with running water of 10 liters.
The lid closes tightly and the cups are put in place.
Planted seeds soaked with water.
To prevent mold or other microorganisms from appearing in the tank, the bucket is completely glued with food foil.
A reflector from the luminaire and 2 36 watt fluorescent lamps are installed above the device. The equipment is ready.
Mineral wool is soaked with water for 4–5 days. The liquid must first be set to a pH of 8.0.
As the seeds begin to germinate, the nutrient solution flows into the water reservoir.
Turns on the air compressor and lighting.
In order not to follow the light mode, a timer is used on the equipment.
Hydroponic Nutrient Solution
Specialized hydroponic minerals such as Flora Series and Etisso are available at specialty stores. According to the instructions, they are mixed with a certain amount of water and placed in the installation.
You can prepare a solution in hydroponics for greenery with your own hands. Water is used distilled or defended rainwater. The liquid is softened with a filter cartridge and peat tablets. The mixture is aged for 12 hours, filtered and used as intended.
In the manufacture of nutrient concentrate all mineral salts are dosed in a strictly defined amount. If the composition is prepared incorrectly, the plant will feel bad in such an environment.
Summer composition (grams / 10 l):
- iron chloride - 0.02,
- ammonium sulfate - 0.06,
- calcium nitrate - 0.06,
- potassium and magnesium sulfate - 0.34,
- superphosphate - 0.68,
- potassium nitrate - 0.3.
First, the salts are weighed in the required amount. Each substance is laid out in a separate container. Manganese, copper and zinc can be mixed. Then the present solutions are combined in the same container and water is added.
To the roots of plants should not receive an increased concentration of the solution. If the composition of salts increases, the outflow of fluid from the bushes will occur. This leads to the oppression and death of seedlings. Once the mixture is ready, you need to check it for acidity. Litmus strips are used for this, they are purchased in specialized stores. For normal growth of the seedling requires acidity from 5.0 to 6.8. The finished nutrient should be at room temperature.
Since the grains contain essential oils, they cannot be planted in a dry form: they will not germinate. Under natural conditions, the seed is all winter, the essential oils evaporate by themselves. Such a medium has not been created in hydroponics, therefore the fruits are soaked for 3 days in clean water. Fluid changes regularly. Culture swells, and the germ wakes up in it. Sunflower seeds are considered suitable, surface ones are not suitable for planting. The swollen grains are wrapped in a napkin, kept for a day and transferred to the substrate.
To transplant the young shoots into the water, it is necessary to clean the roots from the ground (soak for 6 hours). The rotted branches are removed, then disinfected with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate. Cuttings are placed in pots and filled with substrate.
Planting seedlings carried a little deeper than in the ground. At first pure water is used, but after a week the concentrated solution is added.
Saplings do not require watering, fertilizing and transplants. The only thing you need to do is add a solution from time to time and check its pH. Plants need pinching and protection from pests.