Why is hydroponic farming better than soil Farming
Hydroponic Farming is better than soil farming in a certain way, as all of the nutrients supplied are readily available to the plant and Lower concentrations of the nutrient can be used. There are no losses of nutrients due to leaching.
Other Advantages are :-
Practically no expanse on prevention of soil born diseases.
High density cultivation in comparison to conventional farming.
Crops can be grown where no suitable soil exists
Can I grow different plants in the same hydroponic system?
Among plants there are definite friends and enemies. In the Hydroponics System we can grow companion plants together. Keep the friends and enemies apart. Here is the list of enemy and companion plants.
What kinds of plants can be grown using hydroponics?
Almost any plant or vegetable will grow hydroponically. When hydroponics was initially applied commercially, only three crop species were commonly grown: tomato, herbs, and lettuce. Today a wide range of crops (i.e cucumber, pepper, strawberry, roses, and potatoes) is being successfully grown hydroponically. The list of hydroponically cultivated crops is increasing daily.
Are hydroponic plants organic?
There is a huge debate about it. Technically as per Organic farming definition Hydroponics is not Organic cultivation. Hydroponics involve uses of basic nutrient element in inorganic form. To maintain yield and quality uses of inorganic fertigation is must. However in Hydroponics uses of harmful chemicals and pesticides can be completely eliminated.
There are certain organic fertilizer available in market recommended for Hydroponics but yield performance is uncertain.
What types of hydroponic growing systems being used?
A number of ways to grow plants by means of hydroponic/soilless culture exist.
Container Growing - All forms of hydroponic/soilless culture involve growing plants in some kind of a container — a bed, pot, bag, bucket, enclosed slab, or trough.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) - In typical arrangement for a closed NFT system in which a nutrient solution is pumped from a storage tank into the sloping NFT trough or gully and then by gravity the nutrient solution flows back into the storage tank. The growing gully or NFT channels have arrangement or opening for media and plants.
Ebb-and-Flow - This system has also been called “flood and drain.” The growing system consists of a watertight rooting bed, rooting bed containing an inert rooting medium, such as gravel, coarse sand, or volcanic rock, a nutrient solution sump (equal in volume to the growing bed(s)), an electrical pump for moving the nutrient solution from the sump to the growing bed(s), and a piping system to accommodate the delivery of the nutrient
solution from the sump to the growing bed(s) and its return.
Does the temperature of the nutrient solution need to be maintained ?
In order to avoid the hazards of either low or high temperatures, the roots and rooting medium should be kept at a temperature between 68 and 86°F (between 20 and 30°C). Reduced growth and other symptoms of poor nutrition will appear if root temperatures are kept at levels below or above this recommended temperature range
What is Hydroponics
Hydroponics is the method of growing plants using a soilless media which could include a wide variety of examples like: gravel, peat, vermiculite Perlite, old rubber tires, rockwool, and expanded clay aggregates. The minerals that the plant needs are dissolved into the water which is then watered directly to the plants. So, in short instead of the plants searching throughout the soil for their minerals they draw them directly from the water that they are being fed.
What is pH?
A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, In the scale of 1 to 14, the centre point, or neutral position, is 7. Everything above neutral is alkaline and everything below is acidic. For most of the plants best is the slightly acidic range of 5.6 to 6.5, because it is within this range that the nutrients are most available to the plants.
What is PPM?
PPM defined as Parts Per Million. So parts per million or ppm means out of a million. Usually describes the concentration of something in water or soil. One ppm is equivalent to 1 milligram of something per liter of water (mg/l) or 1 milligram of something per kilogram In the hydroponics PPM unit used to measure TDS (total dissolve solids) and Nutrient concentration in water.
What is EC?
EC is a unit of measure to gauge the Electrical Conductivity of a solution. An EC meter applies an electrical voltage to the solution and reads the conductivity that is produced from the motion of mineral Ions.
How often should I change my nutrient solution?
Technically you dont need to change nutrient solution until there is some issue like disease or any type of contamination occurs. The best way we recommend is to top up the nutrient reservoir with fresh water. Do it daily if possible. Try to maintain nutrient concentration and EC.
Can I transfer plants from soil to hydroponics?
Yes, Transplantation can be done. Wash root properly before transplant and be careful and do not damage roots.
Do plants grown using hydroponics taste better than plants grown in soil?
Quite often because plants are supplied with balance nutrients and they do not struggle to get nutrients from soil. with balance nutrients and growth factors hydroponics crops superior in taste, color, size, and nutritional value.
How can I tell if my seeds are viable?
Place seeds in water . After 24 hours the viable seeds should have sunk to the bottom. Those still floating are most likely not viable and will not germinate.
WHAT EC SHOULD I MAINTAIN?
EC (Electrical conductivity) requirements change as the plant grows from seedling into a mature plant. When your plants are young they require less food, so it makes sense that as the plant grows we increase the amount of food to fulfil the plants needs.
WHAT CAUSES PLANTS TO DIE?
There can be a number of reasons for this. Most common are lack of water, high temperature or a broken stem, Nutrient water temperature and imbalance in nutrients. Root disease, Pest attack and pH imbalance could be another reason
WHAT CAUSES THE TIPS OF THE PLANTS TO BURN?
Hight amount of nutrient or irregular water top-up could be a reason. There are some nutrient deficiencies that can also cause leaf tip burn. Again though if the gardener has themselves a pH and EC meter this is rarely posed as an issue.
WHAT CAUSE LEAVES TO TURN YELLOW?
This can be caused by a number of factors but most common is pH imbalance.
Low oxygen levels due to lack of aeration, Irregular fresh water top up Nitrogen deficiency, The solution is too hot/cold and Hight TDS water could be a possible reason
WHY DO PLANTS STRETCH?
Due to insufficient light or humidity is too high, poor ventilation can cause bolting.
WHAT HUMIDITY SHOULD I MAINTAIN?
Humidity level may differ plant to plant, but optimal humidity lavel for most of the crops are Vegetating/growth: 40-70%, Flowering/bloom: 40-55%, Drying: 40-55%, Curing/storing: 50-63%
SHOULD I USE EC & PH METERS?
Yes, Although without automation it is very difficult to maintain constant pH and TDS but monitoring is key to successful hydroponics farming.
WHAT SIZE RESERVOIR SHOULD I RUN?
It depends upon the type of system. In general reservoir size should be equal to the running capacity of system.
IS IT NECESSARY TO AERATE THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION?
Aerating the nutrient solution is a good idea. It guards against stagnant water, improves plant health and prevents bacterial infections. Aerating a nutrient solution will last far longer than one that is sitting flat.
Where can I grow with hydroponics?
Plants can be grown hydroponically Indoors or outdoors. If there sufficient light and key environment element are in optimal condition that any plant can be grown.
Do I need a greenhouse? Can I grow hydroponically outdoors ?
Hydroponics Farming needs protection so a shed or cover is required. A greenhouse provides protection from environmental factors such as heat, cold, wind, rain and insect intrusion. In most climates a greenhouse is recommended. The type of greenhouse and the environmental control equipment varies widely depending on climate.
Can I use tap water?
Yes. As long as your tap water is clean and potable you can use it for hydroponics. water TDS lavel up to 400-500 unit can be use for hydroponics system.