Hydroponics is one of the most used in the entire globe thanks to its numerous advantages and its features truly unique! The Team of Eureka Grow Shop also clearly prefers hydroponics to any other type of cultivation. Keep reading this informative article to learn how to grow in hydroponics in the best way; thanks to our Eureka Blog you will become a true expert grower!
What is Hydroponic Growing?
We talk about hydroponic growing when we have a plant cultivation soilless, that is without the substrate. An extremely fundamental part is water because it manages to get all the nutrients to the plant, thus making it grow quickly and perfect health. The word hydroponics in the ancient Greek language is divided into two terms, “hidro” that is water and “pones” that is work, in short, hydroponics considers work and action of water for the development and cultivation of fruit and vegetable plants. The hydroponic growing already existed at the time of the Babylonian Assyrians, where at the time there was a river or a source of water, This cultivation in the 1930 was rediscovered by a Doctor of California’s Berkeley University, where in the following decades there was a reworking that expanded all over the world.
Hydroponic growing with substrate:
The substrate takes care of absorbing nutrients for plant growth, does not need fertilizers and has little use of pesticides. In fact, hydroponic growing consists of mixtures of sand, perlite, expanded clay and much more … which are moistened and irrigated with water and various nutrients that are fundamental for the substrate. In hydroponic crops with substrate, but also in those without it is essential to monitor parameters: temperature, humidity, CO2 level, hours of light and intensity of lighting, ventilation, plant health and absence of diseases, where in this cultivation they are linked to parasites and inferiorly compared to traditional cultivation.
Hydroponic growing without substrate:
In this cultivation without substrate the roots of the plants are immersed in the flow of nutrient solutions, composed of dissolved substances and water. Take carnivorous plants, rice or water lilies that adapt well in low oxygen or even stagnant environments, while the perceived quantity of plants with difficulty adapting to environment will be superior due to the scarcity of oxygen that are found. For this reason, if a plant does not receive the right amount of oxygen in the roots it suffers from asphyxiation, while receiving the right quantities of water and nutrients, in fact it is one of the cases. more frequent deaths of aquatic plants is the excessive quantity of water during the irrigation session. It is important to accept that this type of plant also receives the right amount of oxygen. Therefore it must be remembered that within hydroponic agriculture, whatever the place where the plants live, the soil, the air or the water, absorb food in the form of ions dissolved in oxygen. For this reason, aeroponics is also used which, by means of a air pump, guarantees correct oxygenation to the plants. When oxygen and food are absorbed by cultivated plants, they must be renewed by replacing the nutrient solution. This cultivation technique without soil stimulates the growth of plants, therefore the farmer must control the quantity of mineral salts, of water but above all of oxygen. As we have seen, the soil is replaced by water in this case. If the quantity of oxygen is insufficient for the plant, its growth will be slow. If the opposite happens the plant will be oxygenated, so it will grow faster and in perfect health.
How to Grow a Hydroponic Plant?
It is not uncommon to find people with a passion for plants. It often happens that, while walking around the city, you will notice balconies with a bit of greenery. Who wouldn’t like to live interruptedly in spring even though they don’t have a garden? I can help you grow plants in an apartment to have this happiness of spring 256 days a year… yet it is not so difficult to have greenery in your home or on your balcony. hydroponic crops can be a good solution to be able to boast of having a DIY garden at home. They are also a green and sustainable idea for the environment that surrounds us, because compared to traditional crops, it has a considerable water saving (up to 90%) and above all , no pesticides are used. Another thing to our advantage is that it saves time and space, creates less clutter and makes holidays much less problematic! If we want to start cultivating this space we need to know that it is easy to make but above all we need a soil and that we do not need to use a pot. Unlike hydroponic crops which use a soil composed of a mixture of expanded clay or sand, gravel, pumice stone… The creation of this soil is important for two reasons:
- Give the plant a soil capable of retaining humidity;
- To act as a support for the plant itself.
We can say that the secret of hydroponics is not based only in the substrate. You can guess from the word “hydroponics”, which sends us to a element necessary for the life of every living being: water. In fact, water could represent even just the only ingredient essential to create a hydroponic culture: away the substrate, the plant to be cultivated is put directly in the water where the fertilizer necessary for the growth of the crop will be added. It is essential to constantly monitor the garden. An error to be absolutely avoided is to overwater a plant while continuing to fill it with water. Not only does water become powerless for nourishment, but it can become dirty, devoid of air and full of toxic gases instead of oxygen. This causes root damage leading to death. A tip to follow is to change the water once every two weeks and that’s it! In short, whether you are newbies or experienced gardeners, green leafy plants will always be ready and available, allowing anyone with hydroponics to enjoy their own flower garden or your garden 365 days a year.
How to Adjust the Hydroponic pH
The pH for soils is 6-7.5, while the optimal pH of the nutrient solution that is used in hydroponic systems is 5.5-6.5. If the pH of the culture medium is not at the desired level, the absorption of some nutrients is limited. A high pH limits the absorption of phosphorus and most micronutrients, except molybdenum. Continuous feeding of nutrient solutions at a high pH level will cause yellowing of the plants, a symptom deficient in micronutrients, as the absorption of most micronutrients becomes limited. There are various methods that are applied to eliminate too high pH levels in a culture medium.
- First of all, if you have high pH levels, you can resort to adding various mineral and organic acids to the nutrient solution.
- While if you have very frequent fluctuations in the pH level, we recommend using pH stabilizers (pH buffers). These additives help to adjust the pH level to the desired value, but also to establish the change for a while. One of these products is the additive which is used to improve the pH minus.
- And lastly you have to control the pH by increasing the ammonium level. This step is done by adding more ammonium to the nutrient solution. At the same time the roots will absorb NH4 + ions and release oxidizing protons (H+) in the root zone. This root acidification will build a very favorable environment as long as the plant absorbs all the nutrients it needs.
In hydroponic cultivation systems, the proportion of ammonium cations should be limited to 5-15% of the nitrogen in the total solution. Maximum 1-1.5 mmol/L (14-21 ppm N) NH4 + in the nutrient solution is acceptable; if the content is higher, the pH will drop too much . The exact quantity can vary from 0-1.5 mmol/L (0-21 ppm N) depending on the growing conditions and the sensitivity of the culture to low pH. When the pH is too low, reduce the ammonium intake to 0-0.5 mmol/L (0-7 ppm N), instead, when the pH is too high, there is an increase in NH4 + up to a maximum of 1.5 mmol/L (21 ppm N). We remind you that the pH value must be checked daily. If the pH rises above normal it is necessary to check the type of Fe chelate that is used.
Which Fertilizers to use in a Hydroponic Growing?
The first thing to understand when buying a hydroponics fertilizer is which fertilizers you need to buy. The fertilizer for plants that are grown in the land a will have a lack of essential nutrients, leaving out the assumption that plants can extract them from the soil itself. The hydroponic fertilizer has all the nutrients necessary for the plant to grow in good health. The hydroponic fertilizer comes either in liquid form or in powder which can be dissolved in water. Both organic and chemical forms of hydroponic fertilizer are available, with some mixtures specially formulated for food plants. chemical fertilizers are less expensive, although they can be more dangerous if not managed properly. When you go to use the fertilizer make sure you wear gloves and follow the safety instructions on the package. The hydroponic fertilizer needed varies by the type of plant. Hydroponics does not approve crop rotation, nutrient rotation, so care must be taken to ensure that plants are satisfied. The needs may also vary from the life stage of the plant. There are fertilizers both for germination and for young plants, for flowering and finally fruiting. Some fertilizers are designed to improve the flowering of plants. Others favor the development of healthy fruit. The fertilizer provides the energy necessary for the plant during its growth and the energy demand will change depending on the state of its development. The advances in hydroponic nutrition have resulted in a more streamlined process. The hydroponics field can provide viable crops to gardeners who are willing to closely monitor their plants. Successful hydroponic gardening nutrition will not have to make the crop fail and if not cared for carefully it will die.
Which Plants to Grow in Hydroponics?
cultivation with hydroponic technique is increasingly widespread at domestic level as we said previously, both for as regards the cultivation of ornamental plants, as well as for garden plants, but it is perfect for cultivating your passion WHATEVER it is.