At the mere mention of the word farming, and one would typically be drawn towards images of the rural lifestyle, endless fields, and coveralls. However, this could not be further from the truth – advancements in technology and an ever-increasing focus on sustainable farming have brought about a paradigm shift. hydroponics is a technique of farming that utilizes a specially formulated nutrient solution to grow plants or vegetables.
Now, what if I say that you can grow fresh fruits, leafy greens and veggies in your balcony! Hydroponics is just that..!!
Amid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals have developed a critical point of view towards outdoor food. With health and food safety becoming the key focus, the populations around the globe have shown an inclination towards home gardening and self-made/homemade meals.
Here are 10 ways to grow your vegetables and fruits hydroponically at home:
NUTRIENT FILM TECHNIQUE (NFT)
The nutrient film technique (NFT) is a hydroponic technique wherein a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is re-circulated past the bare roots of plants in a watertight gully, also known as channels.
– Testing the nutrient balance of your liquid solution and Checking the water level in your system container should be done at least every 3 days.
– Completely change the nutrient reservoir at least every three weeks.
GROW BAG SYSTEM
A growbag is a large plastic bag filled with a growing medium .The growing medium is usually based on a soilless organic material such as cocopeat, coir, composted green waste, composted bark or composted wood chips, or a mixture of these.
– Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub any stains you see.
DEEP WATER CULTURE (DWC)
Deep water culture (DWC) is a method for growing plants without a substrate media. The roots of the plants are encased in a net pot or grow cup that is suspended from a lid with roots dangling in a liquid nutrient solutions.
– As a general rule of thumb, you should completely change your reservoir at least once every two weeks in the vegetative stage, and at least once a week in the flowering stage.
Growing produce using aeroponic towers is the process of growing plants with only water and nutrients.Controlled by a timer, a low-wattage submersible pump propels the nutrient solution to the top of the tower. Nutrient solution cascades down the inside of the tower, oxygenating and feeding exposed plant roots.
– Clean the pump filter, unplug the pump, pull the pump up through the access port, and remove the pump cover. Flush the filter with water to remove debris.
– Clean the shower cap by removing the shower cap lid, and using a toothpick to clean the shower cap holes.
DUTCH BUCKET HYDROPONIC SYSTEM
Dutch bucket hydroponic system, as the name sounds, use the buckets as the core of this growing method. The system can have just one bucket or scale to any size growers want. These buckets must contain growing media (perlite, vermiculite, etc) to keep the moisture, aeration as well as supporting plants to stand upright.
– Check connections to verify that they remain tight. Verify that the pump is working properly. Check and clean all filters to optimize performance.
5 reasons to grow hydroponic produce at home:
Plants grown in soil need to spread their roots in order to find water and all the nutrients they need to survive. This means they must be planted a certain distance apart from each other.
In hydroponic systems, roots don’t need to spread because water and nutrients are delivered right to them.
As a result, hydroponic systems can grow more plants in the same amount of space as soil-based systems.which makes it easier to grow fresh produce in your balcony or terrace.
Plants grown in hydroponic systems grow 30% to 50% faster than those grown in soil.
Crops grow faster in hydroponic systems because they receive an ideal amount of nutrients and, if grown indoors, have less environmentally induced stress (like weather and pests).
Some species are faster than others. For example, leafy greens like lettuce and thirsty fruits like tomatoes tend to grow faster in hydroponic systems.
AN EXTENDED GROWING SEASON
Cold climates with chilly winter temperatures and shorter day lengths prohibit plant growth. But with a hydroponics system, plants can be grown hydroponically year-round because the grower controls the temperature, light, and nutrient-supply.
Hydroponic systems are not habitable for the seeds of weeds.
Weeds need the same things as other plants to sprout, but seeds aren’t typically sowed in hydroponic systems. That way the system can be tailored to the growing phase rather than germination.
Since the seeds can’t start germinating, weeds won’t take root and steal your crops’ precious nutrients.
Hydroponics can be measured more closely than traditional gardening and there are many devices that can be utilised to that end. There are a wide range of PH monitors and conductivity meters that can monitor your nutrients and even system that can automatically dose the tank for designed ranges.
As you can tell, you absolutely don’t need to have a huge backyard/garden or land to grow your own fresh produce. being able to set up a small space for a hydroponic system is all you need. Hydroponic systems are among the most environmental friendly farming systems that you can use when you want to grow crops. There are endless possibilities to grow fresh fruits and veggies hydroponically on your own.People are enjoying the satisfaction of growing their own food, the enhanced flavor and the saved money they benefit by doing it themselves. Just like any other kind of gardening, hydroponics is something that needs a certain amount of practice and can be perfected over the course of time and we would especially recommend it to everyone who are fascinated by urban gardening. Now which way of soilless gardening would you choose!?