Many people, when hearing the word hydroponics, picture in their mind a garden suspended over water with very little chances of growth.
However along this type of gardening called nutrient film technique, several other types of hydroponics have been developed with the sole purpose of perfecting a faster, more ecological growth. There are many types of hydroponic gardens and you can choose from them the option that will fit best your gardening purpose.
The culture grown on the water is the most basic type and in the same time, the easiest. In this case the Styrofoam floats over the water solution rich in nutrients which is able to feed oxygen to the roots. This type of hydroponics is presented in the ecology classes and represents the introduction into this world.
The Wick system is one of the simplest hydroponics systems and has a more passive approach. The nutrients in the water solution are taken by the plants through a wick present in the water tank.
The dripping system (with or without recovery) is used on a large scale around the world. The operation is used with the purpose of optimizing the gardening water consumption. The system is operated by a timer that starts and stops the nutrient pump which drips at the base of the plants, extracting the surplus to be reused.
The Nutrient film system –NFT- is the most popular one, and this system is the one people think of, the first time they hear the word “hydroponics”. The system offers a constant flow of nutrients. This means that there is no timer involved, the solutions being continuously sent to the roots. The only issue that can appear is an eventual pump malfunction which can cause a potential disaster.
The latest technology in ecological gardening is also the most advanced. The system resembles NFT but the roots are suspended in the air and then sprinkled with the nutrients, the operation taking place every few minutes. Because the roots are suspended in the air they can easily dry, so the risk of system failure is very low.
The whole idea of hydroponics became alive out of the need of consuming less water and resources when creating a more efficient growth for the sake of environment and human kind.
It is a daring project which perhaps will ensure our survival in a resource consuming society growing every day.