Hydroponics is a method of growing flowers without soil. This substrate acts as an initial soil for the roots.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroponics
- Hydroponic substrates and solutions
- Hydroculture pots
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroponics
Increase of flowering and productivity of plants. Plants grow much faster than in soil. Plants do not absorb harmful substances that can harm human health (nitrates, heavy metals, toxic organic compounds, etc.). No need for daily watering.
You need to add water in different quantities for each plant. For example, for one plant, water is added once a month, and for another - once every three days. Plants do not suffer from waterlogging and drying out. With hydroponics, the process of transplanting plants into the soil is greatly improved. Thus, the roots of plants are not injured and quickly take root in the soil.
Easy to care for. Plants are not contaminated or damaged by pests. Minimum material costs. There is no need to constantly buy new soil. Also, there is no need to treat the soil with pesticides. As for the disadvantages, they include the high cost of the system itself. Another disadvantage is the length and complexity of the process.
Hydroponic substrates and solutions
Expanded clay, mineral wool, nylon, foam rubber, or other chemical neutral fibers can be used as a substrate. To control the level of solution in pots, you need to place a tube with a float there. This tube should be marked "optimal", "minimum" and "maximum". For a plant to have access to oxygen, it is necessary that not all roots are in the water.
You should also make sure that the roots do not entwine the float, otherwise it will show incorrect data. Expanded clay is a light and porous material made by firing clay. Basically, it has an oval or round shape. The ceramic crust of the material has high moisture holding capacity, good porosity and low weight. Perlite, which is a volcanic rock, is also used as a substrate.
DIY hydroponics video:
During the heating process, perlite increases in size up to twenty times. This type of substrate is used for storing flower bulbs in winter. Agroperlite maintains the required level of humidity and temperature, while not allowing roots to rot.
You can also use agrovermiculitis. This mineral increases productivity and is considered medicinal. It also prevents mold and pests from affecting the plant. Agrovermiculite improves soil structure and oxygen capacity. When a mineral is introduced into the soil, it begins to absorb all harmful chemical compounds, radionuclides and heavy metal ions.
The result is always organic fruits and vegetables. With regard to solutions for hydroponics, then they should consist of a complex of all the necessary nutrients. Houseplants have different phases of development. As the plant grows and develops, it needs to be fertilized periodically. With the onset of spring, plants require a lot of nitrogen.
To form fruits, you need to fertilize the substrate with phosphorus and potassium. Since the activity of plants decreases in autumn, potassium must be used to increase winter hardiness.
All fertilizers mainly contain average proportions of NPK and are supplied to plants throughout the year. When preparing solutions, it is necessary to dissolve each substance in a separate order in a small amount of water. Iron is considered the most capricious element, as it leaves a rusty residue. In order to prevent the appearance of rust, iron is replaced with iron vitriol.
Initially, you need to prepare a concentrated solution of citric acid and ferrous sulfate. These elements must be dissolved separately in water beforehand. Knop's solution is added to the resulting mixture, in an amount of one liter.
Hydroponic pots can be made easily at home. For growing plants, two pots are mainly used - a large and a small one. The plant itself will be in a small pot, and a large pot performs more decorative functions. Crockery used for hydroponics must be chemically inert as it will contain nutrient acidic solutions.
If the dishes are incorrectly selected, the acidity of the solution itself may change and the plant will die as a result. For greater safety, the container can be treated from the inside with a layer of asphalt varnish.
When inserting a small pot into a large one, leave a gap of about eight to ten centimeters between them. You can also place the inner container in pots that are large in diameter so that there is a large supply of nutrient solution.