If you are a gardener who likes to explore various ways of growing, this article is for you. Here we will talk about a type of unconventional cultivation that offers advantages, this is none other than hydroponic cultivation.
We will answer the keys to this type of cultivation, such as the substrates you can use, the type of plants suitable for hydroponics, the advantages over traditional crops and how to make an indoor hydroponic system at home
Table of Contents
1. What is hydroponic cultivation?
Hydroponics is a cultivation technique used to produce plants without using soil. Instead of using soil, hydroponics uses other materials as substrates and provides plants with the nutrients and water they need to grow through an irrigation system.
Hydroponic crops are plantations that are made using the hydroponics technique. This technique allows obtaining high-quality plants with faster growth than in traditional crops.
1.1 What type of substrate can be used in these crops?
One of the most common substrates in hydroponic crops is coconut fiber. Coconut fiber is a natural material obtained from coconut that is treated and dehydrated to turn it into an easy-to-use substrate. It is a very porous substrate, which allows water and nutrients to be distributed evenly. In addition, it also has excellent water retention capacity, making it an ideal choice for crops that require high humidity.
Another common substrate in hydroponic crops is perlite. Perlite is a mineral material obtained by heating a volcanic rock to a high temperature and expanding it to form a light, porous material. Perlite is highly porous and has excellent water holding capacity, making it an ideal choice for crops that require a high level of moisture. In addition, it also has a good drainage capacity, which avoids the risk of stagnation in the substrate.
The sand can also be used as a substrate in hydroponic crops. Sand is a natural material obtained from the erosion of rocks and is used as a substrate in hydroponic crops due to its water retention capacity and ease of use. However, it is important to take into account that the sand has a low nutrient retention capacity, so it is necessary to provide an adequate amount of nutrients for the correct development of the plants.
Finally, vermiculite can also be used as a substrate in hydroponic crops. Vermiculite is a mineral material that is obtained by heating a mineral called mica at a high temperature and it expands to form a light and porous material. Vermiculite is very porous and has excellent water holding capacity, making it an ideal choice for crops that require a high level of moisture.
1.2 What kind of plants can be used?
The plants that can be grown in a hydroponic system are very varied, from vegetables such as lettuce and tomato to ornamental plants such as orchids and roses. Furthermore, the precise control of nutrients and temperature in the hydroponic system makes it possible to grow plants that would otherwise be difficult to grow in a natural environment.
2. How to do hydroponics at home?
If you want to have an indoor hydroponic garden or indoor hydroponic system in your home, you must first gather all the necessary materials and equipment. This includes a liquid nutrient supply system, a support medium for plant roots, and a source of light and heat suitable for plant growth.
An indoor hydroponic garden can be built using a table or shelf with an artificial light source, such as a grow lamp or fluorescent light. The support medium for plant roots can be an inorganic material such as vermiculite or perlite, or an organic material such as straw or virgin wood chips.
The liquid nutrient supply system can be built using a water pump and a nutrient solution storage tank. Nutrient solution can be purchased ready-to-use at a garden store or made at home by mixing mineral salts in distilled water.
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Once you have all the necessary materials and equipment, you can plant the seeds or seedlings in the support medium and add the water and nutrient solution. Be sure to monitor the pH and nutrient concentration in the nutrient solution and adjust if necessary. It is also important to keep the indoor hydroponic garden at a suitable temperature and provide good lighting during the day.
With a little practice and attention, you can enjoy a healthy and productive indoor hydroponic garden right in your own home. In addition to providing a source of fresh, healthy food, an indoor hydroponic garden can also be a fun and educational way to spend time at home.
3. Advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics.
One of the main advantages of hydroponics is that more abundant and better quality crops can be obtained than with traditional soil cultivation. In addition, the use of liquid nutrient solutions allows greater efficiency in the use of water, since it is more easily recycled and reused than in soil cultivation.
Another important advantage of hydroponics is that it can be carried out anywhere, even in places where the soil is not suitable for cultivation. This allows farmers to produce food in urban areas or in desert environments, for example.
Hydroponics also has some disadvantages. One of them is that it requires specialized equipment and technical knowledge for its correct execution. Likewise, the hydroponic system is more susceptible to problems caused by pests and diseases, since the growing medium is completely exposed to these factors.