What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the art of growing plants without soil. There are several different categories of hydroponics systems:
• Water Culture
• Ebb and Flow (Flood & Drain)
• Drip (recovery or non-recovery)
• N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technique)
The commonality of all the systems listed above is that they are heavily dependent on nutrient solution in order to ensure proper plant growth. The plants in all the above systems grow in media that provides no nutritional value, so having proper nutrient solution is vital to plant life. It is crucial that the nutrient solution is monitored and fed properly to the plants.
Monitoring Nutrient Solution:
pH of Hydroponic Nutrient Solution:
The pH of the nutrient solution indicates whether it is alkaline, acidic or neutral. If a the pH is greater than 7, it is alkaline; if the pH is less than 7, it is acidic. A pH of 7 indicates that the solution is neutral. The plants ability in a hydroponic garden to absorb nutrient solution depends on the pH of the nutrient solution. When the nutrient solution is above or below the optimal pH level, the plant may not receive enough nutrients. Different nutrients are available at different pH ranges. In hydroponics, the ideal pH range is between 5.8 and 6.2, compared to a pH of 6.5 for soil gardens.