Various types of hydroponics can be categorized into two main classifications – solution culture and medium culture hydroponics. The difference between the two types of hydroponics is that the solution culture does not use a solid medium for the roots, just the nutrient solution. While the medium culture method of hydroponics has a solid medium for the roots. In this article, we will discuss the different types of solution culture and variations of medium culture method.
There are three known primary types of solution culture of hydroponics. One is the static solution culture wherein plants are developed in containers of nutrient solution, such as tanks, tubs, plastic buckets or glass Mason jars which is typically used in-home applications. The other type of solution culture system of hydroponics is the continuous flow solution culture. In this hydroponics, as the name suggests, the nutrient solution continuously flows past the roots. A popular example is the nutrient film technique or NFT whereby a very low stream of water holding all the dissolved nutrients essential for plant growth is circulated constantly past the plants’ bare roots in a watertight thick root mat. Consequently, there is a plentiful supply of oxygen to plants roots, thus generally this hydroponics method is considered one of the more productive techniques in hydroponics. The third main type of solution culture in hydroponics is known as aeroponics. Aeroponics is a method where roots are incessantly or sporadically kept in an environment saturated with fine drops of nutrient solution. The system involves no substrate and requires growing plants with their roots suspended in a deep air or growth chamber with the roots occasionally wetted with a fine mist of atomized nutrients. Aeroponic method has attested to be commercially doing well for propagation and seed germination.
Since the second type of hydroponics medium culture method utilizes solid medium for the roots, the different variation of this method are named after the type of medium used. For instance, sand culture, gravel culture or rockwool culture. All of the medium can either be sub-irrigation or top irrigation.
Passive sub-irrigation is a method where plants are grown in a static spongy medium that carries water and fertilizer to the roots by passageway action from a detached reservoir as required, reducing labor and providing a steady water supply to the plants roots.
Ebb and flow, also called flood and drain sub-irrigation, is also common method of medium culture in hydroponics. In its simplest form, the tray above a reservoir of nutrient solution is either pots of medium stand in the tray, or packed with growing medium and planted directly. hydroponics wholesaler
In a Run to Waste type system, another variation of medium culture method of hydroponics, nutrient and water solution is occasionally applied to the medium surface. This may be done by manually applying a nutrient and water solution one or more times per day. However, in commercial environment watering frequency is multi-factorial and administered by PLC based controllers.
Deep water culture is a hydroponics method of plant growing by process of suspending the plant roots in a solution of water that is nutrient rich and oxygenated.
Bubbleponics is another hydroponics method. It is the art of distributing extremely oxygenated nutrient solution straight to the plants root zone. The difference between Deep Water Culture and Bubbleponics is that Deep Water Culture entails the plant roots hanging down into a reservoir of water below while the term Bubbleponics describes a top-fed hydroponics. Fundamentally, top feeding can be described as the water is pumped from the reservoir up to the roots.