Hydroponic plant growing

Learn more about the advantages of setting up a water-based plant system.

Hydroponics is a well-established and fast growing part of modern commercial agriculture. Anyone willing to familiarize themselves with the principles of hydroponic culture and the basic requirements can successfully establish and operate a highly productive and rewarding hydroponics unit, whether for the home or commercial applications.

Hydroponics is still a developing field so you will find plenty of range for experimenting with plants and trees. There are two main methods of growing hydroponically:
  • The NFT system development by Dr Alan Cooper involves a system of covered plastic channels, the plants growing through holes in the covers with their roots in the nutrient solution.
  • The other method involves using containers filled with an inert substance such as sand, pumice or gravel etc. The nutrient solution is pumped into the containers through a system of pipes or tubes, the excess being cycled back around, more water, air and nutrients being added when needed as with the NFT system.

You will discover the numerous advantages that growing hydroponically offers over conventional growing practices when you set up your first system.

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Measuring nutrient solution
Electronic meters accurately tell you what the conductivity (ppm or EC), pH, or temperature of the nutrient solution – these are the three critical parameters essential to plant growth and health in any hydroponics system.

If you’re starting out in hydroponics with a small system, Bluelab’s Pens or hand held Meters are ideal for accurate testing of the solution. Bluelab Truncheon® Meters are a must for the beginner!

For larger scale growing systems choose from our range of wall-mounted monitors and automatic controllers.
The advantages of hydroponic growing
Hydroponic systems can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to produce good plants, crops and fruit. Any vegetable, flower, shrub and even trees can be grown without the need to cultivate, weed and mulch, while watering and fertilizing can be taken care of by automatic systems. The time saved by using a hydroponic system will allow you to concentrate on pruning and training plants, as well as providing you with more time to spend outside on other gardening activities.

You will find that only a small number of seedlings are required to produce what you need, as losses from pests and disease are greatly reduced when you grow hydroponically, especially if the plants are in a greenhouse or protective structure. Without soil in the system it is easy to keep everything clean, enabling you to eliminate problems caused by many soil borne diseases.

For the commercial grower hydroponic systems are ideal. They are highly efficient, requiring a low capital cost while producing higher yields with less labour input. These same advantages apply to the home grower who can cheaply and easily produce quality vegetables and fruit almost all year round. Whatever your preferences are, hydroponics will provide you with a challenging and exciting hobby or vocation.
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