Hydroponics Kits

Hydroponics gardens are growing in popularity, and for good reason. When you grow plants and crops using a hydroponics system, on average, your plants will grow 30 to 50% faster than they do in regular soil. Their yield is also greater, since your plants do not have to search around in soil for the water and nutrients they need. Instead, the water and nutrients are delivered directly to the roots of your plants with the hydroponics system.

There are many different types of hydroponic plans out there. Many people go ahead and build their own hydroponics systems from scratch, but hydroponics kits are readily available for purchase and are much easier to use, especially for the beginner. Each of type of system offers its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is best to get familiar with them all before you make a purchase and get started. There are six basic types of hydroponics systems, and they are called Drip, Wick, Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.), Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, and Aeroponic. Each of these types can have hundreds of different variations on them, and people often end up modifying one type and incorporating elements of the others to get the system that suits their needs best.

So how do they work?

In a Drip system, a timer controls a submerged pump that drips the nutrient solution onto the the roots of each of the plants with a drip line. A recovery system allows the excess nutrient solution to be reused. This is the most commonly used type of system.

The Wick system is the simplest of all of the basic hydroponic systems, because it has no moving parts like a pump. The nutrient solution is drawn up into the growing tray from the reservoir with a wick. Coconut fiber is a good growth medium to use with a Wick system, but one of the disadvantages is that if you are using large plants or plants that use up a lot of nutrients, they may use the nutrients up faster than the wick can supply them.

In the Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.) system, a submersible pump provides a constant flow of the nutrient solution over the roots of the plants. It then flows back into the reservoir and cycles through again. No growth medium other than air is usually used with an N.F.T. System.

In a Water Culture system, a platform (often made of Styrofoam) floats on top of the nutrient solution. An air pump provides air to an air stone. The air pump bubbles air through the stone to provide oxygen to the roots of the plant. This system is good for growing lettuce, but not as good for larger plants or plants that take a longer time period to grow.

In an Ebb and Flow System, a pump floods the growing tray with the nutrient solution and then drains it back into a reservoir repeatedly, usually via means of a timer. It works well with a variety of different growth mediums, like gravel, Rockwool or Grow Rocks. Individual pots can be used for each of the plants, which makes it easy and convenient to move them around when you want. One of the disadvantages here, though, is that since this system relies on the pump and the timer, your plants are vulnerable to power failure – if the electricity goes out or you blow a fuse, your plants are at risk.

The Aeroponic system is the most high tech of the lot. In an Aeroponic system, the roots of your plants hang in mid-air and are misted with your nutrient solution every few minutes. To avoid the roots getting dry, a timer is used to control the mistings.

Pick the kit that sounds right for you and enjoy!